Ask Dux: All Things Microsoft Inspire 2021

Post Date: 07/28/2021
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For our first episode of our Ask Dux segment, we’ve got some great questions about the Microsoft Inspire conference, which is the annual gathering for Microsoft partners.

Coming off the recent virtual conference, Dux explains what Microsoft partners should know about new solutions, educational opportunities, and discounted pricing models unveiled at the event — as well as the debut of AvePoint’s Global Partner Program.

For those who couldn’t attend, we’re here to bring you what you missed out on. Let’s go and Ask Dux! 

In this episode: 

Microsoft Inspire: 2020 vs 2021 

Last year, the message was all about ‘Let’s hunger down. Let’s leverage technology. Let’s make the most out of our investments to get through this unknown that we’re in.’  

But this year, there was a lot about ‘resiliency’ in the messaging that Microsoft offered.  

Partners came in and shared stories on what they’ve done with technology to help people and organizations around the world get through the pandemic. And then there’s this sense of hope looking forward into what the next normal would look like, especially as we look into this new hybrid work that’s coming. 

The role of Microsoft partners 

Because of the pandemic, we saw even more how essential technology is. It has been the fabric that tied every person and every organization together. We also saw a lot of partners step up to the plate and made a lot of phenomenal impact not only on their local communities, but also on large customers around the world.  

Who would’ve thought that because of technology, we’re able to get food to people? Who would’ve thought that because of technology, we’re able to efficiently schedule vaccination?  

A lot of partners have been involved with this. And given the situation we had in the last 18 months and what’s to come, I think partners would play an integral role in helping their customers continue to innovate and make the most out of their investment in the Microsoft cloud. 

The importance of partners’ education and upskilling  

As we all know, Microsoft offers a lot of wonderful technologies. And frankly, a lot of these technologies are untapped, especially the cutting-edge ones—Microsoft AI or the capabilities that Microsoft offers across industry clouds.  

Without education, it’s going to put every partner in a detrimental position because they wouldn’t know what’s available out there, what can be done, and what solutions can be put together.  

And again, we’ve seen that in the last 18 months, because of all these wonderful capabilities that Microsoft offers, partners were able to put together solutions to help their customers during this time. In fact, some business sectors thrived during the pandemic because of Microsoft technologies that partners put together. 

The announcement of Windows 365  

Another announcement brought up at the conference was Windows 365. Put simply, Windows 365 is really the next generation of what Windows can offer. It’s basically taking your Windows environment and making it available in the cloud. Regardless of where you are or what device you’re using, just by firing up a browser and logging in to Windows 365, you can then have access to your Windows environment.  

This is a game-changing opportunity because it opens up a whole new market for partners, be it from a services opportunity or through a product development opportunity. It just opened up a whole new world of audiences that traditionally, they may not be able to tap into. 

Microsoft commercial marketplace fee: from 20% to 3%  

Microsoft has had their marketplace for a while now, and they used to take a 20 percent cut as part of the transaction. If you’re a partner and you put a solution there and you’re selling stuff, then Microsoft takes a cut.

But by dropping that percentage cut from 20% to 3%, what Microsoft has done is encourage more partners to put their solutions in the marketplace.  

Microsoft’s not the only game in town. There are other cloud providers that have much more mature marketplaces. So, what Microsoft wants to do is to accelerate their growth in the marketplace and provide more opportunities to partners out there to showcase their solutions and technologies in the Microsoft marketplace.  

AvePoint as a partner 

At the end of the day, the moment that made me so proud to be working here at AvePoint is when Satya Nadella did his keynote. Satya talked about how Teams is integral during this time of the pandemic and they’re doubling down their investment.  

As Satya encouraged partners to continue to innovate and introduce apps that help collaboration—called collaboration apps, he showcased AvePoint as among the key partners that already invested in collaboration apps. That was exciting.  

In addition, speaking of scaling the business through partners and being able to help customers through partners, we as a company launched our global partner program as well.  

So, if there are partners out there listening and interested to further grow your business and provide more secure collaboration solutions, check us out, and we have tons of wonderful opportunities for you to grow your business and also serve your customers through the solutions we offer. 

Episode resources 

Microsoft Inspire: Your home for Microsoft Inspire 

Satya Nadella’s Keynote blog recap: Microsoft Inspire 2021: Satya Nadella’s Microsoft Cloud Keynote ( 

Windows 365: What is Windows 365? | Microsoft Docs 

AvePoint Partner Program: AvePoint Partner Program | Join Today | AvePoint 

What’s more? 

Check out Forrester’s New Wave SaaS Application Data Protection Q4 2021 report where only AvePoint received the highest possible score for multi-cloud SaaS backup criteria. Get free access to the report at 

Get involved! 

Don’t forget to send us your questions on Twitter with a hashtag #AskDux or send us an email at 

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With over 20 years of business and technology experience, Dux has driven organizational transformations worldwide with his ability to simplify complex ideas and deliver relevant solutions. He serves as the Chief Brand Officer of AvePoint who has authored the LinkedIn Learning course How to Build Your Personal Brand, the book SharePoint for Project Management, as well as numerous whitepapers and articles. As a public speaker, Dux has delivered engaging, interactive presentations to more than 25,000 people at leading industry events around the world. He also hosts the modern workplace podcast #shifthappens that focuses on how leading organizations navigated their business transformation journey. Dux advocates tirelessly for inclusion, using technology for good, and philanthropic initiatives. Connect with him:

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