Top 3 Microsoft Inspire Highlights and Announcements

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Chief Executive Officer

Microsoft Inspire 2021 was another incredible global event that brought us some interesting and exciting announcements from Microsoft. If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to review the Microsoft Inspire 2021 Book of News. As a Microsoft Gold Partner across many categories and an active leader in multiple advisory boards and preview programs, the announcements are often not new to our team. However, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few key announcements that get us the most excited.  

Our 3 Favorite Highlights From Microsoft Inspire

With all of the incredible Microsoft applications moving the meter on the advancement of Digital Workplaces everywhere, you might be wondering, what are the top three announcements/updates from this year’s global Microsoft partner event, Microsoft Inspire 2021. 

After discussing with our all-star team of Microsoft MVPs and award winners, we are happy to bring our top 3 highlights from Inspire. 

1. Richer & More Integrated Employee Experiences 

Microsoft is now leading the charge in first-party integration with popular services and products. In addition, they are making it easier for customers and partners like ourselves to integrate these apps and services across the places users already work today, such as within Microsoft Teams, or surfaced contextually through experiences like Microsoft Viva Topics in Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and Office.  

There are now 20+ partners who have rich integration throughout Microsoft Viva experiences.  

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Combine this with the existing 100+ Microsoft search connectors that make it easier to provide unified search and better search and graph-based experiences. (This 100+ connector number includes 9 first-party connectors from Microsoft for popular systems like ServiceNow, Salesforce, File Shares, and more.) 

2. More For Less 

As a company that runs its business on Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, we are also extremely excited about the richer (and now free) integration that enables us to discuss, engage around, coordinate with and work on Dynamics activities in Microsoft Teams.  

Earlier this month, Microsoft made some pretty big announcements on Power Platform pricing that help companies like ours, and hundreds of our customers do more with less as it relates to business applications and solutions. By reducing the licensing costs by half, more companies can enhance digital experiences and provide meaningful applications and automation through Power Apps and Power Automate.

Costs have shifted from $40 to $20 per user per month for Power Apps per users plans, and from $10 per user/app/month to $5 per user/app/month on October 1st. This price change effectively gives already invested customers money back from their budget for more apps and automation. Also, for many who are just getting started, the promotional pricing is a lower initial cost of ownership.

This also impacted Power Portals so if you haven’t looked at them – take another look as the solutions we have been implementing with customers here are often customer or B2B facing and prove that the Power Platform doesn’t just have to be used for internal applications/automation. 

Other announcements provide more ways for vendors like us to provide greater discounts or ensure what you buy through the Microsoft marketplace experiences are closer to their costs by reducing their fees from the industry standard of 20% to 3%.

3. Sustainability Initiatives & Making Sustainability More Digitally Accessible  

It can be easy to underestimate just how challenging it is for a company to respond and support the important work needed to meet sustainability goals and respond to one of the most urgent crises facing out planet. However, Microsoft certainly made it easier for organizations like ours and many of our customers by releasing a new “Cloud for Sustainability” later this year. 

Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability enables any organization to record, report, reduce, and replace their emissions more easily and effectively as they relate to IT carbon emissions, which is a great forward step. It will be much harder for organizations to avoid tackling, measuring, and working on sustainability if doing so becomes more accessible and easier to manage. 

Expanding your knowledge for FREE 

If you are looking for more insights into previous or future announcements, keep in mind that not only are we a Microsoft Gold Partner, but our team is comprised of Microsoft MVPs, and board members. We always have time available to share knowledge, insights, and context on Microsoft 365 and Azure that can help organizations like yourselves be more successful.

Or maybe you looking to learn more about the incredible Digital Workplace offerings from Microsoft 365 or how best to implement them? Dive into our library of resources.

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