Microsoft Inspire 2021, the tech giant’s two-day virtual event was held earlier this month. It’s the largest partner event focused on Microsoft cloud and the opportunities it provides for partners.
This year Microsoft revealed various new products, services and experiences that we can look forward to. Here are just some of the key announcements from the event.
New and enhanced collaborative apps coming to Teams
As more and more team members come together to work on projects together, it’s important for stakeholders to know of the changes that occur.
For this reason, Microsoft has announced new and enhanced collaborative apps coming to Microsoft Teams in partnership with independent software vendors (ISVs) and include Atlassian Confluence, Salesforce, SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C), ServiceNow and Workday. These integrations bring structured business processes and data together for collaborative work.
With Teams, developers and ISVs can build the next generation of apps with collaboration at the core, enabling collaboration for meetings, chats, content creation and business processes.
Microsoft is continuing to improve at making its full range of technology available to other technology stacks. They are no longer trying to push you down a 100% Microsoft route and this is a great step to support that move.
Dynamics 365 data access now included with Microsoft Teams
This leads us to one of the most exciting announcements from the event. Microsoft Teams and Dynamics 365 will now work seamlessly together to deliver new ways for everyone in an organisation to capture and exchange ideas.
Microsoft Teams customers will receive access to view and edit Microsoft Dynamics 365 data in Teams at no extra cost, whether or not they have a Dynamics 365 license. This no-cost data access provides flexibility for organisations to determine when and how they purchase Dynamics 365. The inclusion of Dynamics 365 access will remove a barrier to productivity within the customer workflow. Now, any employee with a Teams license can see Dynamics 365 records directly within Teams.
If you’re a Dynamics 365 user, you will be able to invite team members in your organisation to collaborate on customer records within a Teams channel or chat. Sales teams can also share information on different sales opportunities, customer history, and more. Users of Dynamics 365 will also be able to add Teams meetings when creating appointments, allowing access to information within a Teams call.
Introducing the Windows Cloud PC
It’s not only workflows and collaborative apps that are making a big difference this year.
Microsoft recently introduced Windows 11 to update the PC experience. At Inspire, they revealed Windows 365, a new cloud service which changes the way users experience Windows.
The solution will give users the ability to connect data, apps, and settings from any endpoint and device. This will create a new Cloud PC category, which uses the power of the cloud and device capabilities for a more personalised experience. Windows 365 will allow users to log into their solution from any device, with an instant-on booting experience from any environment. You can pick up from wherever you left off, no matter which device you’re using. This functionality will also allow companies to provision Cloud PCs in minutes without any virtualisation experiences.
Deliver managed security services with Microsoft 365 Lighthouse
Microsoft also revealed ways partners can develop better levels of trust with customers through new security offerings to prioritise sustainability, accessibility, and inclusion.
Microsoft 365 Lighthouse is now entering preview to provide managed service providers with a central location for security management. Microsoft 365 Lighthouse is a unified portal that helps managed service providers easily secure and manage their Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers and deliver standardised services. There are templates to help with securing data and devices and tools to help partners quickly identify and respond to threats, like device compliance alerts and unrecognised sign-in.
Enhancing Microsoft Viva
Microsoft also introduced some exciting new features for Microsoft Viva. This solution, powered by Microsoft 365, will work alongside the existing solutions in the Microsoft ecosystem. The new Viva upgrades include the arrival of Viva Partner Integrations, with a host of content providers including Qualtrics, Workday, and many others.
Microsoft revealed new tools to help developers and partners bring their solutions into Viva. The new Viva Connections APIs coming later this year will make it easy to integrate with the Connections dashboard. Viva Learning APIs will also be available later this year to allow developers to integrate content from learning providers, as well as assignments and due dates.