Twelve months ago, Microsoft unveiled Microsoft 365, bringing together Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security in one holistic solution.
Since then, partners have found that Microsoft 365 has helped partners grow with new services and customers, increase customer lifetime value, and differentiate their offerings.
A Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Microsoft demonstrates how the Microsoft 365 partner opportunity has evolved:
- Microsoft 365 partners are benefiting from increased margins, more predictable recurring revenues, stronger relationships with customers, and lower delivery costs.
- Microsoft 365 partners are now supporting more workloads than before. That enables them to engage more strategically, increase the overall value of each customer engagement, and realise up to 60 percent more revenue per user than from Office 365 alone.
The dependency on deployment services has declined. Leading partners now make 90 percent of their profits from advisory services, managed services, and business solutions. This shift helps partners differentiate themselves while increasing customer lifetime value and retention.
Now Microsoft has kicked off its annual partner event, Inspire 2018 in Las Vegas, with four new updates to the platform.
Microsoft Teams is now available in a free version
Microsoft is now offering a free version of Microsoft Teams to provide a powerful introduction to Microsoft 365 for potential small business customers.
The free version includes the following for up to 300 people:
- Unlimited chat messages and search
- Built-in audio and video calling for individuals, groups, and full team meetups
- 10 GB of team file storage plus additional 2 GB per person for personal storag
- Integrated, real-time content creation with Office Online apps, including built-in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
- Unlimited app integrations with 140+ business apps to choose from—including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello
- Ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone inside or outside your organisation, backed by Microsoft’s secure, global infrastructure
New intelligent event capabilities in Microsoft 365
Microsoft has also announced new capabilities that allow your customers to create live and on-demand events in Microsoft 365. Events can be viewed in real-time or on-demand, with high-definition video and interactive discussion.
AI-powered services enhance the on-demand experience with:
A speaker timeline, which uses facial detection to identify who is talking, so you can easily jump to a particular speaker in the event
Speech-to-text transcription, timecoding, and transcript search, so you can quickly find moments that matter in a recording
Closed captions to make the event more accessible to all
Use webcams, content, and screen sharing for informal presentations, or stream a studio-quality production for more formal events.
Analytics for better collaboration habits
In addition, Microsoft is releasing a preview of a new Workplace Analytics solution, which uses collaboration insights from the Microsoft Graph, to help teams run efficient meetings, create time for focused work, and respect work/life boundaries.
Organisations can use aggregate data in Workplace Analytics to identify opportunities for improving collaboration, then share insights and suggest habits to specific teams using MyAnalytics.
It is also rolling out nudges, powered by MyAnalytics in Microsoft 365, which deliver ‘habit-changing’ tips in Outlook, such as flagging that you’re emailing co-workers after hours or suggesting you book focused work time for yourself.
Work with others on a shared digital canvas with Microsoft Whiteboard
Finally, Microsoft Whiteboard is now generally available for Windows 10, coming soon to iOS, and preview on the web.
Whether meeting in person or virtually, your customers need the ability to collaborate in real-time. The new Whiteboard application enables people to ideate, iterate, and work together both in person and remotely, across multiple devices. Using pen, touch, and keyboard, you can jot down notes, create tables and shapes, freeform drawings, and search and insert images from the web.
If you'd like to know more about Microsoft Teams, take a look at our FREE eBook Microsoft Teams: Enabling Intelligent Communication