Content, Channel partner events, Channel partner programs

Microsoft Inspire 2021 Live Blog: Everything Partners Need to Know

Microsoft Inspire 2021, the software and cloud company's worldwide partner conference (WPC), kicks off this week as a virtual event.

Check this live blog regularly for ongoing updates involving Microsoft 365, Azure public cloud, cybersecurity partner program updates, and more.

9. Microsoft Windows 365, MSPs and RMM Software. Microsoft has announced Windows 365 -- which essentially delivers Windows 10 or Windows 11 as a cloud service. ServiceNow and Nerdio have both announced plans to support Windows 365 when the cloud service launches in August 2021. Will RMM (remote monitoring and management) software providers assist MSPs with Windows 365 monitoring? Here is ChannelE2E's initial analysis of what MSPs should expect.

8. Beta Test - MSPs Invited: ScalePad has invited the MSP community to beta test its new API integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM). ScalePad's platform "helps MSPs easily identify and prioritize their asset risks and revenue generating opportunities," the company says. Multiple MSP industry veterans are involved in ScalePad, including Chris Day, Anthony Day and Dan Wensley.

7. Azure Lighthouse for MSPs: Keep an eye on Azure Lighthouse, which allows MSPs to automate customer infrastructure management. In some ways, it's RMM (remote monitoring and management) for the public cloud era. The latest Azure Lighthouse capability involves a preview of Azure Active Directory Privileged Identity Management (Azure AD PIM) integration with Azure Lighthouse. The result: Customers can give MSPs "just-in-time" access to the their Azure services. The twist: The JIT access lasts up to eight hours, after which the MSP is automatically removed from the system -- thereby improving overall customer security.

6. Digital Signage: Carousel Digital Signage now integrates with Microsoft Power BI. The result: Carousel Cloud users can create and share business information across corporate digital signage networks, the company says.

5. Microsoft Acquires Cybersecurity Company: Microsoft plans to acquire RiskIQ for threat intelligence capabilities, a report suggests. Among RiskIQ's claims to fame: Helping customers to navigate and mitigate Exchange Server vulnerabilities and associated email software attacks in early 2021.

4. Microsoft Cloud PC and Azure Virtual Desktops: After several false starts, the rise of virtual desktops seems to be accelerating for real. Among the Microsoft partners to watch: Nerdio, which has developed a  Multi-tenant Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) deployment, management, and optimization platform for MSPs. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to share more details about the so-called Cloud PC effort. Stay tuned for more details.

3. Microsoft and Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs): The company has quietly partnered with dozens of MSSPs and MDR (managed detection and response) service providers, via the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA). Stay tuned for updates.

2. New Channel Chief's Message: Rodney Clark succeeded Gavriella Schuster in April 2021. Key priorities for this conference include doubling down on Azure public cloud services for MSPs. Stay tuned for details.

1. Send Your News Tips: Got news to share from Microsoft Inspire 2021? Email me the details ([email protected]) and we'll potentially mention the news in our next update to this blog.

Blog originally posted July 12, 2021. Updated regularly thereafter.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.