Microsoft Inspire 2022: Unlocking new partner opportunities, solutions for hybrid work and more

As we kick off the virtual gathering for Microsoft Inspire 2022, it’s an ideal time to reflect on the importance of our partner ecosystem. Each year we host an event to celebrate the work our partners do, and to recognize the impact they have across business and industry.

Microsoft has more than 400,000 partners who employ more than 22 million people around the world. Our programs reflect a commitment to shared success. Together with our partners, we can achieve more.

In that spirit, we celebrate the winners and finalists of our 2022 Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards, which recognize outstanding successes and innovations by partners in over 100 countries and in a wide variety of categories, including Modern Work, Azure, Business Applications and Social Impact. Each year, award recipients are selected based on their commitment to customers, the impact of their solutions and their exemplary use of Microsoft technologies.

We are making changes to allow partners to keep driving growth and build on their success. Some of the major themes we’re addressing in our announcements this year include:

  • Driving growth and profitability through partner-focused platforms
  • Powering innovation through modernization and migration
  • Helping customers streamline their security across platforms
  • Delivering the digital imperative in hybrid work

All of today’s announcements are designed with partners and customers at the center – solutions and programs to help them grow their business, transform the way they work and maintain security across the cloud. Highlighted below are a few of the updates we are announcing at Microsoft Inspire.

Unlocking opportunities for independent software vendors (ISVs)

With demand for cloud solutions estimated to exceed $1 trillion by 2025, software providers have never been more important in supporting our mutual customers. Today at Inspire, Microsoft is unlocking opportunities for our partners by investing in new programs, benefits and resources to help all ISVs – large and small – meet customer needs, innovate faster and cost efficiently, go-to-market and grow a thriving business.

We are announcing new benefits with the ISV Success Program, to help ISVs innovate rapidly, build well-architected applications, publish them to our commercial marketplace and grow their sales. Currently in private preview, and broadly available in fall 2022, the program is intended to be the pathway to ISV success in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.

Software providers can take advantage of this newly enhanced benefit package to build across the Microsoft Cloud and get access to cloud sandboxes, developer tooling, technical and business resources and a dedicated community. Participants can get access to nearly $128,000 in benefits to utilize productive, modern and innovative developer tools to accelerate software production. Additionally, Marketplace Rewards has been integrated into the ISV Success Program to help simplify the path for ISVs.

We are making ongoing improvements to our commercial marketplace, our platform for digital selling and global commerce. Margin sharing is now generally available through marketplace and we are announcing a partnership with to help ISVs scale and reach Microsoft customers, simplify selling and accelerate revenue in the commercial marketplace.

These new benefits, alongside Microsoft’s industry-leading 3% marketplace transaction fees, allow ISVs to build, sell and thrive on the Microsoft Cloud.

We are also introducing new industry designations for ISVs, which will be available later this year. These designations differentiate solutions based on their demonstrated performance with customers, technical maturity and customer success. We are starting with healthcare, retail and financial services. Partners can learn more about the designations and join the co-design sessions during Inspire.

 Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty

Governments around the world are accelerating their digital transformation, creating opportunities for social and economic growth and enhancing services while supporting the legal regulations, needs and interests of their citizenry. To that end, Microsoft is announcing Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, designed specifically for the government sector.

This new solution enables public sector customers to build and digitally transform workloads in the Microsoft Cloud while meeting their compliance, security and policy requirements. Public sector customers can harness the full power of the cloud including broad platform capabilities, resiliency, security, and scale, while having greater control over their data, residency, and transparency to its operational and governance processes.

To learn how partners can help governments take advantage of this solution, read the blog post from Corey Sanders, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Cloud for Industry and Global Expansion Team.

Digital Contact Center Platform

Building a better customer service experience is top of mind for both our partners and their customers. Reaching out for help should be an efficient, frictionless occurrence. The new Digital Contact Center Platform brings together several Microsoft products, including Nuance – which Microsoft acquired earlier this year – Dynamics 365, Power Platform and Microsoft Teams, into an open, extensible and collaborative platform to help create a seamless experience for users who are seeking help – no matter the channel.

ISVs can use the platform to build contact center experiences that work for their clients, from smarter chatbots, to faster live chat boxes, to intuitive AI solutions. The goal is to create more personalized engagements across digital channels, where customers don’t have to repeat information and businesses can work to develop deeper relationships with their customers, and reduce costs, which can only be provided by consolidation and automation.

Azure Space Partner Community

The next paradigm for cloud computing brings together the possibilities of space with the power of the cloud. Organizations across myriad industries are utilizing satellites and other space technologies to bring connectivity anywhere and unlock new insights via space data.

To support our thriving ecosystem of space partners, we’re announcing the Azure Space Partner Community, which will enable partners to deliver the most comprehensive and innovative offerings for our joint customers and the future of space computing. Our new, differentiated ecosystem of partners spans space operators, manufacturers, systems integrators, data providers, ISVs, startups and more.

Making hybrid work work

As hybrid work has become just work, the challenge for organizations is to balance employee demands with flexibility for business needs. We’re collaborating with our partners to help customers understand the new patterns of work driving the future, including enabling hybrid work, bringing collaborative experiences into the flow of work and building a digital employee experience.

We’re delivering new capabilities in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams that let people contribute whenever and wherever they are working. Excel Live enables people to work collaboratively on workbooks directly within the Teams meeting window. Collaborative annotations give participants the ability to draw, type or react to shared meeting content via Microsoft Whiteboard.

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform that utilizes a variety of tools to increase productivity, well-being and collaboration at work. The new Viva Engage app helps organizations build connection and community, and provides employees with personal expression tools, such as the ability to create and share video posts through the new Stories feature. Stories are short videos or photos that people post to their Storyline, providing a fun, familiar way for people to stay connected with colleagues across their organization.

Windows 365 celebrates one year

During Inspire, Windows 365 will mark its one-year anniversary. Over the course of the year, the product has continued to evolve, with several new features, like point-in-time restore (which lets administrators “turn back the clock” on a Cloud PC) and Autopatch (which automates Windows updates to improve security) for today’s modern workplace.

Today’s announcements represent Microsoft’s continued investment in helping our partners grow their business, better serve customers and align more closely with the cloud transformation we’re seeing across industries. The updates outlined in this blog are just the tip of a comprehensive slate of new offerings and updates.

To learn more about announcements being made at Inspire, be sure to watch the keynote speeches from Satya Nadella, Nick Parker and Judson Althoff. You can also explore the product specific blogs outlined below for a more granular view of the news and learn more about how this technology is being used today.

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