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Ahead of Microsoft Inspire, taking place 19-20 July, we catch up with Charlie Doubek, Vice President, Collaboration & Communications at NTT, to talk about what to expect from the event. 

For those not sure, what exactly is Microsoft inspire? 
CD: Quite simply, it’s Microsoft’s largest partner event of the year and a showcase of all the new developments they’re involved in. It’s been a key date in the calendar for me in recent years and this year is no exception. With Microsoft being so multifaceted, Inspire is a coming together for all types of partners. Whether it’s GSIs (Global Systems Integrators), managed service providers, professional service houses, or consulting firms, this is time to hear about the latest technology updates and partner programs. It’s also a great opportunity to develop conversations right across the Microsoft partner community.  

What does the partnership mean for NTT? 
CD: For us, it’s a great time to meet with senior Microsoft executives. Microsoft is a key strategic partner for us and, likewise, we’re one of theirs. It gives us the chance to develop, together, our plans on how we can help our clients achieve their goals. For NTT, it’s vital we’re fully educated on the ‘latest and greatest’ developments and can, in turn, help our clients with those roadmap items and further advancements that are going to be the most important for them.   

What are you particularly looking forward to hearing about at Inspire?  
CD: Right now, I’m focusing a great deal on solutions for frontline workers. I’ll certainly be joining those sessions. The pandemic saw such a need for new ideas to enable new ways of working. Throughout this time, we’ve been launching a lot of new applications for knowledge workers – and now we’re extending this to those in the field, those frontline workers who need mobile solutions. This really supports the idea that ‘the office’ is wherever your workforce is. So, I want to align those strategies with Microsoft and be up to date with everything to do with Microsoft Teams. In particular, Teams Calling and Operator Connect, Teams Meeting Rooms, and also ACS (Azure Communications Services).  

Microsoft inspire dates

Microsoft Inspire will take place from 19 to 20 July 2022 and promises to be jam-packed with insights and inspiration.

What else is on your radar for Microsoft Inspire? 

CD: Well, as per our recent announcement, we’re joining up with NTT DATA. The merger will bring together two powerhouses that span Azure and cloud managed services, IT consulting, Dynamics, data and AI, Edge as a Service – not to mention collaboration and communications and everything around the modern workplace. We’re becoming an even larger international organization, and so it’s exciting to have representation at Inspire from all sides of the business.  

What’s the best way for clients to make the most of what happens at Inspire? 
CD: The main thing I’d say is that we really do the hard work to educate ourselves and then take the learnings and applied insights back to our clients. We also focus on the latest incentive programs that are often announced at Inspire. As NTT, by being aware of those programs we can quickly deliver value for clients. When Microsoft announces, say, a new series of funded workshops, our teams quickly upskill themselves on what they entail and how our clients can benefit. We’ve been really good with this over the years – often coming back the day after an announcement and prepping our clients. This has allowed them to readily take advantage of initiatives and incentives that help fund things like professional services and migrations. 

So, we’re effectively going to be people's eyes and ears at Inspire, right?  
CD: Absolutely. I have a team all over the world and we tend to divide and conquer to cover everything. I’ll be in lots of one-to-one meetings with various Microsoft executives, as well as the frontline worker and Microsoft Teams-focused events. Across the global team we’ll be attending different sessions and pooling the essential information into SharePoint and our Teams channels for everyone to consume. Of course, it’s worth keeping an eye on our social media channels too, because it’s great to be able to give clients and prospects an idea of what’s being announced and what’s inspiring us. Inspire is certainly aptly named! 

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