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Microsoft Inspire 2022 Highlights for the ANZ Region

The days of sitting in a packed stadium eagerly awaiting the opening keynote of Microsoft’s pinnacle partner of the year event, Inspire, are a distant memory. Nevertheless, for the 3rd year in a row, the partner ecosystem found themselves connecting virtually, as Microsoft unveiled a slew of updates, changes, and insights into where new and prosperous opportunities lie as we embrace the new hybrid world.

As an ISV at the core of the Microsoft Ecosystem on a mission to optimise workplace collaboration, AvePoint is fortunate enough to work with thousands of partners globally, empowering them to solve customer problems and optimising their modern workspace experiences. This year, I was fortunate enough to watch several insightful sessions and thought I’d share my key Microsoft Inspire takeaways and impacts specific to the ANZ region.

The Future of Work is Hybrid, and the Future is Now

As the recent GALLUP study clearly highlighted, 81% of the workforce want and intend to maintain some form of hybrid working environment. I think by now we have all accepted that the days of a five-day in-office work week have changed, and Microsoft is fully onboard.

microsoft inspire

The latest feature announcements and roadmap investments into Teams further its gravitas as the nucleus of the hybrid economy. While organisations continue to rely on Teams for business-critical day-to-day operations, it does bring about a new set of challenges that need to be addressed, including:

  • What processes can scale the collaboration environment efficiently without significant manual labour?
  • How do you maximise operational efficiency and user experience while also maintaining the governance and compliance standards required?
  • How do you ensure you have visibility into where business-critical data is created and lives and who has access to it?
  • What processes are in place to protect your organization from data loss or reduction in productivity and output?

“Do More With Less” – But how?

As inflation rates continue to rise across major global economies, economic ambiguity, the effects of war, supply chain issues, and policy change begin to unsettle even the soundest of organisations. Couple this with the wake of a global pandemic and a shift in workforce priorities and many CIOs find themselves in unprecedented times, with the age-old trade-off: efficiency vs. innovation.

“Do more with less” is a short yet powerful message that was delivered by Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO in his opening keynote when discussing Microsoft’s key focus on supporting organisations through these uncertain times. And, while I agree, many organisational leaders and CIOs are still trying to identify “how” to do so.

do more with less satya nadella

Aside from Covid-19, with labour shortages driving exponential wage rate growth in Australia, organisations have been forced to expedite the adoption of new technologies and processes to remain agile and continue to grow. However, the rush to adopt new technologies, coupled with skill shortages, has meant many organisations now find themselves at a crossroads as they search to find ROI on Covid investments in tough economic times.

In my opinion, here lies one of the largest opportunities in the ANZ region – to become the “how.” Partners who can provide clear paths to both operational efficiency and innovation–while demonstrating a clear return on investment for their customers through adoption and productivity–will thrive. Doing more with less isn’t about cutting back and turning away from innovation, it’s about challenging conventional ways of thinking and legacy processes and instead focussing on implementing solutions and automation to scale efficiently.

While I hope that next year I’m fortunate enough to absorb the atmosphere of Microsoft Inspire live in person and reconnect with many of our trusted AvePoint partners, I’m excited for what the next 12 months will bring and look forward to continuing to work with the ANZ channel to deliver innovative solutions alongside Microsoft.

Missed Microsoft Inspire this year? Read more takeaways from our previous coverage.

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