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Azure for Partners

Welcome!

Welcome to the August edition of the Azure Partner Newsletter, a roundup of exciting product announcements, feature updates, and new assets available for our partner community, sent to subscribers every other month.

To stay up to date between publications, explore Azure Partner Zone and the Partner Tech Community for the most recent events, resources, news, customer stories, learning material, and more!

To subscribe to the newsletter, head here.

August Spotlight: Microsoft Inspire

Rounding up the most important news bites, must-read blogs, and must-watch sessions from Inspire. For a full recap of the biggest updates, check out Microsoft Inspire 2022: Unlocking new partner opportunities, solutions for hybrid work and more.

News Roundup

Unlocking opportunities for independent software vendors (ISVs)

  • New benefits with the ISV Success Program help ISVs innovate rapidly, build well-architected applications, publish them to our commercial marketplace and grow their sales.
  • Improvements to our commercial marketplace. Margin sharing is now generally available and we are announcing a partnership with Tackle.io to help ISVs scale and reach Microsoft customers, simplify selling and accelerate revenue in the commercial marketplace.
  • Introducing new industry designations for ISVs, available later this year.

Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty

  • Announcing Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, designed specifically for the government sector. To learn more, read the blog post.

Azure Space Partner Community

  • Announcing the Azure Space Partner Community, which will enable partners to deliver the most comprehensive and innovative offerings for our joint customers and the future of space computing.

Modernize application and data estates

Migrate and modernize infrastructure and mission-critical workloads

  • This year brings timely migration opportunities for Windows Server and SQL Server. It’s a great time for partners to advise customers using SQL Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 about End of Support (EOS) timelines and help them take action to stay secure.
  • Azure Confidential Computing capabilities, now generally available, allow partners to transition to Azure workloads that handle sensitive data with additional levels of protection.
  • Azure Center for SAP solutions, now in preview, is an end-to-end solution to deploy and manage SAP workloads on Azure, enabling customers and partners to create and run an SAP system as a unified workload, and providing a more seamless foundation for innovation on the Microsoft Cloud.
  • A new Azure Arc Boost Program, in partnership with Intel, will drive the deployment of Azure Arc and Azure Stack HCI in customer hybrid environments through our Systems Integrator partner ecosystem.
  • Our most recent release of Azure Stack HCI, in preview, delivers more customer value and partner opportunity with new features by providing increased value on investment, shortened time to value, and improved support experience for Azure Stack HCI.

Events

Cloud Fundamentals for Partners: Start your Learning Journey

Build your foundational knowledge and prepare for fundamental certifications at Cloud Fundamentals for Partners. This virtual event includes an introduction to basic technical concepts across Microsoft Azure, Business Applications, Security, and Modern Work, as well as live Q&A sessions, interactive labs and certification prep. Start your learning journey towards for Microsoft certification today.

August 29 - September 2, 2022

Register now

Stop Ransomware with Microsoft Security

Join us at this free digital event to hear Charlie Bell, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Security, and Vasu Jakkal, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity and Privacy Business discuss how to get ahead of ransomware and proactively prepare for even the most sophisticated attacks. Learn about the new Microsoft Sentinel solution for SAP with enhanced detection capabilities. Security teams can now monitor, detect, and respond to SAP alerts all from our cloud-native SIEM, Microsoft SIEM. Plus, get your questions answered by threat protection experts during a live Q&A chat.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Register now

Microsoft Ignite

Mark your calendars! An all-new reimagined Microsoft Ignite will take place October 12-14. Join us to explore the latest tools, training sessions, technical expertise, networking opportunities, and more. The event will be available to everyone digitally, through spotlights around the world, and an in-person experience in Seattle, Washington.

October 12 - 14, 2022

Stay up to date

ISV webinar series: Build Your First Offer on Microsoft's Commercial Marketplace

Learn how you can reach millions of Microsoft customers in the commercial marketplace with your software as a service (SaaS) application. Chad Stanfield, Managing Director, Modern Datacenter Practice at Redapt will share the advantages of setting up a transactable offer – one that can be deployed and billed directly from the marketplace.

Watch on-demand

Azure Migration & Modernization Program

We continue to drive improvements in AMMP, including delivering compelling offers, and opening up AMMP to even more customers. Here is a summary of the program changes in FY23:

OVERALL PROGRAM ENHANCEMENTS

COMING SOON

  • Additional workloads — expanded program support for Security (Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Azure Sentinel) and Hybrid (Azure Arc)
  • Partner self-nomination experience for AMMP, to drive scale, with a focus on AMMP Standard offer.

CALL TO ACTION

  • AMMP Partner Community Call – August 30, 2022 – Contact your Partner Development Manager or other Microsoft contact for invitation details!
  • Now more than ever, we need partners’ help to scale our customers’ migration and modernization journeys. Sign up or nominate customers for the AMMP.

ISV Success Program

To help unlock opportunities for software providers we are excited to announce new benefits with the ISV Success Program to help ISVs innovate rapidly, build well architected applications, publish them to our commercial marketplace, and grow their sales. Currently in preview, and broadly available in fall 2022, the program is intended to be the pathway to ISV success in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.

Software providers can take advantage of this new program to build across the Microsoft Cloud and get access to cloud sandboxes, developer tooling, technical and business resources, and a dedicated community.

Azure Immersion Workshops

New in FY23! We’re adding an Azure Immersion Workshop: SAP on the Microsoft Cloud.

Our Azure Immersion Workshops are going strong, with 1880+ workshops completed to over 26,000 attendees in FY22. For these partner-delivered 1:many workshops, the newest/refreshed content will be ready in Q2FY23, and the full line up of AIW tracks is:

  • Infrastructure Modernization
  • Database Modernization
  • Analytics
  • Azure Virtual Desktop
  • Innovate with AI
  • Modernize .Net Apps
  • Cloud Native Apps
  • Azure Arc
  • DevOps with GitHub
  • Modernize Java Apps
  • SAP on the Microsoft Cloud
Linux Migration

Check out the session on ‘Advancing enterprise Linux application modernization on Azure’ from Microsoft Inspire that covers Arc enabled Kubernetes, Azure Hybrid Benefit and the opportunity for partners with Linux on Azure.

Windows Server Migration

Be sure to check out ‘Grow revenue by accelerating customer adoption of Azure infrastructure’ from Inspire to learn more about the opportunity for partners for infrastructure migration and modernization as a whole and how to address each customer scenario with Azure solutions.

SQL Server 2012 reached end-of-support on July 12, 2022 and Windows Server 2012 will reach end-of-support on October 10, 2023. Leverage these dates as a key moment for customers to modernize, leading with migration or upgrading. For more information on end of support and customer options, check out the end-of-support website and this blog that outlines the opportunity for partners.

SQL Server Migration

Azure continues to be the best cloud for SQL Server with more innovation and the best TCO for customers. In a recent benchmark, Azure SQL Managed Instance performed up to 5x faster and cost up to 93% less than AWS RDS.

SQL Server 2012 End of Support took place July 12. Customers can stay protected and save as much as 69% by migrating to Azure for free Extended Security Updates. Here are useful assets to help you position why Azure is the best destination for SQL Server 2012.

To help support your migration and modernization practices, Microsoft is expanding the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP). We’re now investing significantly more to support your largest SQL Server migration and modernization projects—up to 2.5 times larger based on project eligibility. This investment will help with your migration in two ways: partner assistance with planning and moving your workloads, and Azure credits that offset transition costs during your move to Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure SQL Database. Learn more.

Resources:

Open Source Migration

Azure is the best destination for open-source databases, providing excellent value for migrations, from managed PostgreSQL and MySQL to distributed NoSQL database with Azure Cosmos DB. Underpinning our open-source databases are full management capabilities, intelligent security and compliance features, and limitless scale.

Resources:

SAP on Azure

We launched a series of new services supporting our SAP customers. In addition to the Azure Center for SAP solutions (preview), check out the Azure Monitor for SAP solutions (preview) and WAF for SAP (preview), along with recent product announcements we made at Sapphire.

Secondly, we released a new MS Learn Module: Improve SAP seller productivity with Microsoft Teams and Power Platform. This module was developed for business users, solution architects, and technology managers alike with the learning objectives of understanding how to integrate applications from SAP with the Microsoft 365 applications and enabling productivity and collaboration in the SAP Sales and Service Core Teams app to support sales by building Power Automate flows. Please review the module and invite your team to get skilled up!

Last but not least, we’re excited to share the Wall Street Journal thought leadership customer story, “The Transformation of the CFO.” The story is centered around Standard Chartered, and the role of the bank’s CFO as a change agent driving the digital transformation. Please feel free to share it with your customers and let us know of any feedback.

New customer stories: NOVA Chemicals, Wolverine Worldwide, Luminous, Woolworths

Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Watch the Azure Hybrid, Multicloud, and Edge Day, available on-demand, and check out our related blogs:

At Inspire, this year, Azure Arc was featured in the Infra breakout and an on-demand session showcasing how partners can move their hybrid business forward with Azure Arc. In addition, we launched the Azure Arc Boost Program.

Resources:

App Innovation

We released a new Digital and App Innovation landing page which will contain the top resources accessed in GearUp, App Innovation story, Thought Leadership, links to hands-on experiences and industry demos. This page will contain key Dig & App Innovation updates moving forward.

At Microsoft Inspire, the App Innovation team presented Drive digital and application innovation with Microsoft Azure. Speakers included Ashmi Chokshi, Alvaro Celis, Ali Powell, and Naga Surendran.

Low Code

The first annual Microsoft Power Platform Conference will be held September 20-22 in Orlando, Florida. Register today for an amazing in-person event, with keynotes, sessions, breakouts and more—all dedicated to Microsoft Power Platform products.

Cloud Native Apps

We announced several developer and operator enhancements to Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Functions, Azure Container Apps and Azure Static Web Apps in June. At Inspire, the Drive digital and application innovation with Microsoft Azure session highlighted how partners and customers can benefit by increasing developer velocity with GitHub, building intelligent cloud native apps, and modernizing existing apps.

Resources:
• Share the 30DaysOfSWA for a structured Azure Static Web Apps onboarding for your customers.

.NET Apps & Java Apps

We released a public preview of agentless migration for ASP.NET web apps to Azure App Service using Azure Migrate. Customers can now not only assess but also migrate large-scale .NET web apps running on Windows OS in a VMware datacenter environment to Azure App Service code. We uploaded new demos to deploy Node.js web apps to Azure App Service in a new series of 6 videos. In these demos, Natalia Venditto and Jason Freeberg walk developers through various aspects of the service to build mission-critical solutions.

WordPress on Azure App Service will soon be generally available in Azure Marketplace. The newly managed service is more performant, more cost-effective, and faster to deploy than previous offerings.

Resources:

AI

In June we held a virtual event to discuss the Responsible AI (RAI) Standard and share our learnings with customers and partners around the world. In addition, to better align to the Standard, we announced a new Limited Access policy and customers now need to apply for access to use facial recognition operations in Azure Face API, Computer Vision, and Video Indexer. Check out the article in the New York Times: Microsoft Plans to Eliminate Face Analysis Tools in Push for ‘Responsible A.I.’

Call to Action: visit our Responsible AI site for more information about responsible AI policies, practices and tools.

Resources:

Customer Journey

New Azure Enablement Show videos are available now! Check out the Assess your cloud environment with the Azure Landing Zone Review video to learn what you can get out of the assessment and the Introduction to the Arc-enabled Kubernetes landing zone accelerator video to find out how the landing zone accelerator can help!

Well-Architected released three new assessments in July: WAF for SAP, Go-Live for pre-production scenarios, and Reliability and Operational Excellence for Azure Stack. Go to the Microsoft Assessments Portal for details.

New! Azure Customer Enablement Offers Directory on Azure for Partners!
Accentuate and monetize your WAF and CAF knowledge by offering workshops. Customers, partners, and Microsoft’s field use this page to find these workshops to help accelerate their opportunities. If your organization has an Azure Specialization, you can add your own tile to this directory. Contact your partner development manager or partner technical specialist to get started.

Azure Advisor has released tag filtering so customers can get recommendations and scores scoped to a workload, environment, or team using resource tag filters. Highlights include:

  • Filter recommendations and calculate scores using tags you have already assigned to Azure resources, resource groups and subscriptions.
  • Identify cost saving opportunities by team
  • Compare scores for workloads to optimize in criticality-order

For more information, visit the Advisor webpage and documentation.

Resources:

Skills Building

New Skilling web page
We now have a single webpage to easily discover ways to learn Azure skills – on Microsoft Learn, through events, and through curated role-based pathways.

Call to Action: Review the latest content on azure.com/learn!

Exam for Azure Support Engineer for Connectivity Specialty Certification is GA
We are excited to announce that Exam AZ-720: Troubleshooting Microsoft Azure Connectivity is now live and out of beta. This exam is required to earn the new the Microsoft Certified: Azure Support Engineer for Connectivity Specialty certification, which validates expertise in this area and offers the opportunity to prove your Azure connectivity troubleshooting skills.

Resources:

Specialized Areas
IoT

We had several major announcements around Azure IoT that launched at Embedded World 2022. We announced the GA of NXP Arm64 support for Windows IoT, the partnership with STMicroelectronics to build a security platform targeting MCU-based devices, the Public Preview of Rust on Azure Sphere, GA of Edge Secured-Core for Windows IoT, and a partnership to provide connectivity to resource-constrained devices leveraging LWM2M. You can read the main announcement blog on Azure by Moe Tanabian for more information and insights.

At Hanover Messe, Parag Ladha from Microsoft presented on the state of Industrial IoT, Hannover Messe 2022: Microsoft Exec on the State of Industrial IoT – IoT World Today.

Resources:

Azure VMware Solutions

AVS vSphere 7.0 roll out – We are excited to announce the completion of vSphere 7.0 Greenfield SDDC deployments with vCenter Server version 7.0 Update 3c and ESXi version 7.0 Update 3c. Brownfield upgrades will start in July for the remaining regions: South Central US, North Central US, West Europe, East US and South Africa North.

Azure NetApp Files for Azure VMware Solution is now available in preview. AVS customers can now scale storage independently from compute using Azure NetApp Files datastores, enabling them to run VMware-based storage-intensive workloads like SQL Server, general-purpose file servers, and others in Azure.

Resources:

HPC + AI

In June, we announced the general availability of the NC A100 v4 VM series virtual machines. These VMs, powered by NVIDIA A100 80GB Tensor Core PCIe GPUs and 3rd Gen AMD EPYC™ Milan processors, improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of a variety of GPU performance-bound real world AI training and inferencing workloads.

In addition, in July we announced the general availability of the NVads A10 v5 VM series for visualization workloads in West Europe, South Central US, and West US3 regions. The NVads A10 v5 VM series enables a wide variety of graphics, video, and AI workloads, including virtual production and visual effects, engineering design and simulation, game development and streaming, virtual desktops/workstations and more.

Resources:

Advanced Networking

In Azure Networking in June, we published one Azure blog post Improve outbound connectivity with Azure Virtual Network NAT, as well as five Azure updates preview announcements: ExpressRoute IPv6 Support for Global Reach, Network Watcher packet capture support for virtual machine scale sets, Connection Monitor Support for virtual machine scale sets, Private link support in Azure Application Gateway, and ExpressRoute Direct and Circuit in different subscriptions. Finally, the Azure DNS product page has been updated with the new Azure DNS Private Resolver Preview offering.

In Azure Network Security, we published one Azure blog post on the new Azure Firewall capabilities as well as an Azure update post on the Public Preview of support for management of Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) policies in Azure Firewall Manager. We published two case studies – Dematic and Elvia - highlighting how our customers are enhancing their security using Azure network security services.

Resources:

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