Inspire 2021: Microsoft refocuses solutions on partner ecosystem

Inspire 2021: Microsoft refocuses solutions on partner ecosystem

Firm is releasing new partner- and hybrid work-centric features in Azure, Teams and Microsoft Viva

Elly Yates-Roberts |

Microsoft has announced, at its Inspire 2021 event, a number of technology updates that refocus its support for the partner ecosystem, plus the addition of new features for the cloud platform.  

Partners in the Azure Synapse ecosystem can now include their solution in the new Partner Center, which is accessed directly from Synapse Studio. Azure Synapse customers can browse partner solutions to learn more about each solution, connect to the partner service via an API and automatically start a trial. 

Microsoft has also released a new monthly per-user access pricing option for Azure Virtual Desktop to help independent software vendors (ISVs) unlock new business opportunities as they deliver apps from the cloud to external users. 

Microsoft says that, since many organisations currently use Azure Virtual Desktop to stream apps to employees, the new pricing option will “expand the ability of ISVs to deliver apps to customers and business partners and expand their software as a service (SaaS) businesses”.  

The per-user access pricing option will be effective from 1 January 2022.  

Microsoft Teams has seen a surge in usage during the pandemic, so Microsoft is releasing new and enhanced Collaborative apps in partnership with ISVs and organisations such as Atlassian Confluence, Salesforce, SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C), ServiceNow and Workday. Microsoft says that the move will “bring structured business processes and data together into the context of collaborative work”.  

Also new, ISVs will soon be able to sell their apps within Microsoft Teams, enabling them to monetise their offerings and simplifying the experience for Teams IT admins to purchase apps and subscriptions directly from Teams.  

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched its employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva. Now, Microsoft is adding over 20 partner integrations to the platform, including ServiceNow, Qualtrics and Workday. In addition to existing partnerships with Headspace, SuccessFactors and others, Microsoft says that the new integrations will enable customers to “seamlessly surface tools, insights and experiences personalised for employees in the flow of their work”. 

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