Microsoft Inspire 2017 Day1

This year the annual global Microsoft partner conference returns to Washington DC. The format remains the same but the name has  now been changed to Microsoft Inspire.

Today was the first day of the Microsoft Inspire partner conference and whilst there were a number of minor announcements and demonstrations, the biggest news was the creation of a product suite called Microsoft 365.

           Sataya Nadella presenting the keynote                            A view of the exhibition area

This suite contains Windows10 Enterprise, Office365 and Enterprise Mobility & Security and is available as an Enterprise offering for large organisations, and a Business  offering for companies with up-to 300 users.

Microsoft also announced the preview of three tailored applications that are coming to Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business:

  • Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service.
  • Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites.
  • Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast.

Microsoft’s mileage tracking app, MileIQ, is also now included with Office 365 Business Premium.  At MDI we have been trialing this application for internal use and found that it’s easy to use interface and functionality offer real time saving benefits over traditional methods of tracking business mileage.

Another major change in the Microsoft product line is the availability of the Azure Stack.  Up until this point Microsoft offered different solutions for public and private cloud implementations.   With Azure Stack companies can implement their own private Azure cloud using select hardware.

The technical specifications of the hardware are tightly defined by Microsoft to enable full compatibility with Azure.       HP, Dell, Cisco, and Huawei are all demonstrating their Azure Stack compliant servers at Inspire.