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Letter from Microsoft Inspire 2017

by Craig Roth  |  July 10, 2017  |  1 Comment

Microsoft Inspire kicked off with a packed stadium at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. today. The seats were filled to the top and they announced over 17,000 in attendance. That’s probably more than the average Washington Wizards game (avg. 17,002 according to the NBA). The athleticism may not have been the same, but the production wizardry on display to the partners made up for it.

The biggest news for me was the announcement of two cross-product offerings, Microsoft 365 Enterprise for large companies and Microsoft 365 Business for small-to-medium businesses. Microsoft 365 Enterprise bundles Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. And Microsoft 365 Business bundles Office 365 Business Premium, security and management features for Office apps and Windows 10 devices, and a centralized admin console for device and user management.

I certainly agree that business transformation is unlikely to happen with one component, such as just implementing Yammer or SharePoint. It requires a more comprehensive approach that connects the points in a user’s journey (or use case if you prefer). But how successful that will be depends on a few parameters that buyers and implementers will want to know.

  • Is it cheaper to buy the bundle? That’s the prime motivator for buying a bundle.
  • Is there enough integration across the products to fulfill the promise to provide a comprehensive approach?
  • Are buyers ready to bite off that much at once? Are they ready for a Windows 10 upgrade at the same time as an Office 365 migration?

The “triple play” bundle (to borrow the terminology of my cable company, which tries to convince me to use their VoIP phone by throwing it in with TV and internet) means more potential work for partners and they seemed pleased. Now time will tell if buyers are ready for it.

Category: cloud-office  microsoft-office  msinspire  service-providers  

Craig Roth
Research VP, Tech and Service Providers
7 years at Gartner
28 years IT industry

Craig Roth is a Research Vice President focused on cloud office suites, collaboration tools, content management, and how they are being impacted by digital workplace and digital business trends...Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Letter from Microsoft Inspire 2017


  1. Domyclass says:

    Microsoft has to compete with industry leaders like Slideshare and Adobe has a big share of the pie too.

    Sometimes an idea is brilliant, but maybe it is not the right time to test the idea.



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