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Microsoft Inspire News: Microsoft 365 & One Commercial Partner

12 Jul 2017 by Dan Langille

Greetings from the Microsoft Inspire conference in Washington DC!  It’s been a great week so far and only getting better.

We’ve been meeting lots of new potential partners and having great conversations with our current partners on how we can collaborate and deliver even more value for our joint Microsoft customers. If you’re at Inspire this week – stop by booth 1625 and say hi!

Every year I look forward to the motivational energy of the keynotes.  The combination of Microsoft leaders sharing their strategic plans for the coming year plus amazing success stories from partners and customers is truly inspirational.

Microsoft Inspire Keynote

Microsoft Inspire Keynote

This year I had the privilege to watch the opening keynote from the executive suite, and it gave me a perspective I’d never before enjoyed:  the Microsoft leaders in the suite with me were as enthusiastic as I was to hear about all the exciting changes for FY18:

One Commercial Partner.

On Monday we heard from Ron Huddleston, CVP of One Commercial Partner, who reiterated the emphasis on partners in every plan Microsoft makes. To step up their game, Microsoft is centralizing their partner teams into this one organization. One Commercial Partner will bring technical, marketing, business development knowledge, and new programs to support partner growth and success.

Four key solution areas + four pillars.

Every product and solution that Microsoft is currently investing in for FY 2018 will fall into one of four key solution areas: modern workplace, business applications, applications and infrastructure, and data & AI. Each Microsoft product, regardless of solution area, will help customers succeed in these four areas or ‘pillars’: employee empowerment, customer engagement, operations optimization, and product transformation.

“Industry focused. Partner powered.”

In the keynotes, we’ve also seen a major shift to an industry focus. Microsoft sellers are now going deep into industry solutions for education, healthcare, government, financial services, manufacturing, and retail. Microsoft has also set very specific goals for various industries – in EDU, for example, the goal is to get one-third of all students on the planet to use Office 365. Be on the lookout for our exciting, new industry-specific offerings!

Azure consumed revenue reigns supreme.

In the past, Azure billed revenue was a top metric for partners and Microsoft, but that has changed. The focus on Azure consumed revenue is more intense than ever – and Microsoft sellers must land partner solutions in their customer accounts to meet their goals. This means more collaborative selling when it comes to Azure-based solutions, which is good for everyone involved.

High targets for growth in Office 365 active usage.

Microsoft has set very high targets for growth in Office 365 active usage. This excites me because Cogmotive reports helps do just that. Our Office 365 reports, SharePoint reports, and Discover & Audit module, help organizations and partners monitor Microsoft application usage, to ensure their Microsoft investments are receiving the highest return. Cogmotive can show users where there’s room for improvement, and can help teams measure that improvement.

Microsoft introduces Microsoft 365

On Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced Microsoft 365, which combines cloud, mobility, and productivity solutions into a comprehensive and secure offering for enterprise and SMC customers. With Microsoft’s recent focus on the ‘secure productive enterprise’ which combines Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security into one bundled solution, rebranding it as Microsoft 365 makes it accessible to customers of all sizes. I’m also excited about this strategy because Quadrotech is uniquely positioned to help customers migrate all of their data (mailboxes, archives, public folders, and PSTs) to Office 365, and then add a critical layer of security on top of Microsoft 365’s threat prevention and governance features with Cogmotive Discover & Audit.

Check back later for a recap of our Microsoft Inspire experience. We’re excited to make more connections across the Microsoft partner ecosystem and look forward to a successful FY ’18 for all!