Microsoft Inspire 2021 – Tech intensity on the rise

Key insights from the annual Microsoft Partner Conference.

Our participation in the Microsoft Inspire partner event from July 14 to 15, 2021, provided Campana & Schott with valuable input for our targeted implementation of customer projects. A focus of this year's event, which – as in the previous year – was held as a fully digital event, was on the question: How can we maintain the intensity of the current technological development and translate the digitization push caused by the pandemic into sustainable transformational progress? Exciting keynotes, among others from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Executive Vice President Judson Althoff, provided insights into Microsoft's strategy for the coming fiscal year. We would like to share our experiences from various break-out sessions and community contacts with you and give you an idea of how we will be able to even better support your organization going forward.  

The key topics at a glance

New tech intensity: Cloud paradigm paves the way for an open ecosystem

“From a vast number of innovations, the common thread of Microsoft's strategy is emerging more and more clearly”, Boris Ovcak, Director Social Collaboration at Campana & Schott, sums up his impression of this year's Inspire event. According to him, Microsoft is developing a modular “global computer” whose building blocks consist of different cloud services. The concept is designed as an open ecosystem, and companies from different industries are free to decide which service they want to procure from where, based on their needs. Microsoft aims to differentiate itself from other cloud services providers in particular through security, trustworthiness and simple integration options. 

Transformation of digital infrastructure: The key to increased resilience

Against the background of increasingly volatile markets and rapid technological development, almost every enterprise today is faced with the challenge of readjusting its business and operating model. This explains the growing need for a highly scalable, decentralized cloud infrastructure. In this context, Microsoft Azure Arc and Azure Stack offer an option for flexibly managing hybrid cloud environments from a central location and seamlessly integrating any on premise capacities as needed. 

The cloud trend is gaining ground

The ongoing trend toward workload migration to the cloud will continue to intensify. This makes clear objectives and sustainable governance concepts for hybrid cloud environments all the more important. Another emerging driver of migration to the cloud is cyber security: In the face of increasingly complex hacker attacks, it is becoming more difficult and also more expensive for organizations to implement adequate protective measures in their own data centers in a timely manner. The Microsoft Cloud and a zero-trust approach can provide an answer to this problem as well. 

Accelerated app development

Apps are becoming increasingly important as an interface to customers. App development has therefore long ceased to be an exclusive topic of the IT industry. Microsoft is responding to the rapidly growing demand for developer capacity with an end-to-end developer tool chain from GitHub to Azure DevOps to Power Platform: Professional developers, subject matter experts, and low-code developers can work together in an agile manner and relying on the same patterns and standards. The result: faster time to market for innovative apps. 

Citizen developers – app design to meet user requirements

Citizen developers – i.e. technical experts without in-depth coding expertise – can contribute their respective market and customer expertise to the development process via Power Platform competence centers and communities. The user perspective is incorporated right from the start. In this way, organizations are fostering digital maturity across their workforce. Inspire also presented promising innovations on the topic of conversion-to-code: In the future, the GPT-3 Deep Learning platform will enable human language to be translated directly into code lines and thereby further simplify and accelerate the development process. 

Smart data & AI: On the way towards a data-driven organization

Data is increasingly becoming a strategic asset. But how can organizations ensure they control their data in a hybrid cloud? On the other hand, the desire to control data should not limit the use of available data – especially since AI promises tangible competitive advantages in some industries. Microsoft Azure offers a wide range of solutions for combining data from different sources, classifying it, identifying patterns and making the knowledge thus gained available in the relevant business context in a quasi-intuitive manner. These include, among others: Azure Purview, Azure Synapse, Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Service. 


Hybrid working is becoming the new normal

What should collaboration in enterprises look like after the pandemic? On the one hand, employees long to return to social interaction in the office, while, on the other hand, they also don't want to lose the freedom and flexibility of remote working. This hybrid working dilemma is forcing many organizations to rethink their collaboration model – if they want to survive in the “fight for talent”. In many organizations, Microsoft Teams is becoming the central front end for interaction within the workforce as a whole. Microsoft is currently investing heavily in the further development of this virtual meeting platform. Also interesting in this context: From August on, the new Windows 365 Cloud PC will offer a full Windows PC workstation from the cloud. 


Focus topic: Frontline worker

In terms of new ways of working together and new processes, people working in production, service, logistics, or customer relations were often sidelined in the digital transformation process. Simply because there were no suitable tools for it. This, however, can be fundamentally changed by successfully combining Microsoft365 and Teams: Campana & Schott was acknowledged as Microsoft Partner of the Year in the category "Advanced Workplace for Frontline Workers” in 2021.


Microsoft Inspire makes it clear: The current level of digitization cannot be rolled back. This makes it all the more important for enterprises to continue to develop digital capabilities and consistently implement the necessary transformation projects. From envisioning to relevant technologies, strategy, platform readiness and governance, implementation and migration, adoption and change management: Together with our partner Microsoft, we will offer selected series of workshops free of charge to provide you with guidance and optimism for your digitization efforts.