Microsoft is giving its partners a new package of some of its most popular PC software to sell, rather than having them piece together all the software needed to run business computers, as it kicks off its Inspire partner conference in Washington D.C.
The new package is called Microsoft 365, and the company will start with two different flavors. Essentially a rebranding of Secure Productive Enterprise, Microsoft 365 Enterprise comes with Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security products. Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small to medium-size businesses and comes with Office 365 Business Premium as well as “security and management features for Office apps and Windows 10 devices,” Microsoft said.
CEO Satya Nadella plans to unveil the new bundles during his keynote address later today, and Microsoft executives Judson Althoff and Brad Smith will speak later in the week. Previously known as the Worldwide Partner Conference (much snazzier name this year), Inspire is designed to cater to the thousands of partners that Microsoft has developed over the years. That includes companies that are using Microsoft technologies at the heart of their own business models, from small systems integrators to big cloud services companies like Box.
Nadella plans to announce a few other updates during his keynote address, according to Microsoft representatives.
- Azure Stack, which lets companies interested in a hybrid cloud approach run a gateway-of-sorts to Azure’s public cloud on their own servers. Dell EMC, HPE, and Lenovo will bundle Azure Stack, first announced in January of last year, on their servers with support from Cisco and Huawei coming soon.
- Software companies building their products on Azure will be able to access some of Microsoft’s SaaS (software as a service) products, such as Dynamics 365, as distinct components they can embed in their own applications through a new service called ISV Cloud Embed.
- Microsoft’s sales force, still finding its footing after a big reorganization last week, will be given incentives to sell partner applications as part of their outreach.
Later in the week, Althoff will announce that Microsoft has signed a deal with KPMG that will see the accounting company offer an auditing service for its clients through Azure. That would make KPMG the first of the Big Four accounting companies to offer an auditing service on the public cloud, Microsoft said.