The Westcoast Cloud Team
July 26, 2022

Microsoft Inspire 2022: catch up on the best bits

We love Summer. Not just because of the long evenings and trips to the beach. And certainly not because of the weather. But because Summer means it’s time for Microsoft Inspire.

Every Summer, Microsoft gathers the whole partner community together for two days of discussion and debate on how cloud technology and cloud service providers can better support end customers.

The hot potatoes at this year’s Inspire predictably included how the cloud can support more effective hybrid working, power innovation through modernisation, streamline security and drive growth.

In this blog, we’ve summarised Microsoft updates we’re most excited by. And by ‘excited’ we mean ‘have the biggest potential to grow your business.

Enjoy reading, and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

 Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform

Microsoft used Inspire 2022 to unveil its new Digital Contact Center Platform. It’s going to help your clients take customer service to the next level, by giving them the power to engage with consumers using voice, video, and other digital channels.

We like this platform, as it’s open, extensible, and collaborative-combining technology from Teams, Azure, and other portfolio products. Including Microsoft’s newly acquired voice-to-text company, Nuance.

Azure Migration and Modernization Program Updates

Microsoft is making big changes to its Azure Migration and Modernization Program. To help drive growth and migrations, there’s going to be a new partner nomination experience, featuring more agile and simplified approvals and payouts, and updated best practice guidance.

To help unlock opportunities for partners, Microsoft has also announced new benefits for the ISV Success Program, coming this Autumn. It’ll help you innovate, build well-architected applications, and grow your sales.

Additional Azure capabilities and product updates include:

  • Azure Confidential Computing
  • Azure Center for SAP solutions
  • Azure Stack HCI in public preview
  • Azure Arc Boost Program
  • Azure Space Partner Community

Enabling hybrid work with Teams

Over the past year, Microsoft has given Teams 450 new features, to help hybrid workers to collaborate more easily and to get more done. At Inspire, Microsoft announced yet more exciting new hybrid working features, including:

Teams Connect Shared Channels

With Teams, collaborating with partners is now as easy as working with colleagues. Connect Shared Channels allows end users to work with people inside and outside their organisation in one shared space, where everyone can chat, meet, share, co-author files, and develop apps together.

Excel Live

With Excel Live, customers can collaborate on workbooks in real-time, using Teams as a canvas. Anyone in the meeting can jump in and edit a workbook without leaving the meeting screen.

Excel Live builds on the recent announcement of Live Share in Teams, which enables participants to collaborate in apps directly within the Teams meeting window. Independent software vendors and developers can also easily build apps for Live Share using new extensions in the Teams SDK.

Collaborative Annotations

Collaborative Annotations allow all meeting participants to draw, type, and react on top of content shared in a meeting using the rich toolset of Microsoft Whiteboard.

Video Clip

Microsoft also introduced us to Video Clip – a new feature in Teams chat that allows you to record, send, and view short videos, all at the click of a button. Once videos are sent, recipients can easily play them back at their convenience.

Microsoft Viva Updates

Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform, has had some major updates, including Viva Sales -the first Viva solution tailored to meet role-specific needs.

We also got a glimpse of Viva Goals and Viva Engage – exciting new features aimed at helping teams to set targets and express themselves in the workplace.

Viva Goals

Available from August, Microsoft Viva Goals is designed to create a culture of engaged employees focused on achieving common goals. Microsoft Viva Goals helps organisations align their teams to specific strategic priorities through OKRs (Objectives and Key Results).

Viva Engage

This is a new app in Teams that helps develop community and connection, whilst providing tools for personal expression. Viva Engage brings consumer-like social networking to the workplace, building on the strength of Yammer to spark engagement and grow personal networks, right in the flow of work.

Leaders can share news and insights, answer questions, and facilitate two-way conversations that help employees feel heard and included.

Last but not least

After two whole days of amazing updates, we don’t have room here to go into absolutely everything that wowed us at Inspire.

Check these updates out on all the usual Microsoft channels.

Get in touch if you want to know more, and we’ll see you at next Summer’s Microsoft Inspire!