Day 2 at Microsoft’s Inspire partner conference was all about getting to know the new Microsoft 365 package. Finding out that SMBs spend $1,320 per year per employee on IT seems to be one of the driving forces behind the new offering. Designed to simplify the management of IT across the enterprise, we got a first look at its management interface. It resembles the Office 365 administration platform, which is good news for consistency, and a smoother implementation and set up process.

Another way in which the new Microsoft 365 package is designed to simplify IT, saving already stretched teams time and resources, is the new AutoPilot feature.

Windows AutoPilot is described as an “automatic light-touch provisioning toolset”, interestingly only available on CSP as part of Microsoft 365 Business. It acts as a great short cut for setting up and pre-configuring devices, with little input from the user. Users simply unbox their new device, enter their email address, and the device is ready. A key benefit for IT teams everywhere is that auto-provisioning is also available with little or no infrastructure in place, although Azure Active Directory Premium is required. Another caveat is that the device must use Windows 10, version 1703 or later, but as this feature is designed for new devices right out of the box, that shouldn’t be an issue for businesses wanting to auto enroll devices.

So the key takeaway from day 2 at Inspire is that Microsoft is seemingly understanding the pressures that IT teams are under, especially in SMBs, and developing tools to simplify processes, saving teams precious money and time.

Tomorrow’s sessions are expected to cover more on security, and I’ll hopefully get a chance to visit the exhibition.

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