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5 Big Partner Announcements At Microsoft Inspire 2021

Microsoft is using its Inspire partner conference to launch new advanced specializations and Partner Center portal updates, while also disclosing enhancements for marketplace and ISV partners.

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Two New Azure Advanced Specializations

At Inspire 2021, Microsoft announced two new advanced specializations related to the company’s fast-growing Azure cloud platform. The new advanced specializations are Hybrid Operations and Management with Microsoft Azure Arc and Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure Stack HCI.

Microsoft Partner Network members can gain more visibility with Microsoft sellers and customers, along with new financial incentives and access to Azure business programs, through achieving the new advanced specializations.

Partners that earn the Hybrid Operations specialization can use Azure Arc to enable management at scale and development operations (DevOps) across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, according to Microsoft.

Meanwhile, the new Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure specialization shows customers that a partner can use Azure Stack HCI to deploy hyperconverged infrastructure on-premises, according to Microsoft.

In June, Microsoft Channel Chief Rodney Clark told CRN that helping more partners achieve advanced specializations is one of his biggest priorities.

“A lot of our customers are now coming to us with a digital path already charted,” Clark said. “And so now, what they’re looking for are solutions that snap into that—as opposed to, before they were looking for a partner organization to provide that digital path. So what that means for our ecosystem is, for them to drive the higher-value services and for them to drive the higher-value workloads—which translates to profitability—they need to focus on advanced specialization.”

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