July has been a busy month for Microsoft news; starting with the launch of new licenses, leading into Microsoft Inspire, and culminating with 2022 fiscal year results.

New Licenses

I am excited to learn more as Microsoft further develops a few new families of products named Entra and Priva. Microsoft signaled a massive investment in Security, crafting four families of products under the security umbrella. Starting with the classics, Microsoft’s Defender family now includes: Defender for Cloud, Cloud Apps, 365, Endpoint, Office 365, IoT, Identity, Vulnerability Management, and Thread Intelligence. Defender is showing signs of a healthy family of integrated products. Interestingly, there was no movement with Sentinel, which leads me to think there is a family to build within Sentinel instead of moving it under Defender.

Capitalizing on their market share with Azure AD and moving some previously acquired products around, Microsoft created Entra to include Azure Active Directory, Permissions Management, and Verified ID. With Finchloom as an expert in Azure AD, I’m excited to see our client expansion into multi-cloud infrastructure entitlement management (CIEM) and identify verification.

Shaping the future of privacy to come, a new family name of Priva combines two products: Priva Privacy Risk Management and Priva Subject Rights Request.

To minimize confusion, Microsoft rebranded data security products to the Purview family: Information Protection, Data Lifecycle Management, Data Loss Prevention, Insider Risk Management, Communication Compliance, eDiscovery, and Compliance Manager.

I find it interesting that for a company that has seen marketing challenges, Microsoft is finding a solid direction of compartmentalized solutions we can all embrace and implement through an easy checklist of products. Microsoft is firing on multiple cylinders within the Power Platform, enabling an ecosystem with itself, partners, and customers to easily implement customized cloud services. With these changes, marketing is now on-track to easily create defined packages of solutions from M365, to Azure, then Viva, and now Security.

Inspire 2022

This is an exciting time for enterprise engineering experts because we have well defined packages of solutions to cover wide ranging issues. Kudos to the initial planning that has setup Microsoft to drive significant change, coverage, insights, and automation in 2023.

With too many highlights to share, I give this one to our power excel users. Previously Microsoft released Teams PowerPoint Live, a feature to enable multiple users in a meeting to collaborate in real time on Teams in a PowerPoint. At Inspire, Microsoft released Excel Live, enabling real time collaboration on Teams meetings in Excel. Slowly the digital world is catching up with how we need to collaborate in real time, from anywhere.

June was a big month for Viva announcements, so let’s just say I’m waiting patiently to begin using Viva Sales powered by AI to deliver a better user experience and productivity benefits for our sales team. Coming in Q4?

Earnings Report

To wrap up the July announcements, on July 27th Microsoft released fiscal year earnings. 2022 gave credence to Microsoft’s vision being widely adopted and driving fuel to explosion in 2023. A few years ago, critics questioned Microsofts ability to maintain O365 and consumers ability to pay for Windows OS in M365. Microsoft proved the enterprise has a healthy appetite for continuous OS improvement with M365 and the most expensive E5 suite growing to 12% of the commercial install base. Azure increasing 40% notates that cloud services and the Power Platform are competitive and in demand, likely pulling traditional services like AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop) and Windows 365 from private cloud services.

With so many releases, keeping up the pace with Microsoft is a challenge. Game on.

Gavin Zimmer, VP of Sales and Marketing, Finchloom