Inspired at Inspire? 5 key takeaways from Microsoft’s premier partner event

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This summer, we’ve once again joined Microsoft Inspire 2019 in Las Vegas – Microsoft’s largest event dedicated to their extensive partner network. Over four days, the conference delivered discussions on critical digital topics of our time, fascinating peeks into the technological possibilities of Microsoft and essential strategic insights.

And below, we’re bringing you Resco’s top takeaway’s from the largest gathering of Microsoft’s worldwide partner community.

Corenote with Satya Nadella and top Microsoft executives

Satya Nadella, along with leading Microsoft executives, revealed several interesting insights during their Corenotes, including:

AI and mixed reality cloud

Dynamics 365 now offers modules for virtually every business function, with AI increasingly incorporated into them. Introducing the new insight modules, Nadella outlined various scenarios that can be carried out – such as predicting a sales pipeline, improving customer service – and described the opportunity as a “great way” for partners to grow their strategic business.

Furthermore, combining Azure, Dynamics 365, and HoloLens 2 Microsoft wants to build a bridge between physical and virtual worlds – with out-of-the-box and third-party applications set to take advantage of the mixed reality cloud. And Resco aims to be one of them, helping organizations further boost the efficiency of their operations.

Strong Dynamics 365 growth

Microsoft reported total revenue of $33.7 billion for its fourth quarter of 2019. Revenue of their Productivity and Business Processes division reached $11.0 billion and increased 14% compared to the same time frame in 2018. Overall, Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased by 12%, significantly driven by Dynamics 365’s revenue growth of 45%. You can find more details from Microsoft’s earnings report here.

Rapidly increasing popularity of Microsoft Teams

The company has also announced that its Teams collaboration service now has more than 13 million daily active users – even overtaking Slack on that metric. Microsoft keeps encouraging partners to leverage Teams, which combines chat, videoconferencing, voice-over-IP calling, and file-access capabilities. Gavriella Schuster, CVP of One Commercial Partner, Microsoft, said it even eclipsed SharePoint’s explosive growth from a decade ago.

The new ISV Connect program

Between now and October 2019, ISVs will need to agree to an addendum to their Microsoft contract, to continue to offer solutions that are built on, connected to, or extend Microsoft’s Business Applications platform – including Dynamics 365 and PowerApps, and where there is a revenue opportunity, Microsoft Flow. But how will it affect the partner ecosystem and the solutions and services that partners provide?

“The ground is shifting under Microsoft Business Applications ISVs. But only time will tell if it is shifting forward or backward. Microsoft’s new “Business Applications ISV Connect Program” hopes to be a comprehensive program for ISV success, yet it’s most often referred to by partners as the “Revenue Sharing Program,” due to its prickliest aspect. But sharing 10% or 20% of your revenue with Microsoft is not the only thing you need to understand. In fact, that’s probably the simplest thing to understand,” said MVP Steve Mordue in his detailed overview of the program after it’s been introduced at Inspire.

Moving from plans to a la carte licensing

From October 2019, Microsoft will stop using “plans” in Dynamics 365 and will move to a la carte licensing – aiming to bring more focus on app value. As 80% of Dynamics 365 Customer Experience users use a single app (Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, etc.), Microsoft will be selling a base license with “attach licenses” if needed. And these attach licenses should be heavily discounted.

For example, a $95 base license for Sales could be enhanced with a $20 Field Service or Customer Service license for a user who needed it. For users utilizing two apps, the cost will be the same as the current Customer Engagement plan price of $115. Use of three or more apps, which is extremely rare, would rise by increments of $20.

Microsoft believes this will encourage customers to purchase the applications that align with individual users’ needs. And also lead customers to focus more on value rather than price in their discussions with Microsoft and partners. You can find more details on the announced pricing & licensing changes here.

PowerApps Portals

At Inspire, Microsoft also revealed new pricing and licensing for PowerApps Portals, the next generation of the Dynamics 365 Portal product that provides browser-based portals for people inside and outside of an organization.

PowerApps Portals will allow for both authenticated and anonymous access by external users. Access by authenticated external users will be charged on a per login basis. A login is defined as 24 hours of access by a single authenticated user, and one hundred such logins will cost $200 and will be charged monthly.

Anonymous external portal users will be priced on a simple per-page-view model – $100 per 100,000 page views.

For internal users, PowerApps Portals access is enabled using the standard PowerApps licensing models – Dynamics 365 SKUs or PowerApps per app or per user licensing. Additional portal instances can be provisioned by for $500 per month per portal

Internal Use Rights licenses & benefits live on

Back in the day, Internal User Rights (IUR) licenses simply meant giving out a license key to on-premise or desktop software. It may have been sacrificing revenue, but at least there was no other cost to Microsoft. Today, most of the IUR benefits are not that simple. And considering the number of IUR services activated across Microsoft’s network, these costs are not negligible anymore. So a few weeks back Microsoft announced its plan to discontinue IUR licenses.

However, following the outrage it caused among partners all over the world, Microsoft decided to back down. So the IUR licenses are here to stay. At least for now.

What are your highlights from this year’s Microsoft Inspire?

Let us know in the comments or drop us a line at communications@resco.net.