Another year of Microsoft Inspire has come and gone. Although this year’s virtual event was unquestionably different, the level of innovation that was unveiled remained very strong in 2021. There is a lot to be excited about. Microsoft plans to roll out a litany of ground-breaking features in the upcoming year. The end-user experience will continue to improve with the innovations, and we’re delighted about them all. However, four unique launches stood out to us as particularly important.

Windows 365 – Enterprise Cloud PC

What’s exciting about the Enterprise Cloud PC is that it makes it possible to manage virtual PC’s from Intune. This means Intune admins will be able to manage iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows 10 and virtual PCs from a single pane of glass. It will allow admins to provide a full desktop experience securely in the cloud, even if end-users don’t have access to the latest hardware. 

With Enterprise Cloud PC, end users will have the ability to access the full work desktop build from any device they have. This is terrific news for many companies feeling the pain of supply chain issues. A lot of groups are unable to access new hardware for new employees, so this allows an alternative for the starter to use their own devices without compromising the security posture of the company. We also think the Enterprise Cloud PC will provide a nice and quick solution for contractors and causal employees.  

Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams Integration

Great news to start with on this topic:  there is no cost associated with the Teams and Dynamics 365 integration (yay!).  With the CRM integration, your users can:  

  • Schedule a Teams meeting in Dynamics when creating an appointment 

  • Take notes and transcriptions from a Teams call and save to the Dynamics record  

  • Collaborate on a CRM record in Teams chat and video 

  •  And much more!  

This rollout should delight your company’s sales and marketing teams. Gone are the days of toggling back and forth between these two programs. Hooray for streamlined modern work! 

Advanced Specializations

Microsoft’s new “Advanced Specializations” are competencies on steroids. With Advanced Specializations, you’ll be able to recognize the depth of skills necessary for a particular workload. This is exciting to us as a Microsoft Partner (ahem….Microsoft Partner of the Year) as it will help our team build substantially on their existing Microsoft knowledge, positioning our group to better serve our customers.

Lighthouse – MSP management portal for Intune

As a managed server provider, we’re selfishly very excited about Lighthouse. You should be too.  Fundamentally, Lighthouse allows for a single view of all Microsoft 365 tenants. From here, we’re able to perform automated actions across multiple tenants and deliver manages services at scale.  

So, what does this mean for customers? Well, if you’re working with a managed service provider, builds and automations can now be streamlined, allowing for quick set-up and fewer unique customizations. All in all, it allows for a smoother experience for end-users and managed service providers alike.    

There are some caveats to this at launch. Only tenants with fewer than 500 users can be added to Lighthouse currently. Also, only customers with Microsoft Business Premium licenses. Microsoft expects to expand the eligibility criteria in the future. 

There’s plenty more to be excited about as a result of the innovation that we witnessed emerging from the Inspire conference. Undoubtedly, Microsoft has even more up their sleeve to propel modern work in the near future. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the 2022 Inspire Conference. Fingers crossed, we can all gather in person for the next one.  



Liz Knight

Since 2005 I have dedicated my professional capabilities to the advancement of wireless mobile data technologies. During my career I have worked with customers in markets large and small, including financial and government organizations in New Zealand, Europe and the United States.



Jenn Cardamone

Jenn has worked with Mobile Mentor as the Microsoft Channel Manager since 2020. As an industry veteran with the responsibilities of developing and nurturing relationships with the Microsoft team , Jenn works out of Mobile Mentor’s Nashville, TN office.

government organizations in New Zealand, Europe and the United States.