Key takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2018

Microsoft Inspire 2018 provided an unprecedented opportunity for partners to make meaningful connections with even more of the Microsoft community. As we kicked off our fiscal year together, it was more apparent than ever that partnership is the key to staking a claim on $1.7 trillion of digital transformation opportunity in the U.S.

Speakers included partners, business leaders, and Microsoft executives like Gavriella Schuster, Brad Smith, Ron Markezich, and CEO Satya Nadella. Our partner ecosystem is strong and growing, having built more than 28,000 applications, services, and solutions with partners in the last year. With that success and momentum in mind, here are some of the key takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2018:

Leaning into marketplaces and growing capabilities

We were proud to announce efforts to enhance AppSource by making even more resources available to partners, customers, and our sales team. Azure Marketplace is your one place for everything from finished apps and partner-to-partner bundles to managed services. This online store can be used to increase discoverability and app usage, drive more leads, and promote your solutions. MPN Partners have access to a Microsoft Marketplaces consultation at no cost from now through December 21, 2018.

Enhancing Go-to-Market benefits

Go-to-Market connects what we build with how we sell—together—and we’re not only expanding core benefits but offering more flexible benefits packages. New benefits will guide partners through building their marketing practice and support them in generating leads, improving lead velocity, and boosting close rates. Partners can also choose the benefits package that aligns to your business focus, whether that’s Modern Workplace, Biz Apps, Data & AI, or Apps & Infrastructure. Stay tuned for more details at or through our upcoming MPN 101 calls, to review benefits in-depth.

Supporting partner development

Differentiating your offerings is key to partner success, which is why we’re launching the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP initiative as well as offering new areas of specializations and competencies. The Microsoft Azure Expert MSP qualification gives customers confidence when selecting a partner to help them on their digital transformation journey by vouching for your highest degrees of capability. In FY19, we’ll be launching advanced areas of specialization beyond Microsoft Gold competency, including: Modern Workplace (GDPR, Teams), Biz Apps with Dynamics 365, Azure Stack, Cloud Migration, and Data & AI (machine learning, cognitive services). To improve the resources available to our partners, there are also 4 new Digital Transformation eBooks and 2 Cloud Practice Playbooks upcoming.

For more in-depth info and highlights from Microsoft Inspire, watch our recap on-demand. Then, head over to our MPN page to get plugged in, and follow @msuspartner for the latest updates.

For more info and ways to stay connected, check out our additional resources below: