What Did We Learn At Microsoft Inspire 2019?
In insight / By Charlotte Tobulevicius / 30 July 2019
Every year, Microsoft takes up residency in Las Vegas to host Microsoft Inspire – its cross-border partner-to-partner networking event. Held over five days, the event is a chance for thousands of partners from more than 130 countries to come together in Las Vegas to connect, collaborate and celebrate as one community.
This year’s event was packed full of inspiring plans for the year ahead, as well as shared experiences and insights that set out a vision of modern working and a cloud-led future!
Not surprisingly, Teams was a key focus, with the big news being that Teams is now at 13 million daily active users, and 19 million weekly active users. This is a big boost for the collaboration platform which was launched just two years ago.
Although there were no big feature announcements for the platform, Microsoft did unveil some new updates, including announcements, cross-channel posting, priority notifications and moderators.
It was apparent that Microsoft will be pushing Teams forward to become the hero of Microsoft 365, with better support in helping customers move to Teams. It was announced that as a Microsoft 365 partner, Nasstar will be able to launch six-month trials to provide Teams for customers who only use Exchange Online, as well as non-cloud customers.
If Teams isn’t on your radar, or you’ve felt you couldn’t use it as a non-Office 365 customer, now’s the time to look at your plan to roll-out Microsoft’s deservedly popular collaboration suite.
As always, Microsoft’s public cloud platform, Azure, was at the forefront of conversation again this year, with the company announcing a great initiative to assist customers in migrating from legacy platforms such as SQL and Server 2008. Microsoft also shared initiatives for building bespoke solutions on Microsoft Azure, which will ensure the security and scalability of customer applications and systems as businesses grow.
Continued investment in skills and capabilities around Azure is imperative to the success of a modern workplace offering; whether it be an application that needs modernising, a DR solution that needs architecting or a rapid acquisition strategy that needs realising.
At Nasstar, we’ve been passionate about this and in doing so, has ensured that our clients have the full choice of private, public or hybrid cloud offerings to deliver the best environment for any given set of requirements.
The rapid transition to Microsoft 365 shows just how feature-rich Microsoft’s top tier modern workplace offering has become. With over 180 Million global commercial users, it’s clear that the core of any transition to modern working practices starts with Microsoft.
With our proven track record of delivering large scale M365 migrations, we were especially pleased to see new features added into nearly every area of the suite, including:
- New security features to prevent conflicts of interest in Teams
- Improved conditional access features to make sure users have the most granular and relevant security options, therefore enabling them to get work done without it being hampered
- New features in Office desktop, mobile and web to increase the overall efficiency with which users get work done; all day, every day
With Artificial Intelligence being a hot topic, Microsoft launched the new AI Accelerate program aimed at helping partners bring AI driven solutions to customers more quickly.
With increasing numbers of workers becoming more mobile and using their phones for everything at work, AI integration will also enable users to use their phones as they would use a laptop, with added features too.
One interesting feature is that users will be able to log in to the Office app to take pictures of data which can then be shared with the team or converted into a real table in excel, with no need for manual date entering! This data can then be co-edited, formatted, manipulated and worked on via the phone or laptop, with no limitations.
PowerPoint has also had an upgrade with the introduction of sensitive phrases in the PowerPoint rehearsals function. In rehearsal mode, PowerPoint will use AI to make suggestions to pace, content and originality in real time. It will also create a report at the end of the rehearsal so that users can review and improve their presentation technique.
With a recent study by Technology Review stating that over 35% of a lawyer’s tasks could be automated through the use of AI in the coming years, and similar studies popping up in other verticals, investigating the real world applications of this emerging technology and how it can assist our clients with remaining at the forefront of their respective industries is of utmost importance.
As ever, security played a big part in the event, with Microsoft announcing the general availability of the Microsoft Security Competency. Although a new and exciting announcement, this is something which we have already begun to progress at Nasstar. Securing our clients’ use of Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 & Azure is as important as the rest of the Nasstar environment, as is protecting the identities, data, apps and endpoints of our customers from the ever-changing threat landscape as they continue to move key workloads to the public cloud.
Nasstar fully supports the modern workplace ethos championed by Microsoft, in that change should start with culture, and not technology. If you’re looking to drive a shift in working practices at your business, we are poised to provide operational, technological and cultural consultancy, ensuring the best delivery of M365 modern workplace solutions to our customers. Contact us today for more information.