Reaction to Microsoft’s Inspire from a Gold Microsoft Partner

Intact is focused on Microsoft Cloud services.


It has been a week since returning from the Inspire 2017 conference.  My staff had several days to digest the input and to have informal office discussions before our company planning meeting.  We have also gathered input from other partners.

To cap it off here is my take-away:

  1. Microsoft is a different company; in a different world with a different vision.
  2. If you are not on par with Microsoft corporately, align your company vision with Microsoft’s or be well positioned with multiple companies in this space.
  3. Be prepared to invest in new people, new products, and new thinking.
  4. Make new “friends” inside Microsoft. Cultivate strong partner relationships with Microsoft.
  5. Microsoft has determined that “partner sellers” is the future which I think means developing very strong partner-to-partner alliances.

Our strategy is simple, be indistinguishable from Microsoft to customers. We are an extension of Microsoft, integrating our “PowerLine on Azure” product suite into every opening we can in the new Microsoft 365.

To customers there is an impact because of the, new Microsoft.  There must be adjustments on the part of customers.  The customer is like Intact or “in the same boat” as the saying goes.  Our realization is the world of technology changed allowing the iPhone to come into existence.  The arrival of the iPhone “event” is commonly pointed to as the pivotal moment when the “consumer” became aware of the “cloud”.  There is no going back!  Nor does anyone really want to.

I heard the most important statement (advice) a business owner could possibly hear from an employee this week, “Hire college students.  They have no knowledge of the past.”  The conversation sparking this statement came from a business analysis 20 years my junior having 20 years’ experience.  She understood people holding jobs/positions will not admit their talent is no longer necessary.  These entrenched/experienced workers will thus, “fight you and your new Code-Robotics.”

Intact is aggressively marketing Microsoft 365, while understanding that we must allow the old to pass-away with dignity and grace.  We understand that technology change is a process not an event.  We must assist customers through the death process of their trusted and beloved old systems.

At Intact we know that the future belongs to the children and we must help them achieve their place in this world while we assist those who hold it now to let go.  Life-spans of technology products is more like that of your pet than a building, just a few years.  We made the decision with conviction, in 2014 to follow the Microsoft re-invention and are already very well aligned and are improving alignment daily.

Inspire didn’t really launch anything new or demonstrate any new technology breakthoughs.  As large events go it was almost “ho-hum” – almost.  Microsoft Inspire 2017 will likely be the event where your company itself starts the process of dying or catches the real message of inspiration; become new.