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The COVID-19 pandemic was always likely to be a talking point at Microsoft Inspire. Microsoft didn’t shy away from it either, acknowledging immediately that this year was a little different. The keynote speakers on Day 1 of Inspire – Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Commercial Partners, Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Worldwide Commercial Business, Judson Althoff, and Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Consumer and Device Sales, Nick Parker – didn’t lament the differences, though. Instead, the theme of the morning was celebrating that that had made this different approach to be viable.
The keynote presentations celebrated frontline workers throughout. Schuster spoke about how frontline workers continue to make day-to-day life possible. She, along with Althoff and Parker, also praised Microsoft’s many partners and the people working from them that have built solutions that have made it possible to adapt to the current environment.

Behind those frontline workers are what Althoff termed “digital first responders” – people that have built solutions at extreme speed that have made working remotely, continuing education, and accessing necessary services simple. He praised these digital first responders for making it possible to connect the world digitally.
Althoff doesn’t want the world – or Microsoft – to stop there, though. He believes the theme for this year has to be “purpose-driven digital”. To Althoff, this means work that helps people achieve their goals and drives societal and business outcomes for good.
Parker added to this, noting the need to help communities and schools. At the core of this, Parker believes, are partnerships and trust. For its part, Microsoft believes solutions in four specific areas will continue to help communities this year: remote work, business continuity, security, and cloud. These are the areas Microsoft has seen digital first responders already making a difference.
Perficient’s Insights to Power Organizations in a Digital World
We’re honored to be helping our clients adapt to this changing environment and to help create the human connection digitally. For our insights on the pandemic, please check out our blog that touches on topics across a range of industries.

About the Author
James is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at Perficient, responsible for cloud transformation marketing. He has been at Perficient since January 2019. James is originally from Australia but now calls St. Louis home. More from this Author



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