“Microsoft got cool again,” said the analysts, as they swirled Espresso Martinis and Californian red in their glasses on the first eve of Inspire. Indeed, Inspire 2017 was effortlessly, ‘cool’.

Why? Because for the first time, Microsoft took a step back from their product and focused on the customer needs and wants – aligned by industry. Following the announcement of being ‘partner-first’ not just ‘partner-led’, Microsoft set the standard for AlfaPeople and partners alike – giving us the tools to make an impact.

After all, when you put all of Microsoft’s might, product capability and people behind an industry proposition, no competitor comes close.

AlfaPeople UK sent their top players onto the field this year:

  1. Wincy Mok – Senior Developer
  2. Tammy Briggs – Pre-sales Consultant
  3. Martyna Marciniak – Senior Consultant
  4. Raj Pandya – Senior Consultant

As well as Philip Rawlinson, Managing Director and Tim Rowe, Delivery Director.

Beyond a live performance from country singing superstar Carrie Underwood, here were the key highlights from the team.

The Renaissance for Microsoft Partners

In Satya Nadella opened his keynote with and ethos being ‘partner first’. According to Nadella, there are now 64,000 partners selling Microsoft cloud solutions – and AlfaPeople is one of these partners.
Microsoft is working hard to create a single point of contact at Microsoft for partners, with plans to spend $250 million on more go-to-market efforts for partners and to hire new channel managers to work with partners in their sales efforts.

What this means is that customers can enjoy working with trusted partners, closely connected with Microsoft, who are specialised in their industry vertical and are familiar with each vertical’s key business needs. Rather than selling a product, Microsoft is selling solutions for the modern workplace with the support of industry leaders in the Partner Network.

Team Takeaways-Microsoft Inspire 2017

Intelligent Cloud & Intelligent Edge

One thing that Microsoft highlighted was its vision to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology. This means bringing AI to every developer through the unique combination of the Microsoft cloud and AI. New cognitive services, platform innovations in the Microsoft Bot Framework, advances in deep learning tools, continued infusion of AI into the company’s products and services, and intelligent insights offered through the Microsoft Graph unlock this opportunity for developers and new growth scenarios for businesses.

The Industry Specific Emphasis

As highlighted already in the partner-led ethos, Microsoft is working to become industry specific and create solutions that actually solve real-life business problems.

Tony Safoian, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based SADA Systems, said,

“In terms of the cloud and everything else, what the market is asking for is more specialisation in the segments you’re now working with–to bring more value to the line of business that’s meaningful … this is definitely a smart move.”

Industries covered are manufacturing, retail, education, financial services, government and health.

Inner Circle 2017/2018 Award

As icing on the cake, at ‘Inspire’, AlfaPeople was once again awarded membership of the top 1% worldwide partners – the Microsoft Dynamics Inner circle 2017/2018. Find out more about this in our recent news article here.

Ok, and the Parties.

All attendees cited that yes, the parties were great. These offered highly valuable opportunities to network with industry influencers and the Microsoft team.

On sending the team to Inspire, Phil Rawlinson, Managing Director of AlfaPeople UK says,

“Inspire was a great reward for the hard work and dedication of our top performing employees. Each person who we sent has provided exceptional added-value to our customers and demonstrated excellence. This is something we will continue to do for our best performers and is hugely valuable, not only for them but also for our team of industry experts.”