Hot off the press - our Microsoft Inspire 2021 must-see list

Lee Spowart 06-Jul-2021 10:32:30

It’s not long now until July 14th, which means Microsoft Inspire 2021 is almost here!

We are excited to see Microsoft’s partner event of the year continuing in the current climate; the event will be completely virtual once again with various session types available, but for us that just increased the excitement last year. Although some of us may miss the trip to Vegas, I'm sure their second virtual conference will be just as successful.

With the event being Digital there are multiple ways to see the content, from keynotes to the connection zone and recordings if you miss some events. We have picked a few highlights from an extensive list of possibilities.

Get on the session scheduler now and add these into your list, remember to RSVP for the connection Zone content – each event has limited numbers so get in while you can. Before you read on, check out our Microsoft Service Offerings here

KEY01 - Inspire Opening - Wednesday, July 14 4:30 PM - 6:10 PM British Summer Time

The opening session for Inspire always provides an interesting overview of what’s to come. My guess for this year would be a particular focus on remote working tools such as Virtual Desktop, Office 365, and the release of Windows 11, Azure Data / AI including analytics such as PowerBI, Data Lake and maybe even some IoT.

Other areas of focus such as security are understandably always on the agenda, maybe touching on the new limited preview on VM’s for confidential workloads (DCsv3 and DCdsv3 series?).

Whatever the content, it's sure to be great so make sure you sign up to get into the spirit early.

CON204 - Cloud data protection: best practices for backup and disaster recovery - Wednesday, July 14 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM British Summer Time

As some of you may know, Office 365 inbuilt recovery solutions don’t always provide what you need as a business. This talk, covered by well-known brand Synology, is a chance to gain an overview of one of the many third party solutions to the problem. If my home NAS is anything to go by this should be a fully encompassing solution to the majority of problems.

With this session only being 30 minutes I suspect it will primarily cover the Synology solutions, but remember if you are trying to cover Azure besides 365 you still have tools such as Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery, SQL backups to blob and the various HA / DR options in PaaS platforms to cover your needs.

CON325 - Live Community Session with the GPS UK Team - Thursday, July 15 1:15 PM - 1:45 PM British Summer Time

Always good to see Partner of the Year winners (fingers crossed!) but it’s as interesting to hear from the GPS UK team on strategy and innovation - plus the chance to ask them some difficult questions always makes things exciting.

KEY02 - Into Focus - Thursday, July 15 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM British Summer Time

Another keynote from the Microsoft team on the latest developments and partner opportunities, and a great place to keep up to date with everything Microsoft.

Don’t stop there though; remember to check the latest Azure updates regularly With around 80 updates this month so far there is always something to read that could help our customers.

BRK108 - Harness the power of Azure data and AI services - Thursday, July 15 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM British Summer Time

A must-see from the list, Data and AI are key areas of Azure and critical to business growth. The ability to understand and then visualise company data is a powerful tool, and this talk should give a small insight into a massive area that can help customers progress to the next level.

I would expect to see things such as Azure SQL / MI, Data Lake, Data Factory, Synapse, Applied AI, Cognitive, and Machine Learning to name a few - lots of options, with something to cover most if not all requirements.

BRK101 - What's Next in End-User Computing - Thursday, July 15 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM British Summer Time

There isn’t much to go on based on the description for this event; will it be a discussion on Azure Automation Hybrid Worker or something completely new? Either way, we are keen to find out.

BRK116 - Accelerate your customers’ success with the latest Azure migration and modernization investments - Thursday, July 15 9:30 PM - 10:00 PM British Summer Time

This should be a great mini overview on why customers are choosing Azure and the business drivers behind it. Everyone should tune in to this one to catch up on the latest business incentives in multiple areas of Azure.

BRK112-R1 - New ways to grow your business with Azure Virtual Desktop - Friday, July 16 2:30 PM - 3:00 PM British Summer Time

Our final pick is a massive area that simply can’t be covered in 30 minutes, but is worth a look nonetheless, especially if you're new to Virtual Desktop. This would be a great session to drop in on - even though we have performed multiple implementations now from ISV to internal company apps, it’s on the list as gaining additional experience and understanding from large companies like Sage will help us and our customers keep moving forwards.

Don’t forget if your customers are already using Azure Virtual Desktop that the web client interface end of support for IE 11 is only around the corner on 30th September, so get them moving over to Edge ASAP.

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