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10 Major Microsoft Announcements At Inspire 2018

Microsoft is rolling out product and incentive updates for Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 in connection with the upcoming Inspire 2018 conference.

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Focus On Partners

A year after the rollout of sweeping organizational and compensation changes at Microsoft, the company is touting positive outcomes for partners -- and announcing new details on what's next. With the Inspire 2018 partner conference set for next week in Las Vegas, Microsoft Thursday unveiled a wide range of updates in its products and partner programs. Product updates span Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and other business applications. As for the partner program updates, a key focus is on helping channel partners to specialize in order to boost profitability -- as well as on accelerating the joint selling of solutions between partners and Microsoft salespeople, Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster said in a blog post.

Microsoft disclosed that co-selling efforts with partners have generated $5 billion in partner sales to date, while the company has supplied partners with more than 1 million customer leads since Inspire last year. Microsoft also said it now has 72,000 cloud partners in total, and reports that Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) revenue is up 234 percent compared with a year ago. The $5 billion in partner sales is a "really good start to this motion, but it's only just the beginning," Schuster said in a briefing with reporters Thursday, echoing comments she made in June in an interview with CRN.

In the following slides, we've rounded up Microsoft's 10 biggest announcements ahead of Inspire 2018.

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