February Microsoft Newsletter


Welcome to the latest edition of our Microsoft partner newsletter! We’re thrilled to bring you updates, insights, and opportunities to help you thrive in the dynamic world of Microsoft solutions.

Without further ado, let’s jump straight into February’s Microsoft news!

Featured Microsoft Product/Service:

The next step in the Copilot revolution… Microsoft Copilot for Azure.

Microsoft Copilot for Azure combines the power of cutting-edge large language models (LLMs) with the Azure Resource Model, helping you complete complex tasks faster, discover and use new capabilities, and instantly generate deep insights to scale improvements. Copilot for Azure helps you:

  • Design: create and configure the services needed while aligning with organisational policies
  • Operate: answer questions, author complex commands, and manage resources
  • Troubleshoot: orchestrate across Azure services for insights to summarise issues, identify causes, and suggest solutions
  • Optimise: improve costs, scalability, and reliability through recommendations for your customers’ environment

Visit here to sign up for the Preview [currently only available for Enterprise customers at the time of publishing]. Microsoft will onboard customers into the preview on a weekly basis and add new capabilities and make improvements based on your feedback.

Tech tips and tricks:

Did you know that our Microsoft Practice supports partners with Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Programme?

Solutions Partner Designations recognise partners that have demonstrated their expertise in delivering successful customer outcomes across six key areas:

  • Modern Work
  • Security
  • Azure Infrastructure
  • Azure Data and AI
  • Azure Digital and App Innovation
  • Business Applications

By attaining a Solutions Partner Designation, partners can benefit from incentives such as rebates, marketing tools and support, Not-for-resale licenses (NFRs), technical support, and advisory services.

Our dedicated Microsoft Practice team is on hand to support you in achieving your choice of Solutions Partner Designation. We’ll help roadmap your journey to achieving recognition, aligning it with bespoke learning and development plans and supporting it with marketing campaigns and collateral to help you reach new customers, as well as training and adoption services to drive customer success.

News & Updates:


After concern from partners over the Solutions Partner Designations achievability and ability to access incentives, IURs, and other associated partner benefits, Microsoft has released three new benefits packages – Partner Launch Benefits, Partner Success Core Benefits, and Partner Success Expanded Benefits, built to meet the varied needs of partners at different stages of growth.

The partner benefits packages are now available for purchase in most major markets and are being released in all other geographies by the end of March 2024.


Azure Elastic SAN is now generally available

Microsoft have announced the general availability (GA) of Azure Elastic SAN, the industry’s first fully managed and cloud-native storage area network (SAN) offering that simplifies deploying, scaling, managing, and configuring a SAN in the cloud. Azure Elastic SAN responds to the vital need for seamless migration of extensive SAN environments to the cloud, bringing a new level of efficiency and ease.

Generally available: Support for Azure VMs using Ultra disk in Azure Backup

Microsoft have announced the general availability of enabling Azure Backup on Azure VMs using Ultra disks. Ultra disks enable customers to run mission critical, I/O demanding, enterprise applications on the cloud including applications like SAP HANA, top-tier SQL databases, as well as NoSQL databases. With this feature, we aim to address a key ask from customers, who are looking to enable Azure Backup on Azure VMs running on Ultra disks. It will allow you to ensure business continuity for your virtual machines and to recover from any disasters or ransomware attacks.

Generally available: Support for up to 200 TB of storage for the FHIR service

The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) service in Azure Health Data Services now supports up to 100 TB of storage. The FHIR service can store and exchange large amounts of health data, and each FHIR service instance has a 4 TB storage limit by default. However, if you have more data, you can ask Microsoft to increase storage up to 100 TB for your FHIR service.

Support for log alert rules that use cross-workspace queries with resource names or qualified name identifies will be retired on 31 May 2024

As of May 31, 2024, log alert rules will no longer support cross-workspace queries that use resource names or qualified name identifiers. Visit Microsoft’s update for advice on required action.

Azure Virtual Network Manager (AVNM) Topology view is now generally available

AVNM is a highly scalable and available network management solution that allows you to simplify network management across subscriptions globally. Azure Resource Topology (ART) allows you to visualise the resources in your network – collaborating with AVNM results in a topology view contextualised by your AVNM connectivity configurations.

Private preview: Azure Site Recovery support for Azure Trusted Launch VMs (Windows OS)

Microsoft have announced the private preview of Azure Site Recovery support for Azure Trusted Launch VMs. Azure Trusted Launch VMs provide foundational compute security to Azure Generation 2 VMs by enabling Secure Boot and vTPM capabilities. The private preview is for Windows OS only.

Generally available: Azure Stack HCI latest feature release

Azure Stack HCI is the Microsoft Azure Arc-enabled infrastructure. Now, customers who have an Azure Stack HCI subscription can download the latest feature release for their infrastructure. This new Azure Stack HCI release is the version of the product required to run Azure Virtual Desktop on-prem which is also now in GA and called Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI. This is an exciting development as the public preview of this product is in high demand specifically in Healthcare and Financial Services. Discover other benefits here.

For more information or advice on any of these updates, please contact your account manager or a member of our Azure Practice team.

Modern Work

New for Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 Backup and Archive are now in preview.

New for Microsoft Copilot

Copilot Readiness Solutions Assessment is now available. Contact your account manager or the Practice team for guidance or nominate your customer here.

Sales Advisor can quickly identify the best customers to engage, helping you identify eligible Copilot customers and, more importantly, customers with a high likelihood of benefiting from enhanced productivity. Sales Advisor also provides account managers with best practices and tailored marketing content to help you easily kickstart your customer conversations. For more information on the Copilot opportunity, read this blog.

The Microsoft Copilot Dashboard (currently in Preview) in Viva Insights helps organisations maximise the value of Copilot for Microsoft 365. It provides actionable insights to help your organisation get ready to deploy AI, drive adoption based on how AI is transforming workplace behaviour, and measure the impact of Copilot.

For more information or advice on any of these updates, please contact your account manager or a member of our Modern Work Practice team.

Partner Announcements

We want to continue to make every effort to only communicate with you the important things.

We’ve toned down the number of emails we send to you, and instead, we’re putting all you need to know on the Partner Announcements page on our website, that way you have a historical log on any updates from our vendors and intY, which allows you to easily catch up with anything you miss in your own time.

Training & Resources:

At intY, we understand that true strength lies in knowledge. We’ve ramped up our support and training initiatives, ensuring that our partners are not just equipped with tools but also armed with the expertise to navigate the Microsoft ecosystem successfully.

OnDemand Webinars

We want our website to be a truly invaluable resource for you. Did you know we have a section containing a catalogue of our recorded online webinars and workshops? Explore them here.

Training and enablement with Illuminate Learning

Last year we launched Illuminate Learning, an MSP training and enablement specialist, to bring the excitement back to your learning experience. So far, we’ve hosted several sessions to upskill our partners in various Microsoft products and enabled them to achieve their Solutions Designations.

If you’re looking to upskill your sales teams, inspire and educate your customers, or empower your technical teams – Illuminate Learning has a diverse range of training courses tailored to your needs. Upskill your teams here.

Elevating expertise with Azure Ascend

We are continuing to enable our partners with all the essential knowledge and skills to resell Microsoft Azure solutions with confidence. This year, we’ve worked tirelessly to make Azure Ascend more accessible and partner-friendly to get you to reach that Azure summit sooner!  

We’ve converted more of our live workshops to on-demand sessions so that you can make the most of our platform – when it’s most convenient for you. But don’t worry, there’s still the opportunity to book a call if you need us! 

If you haven’t experienced our partner-exclusive enablement programme yet, get started here. 

But if you’re not yet convinced, or you’ve fallen behind on your Azure Ascend journey and need a little boost to jump back in, hear from one of our partners on how their startup business is ascending above and beyond thanks to Azure Ascend in our case study blog. 

Industry Insights:

Microsoft SMB Briefings

SMB Briefings are designed to provide Microsoft Partners with a demand-generation event engine to drive customer acquisition and growth. You can qualify for additional incentives from Microsoft by delivering a 90-minute interactive workshop illustrating Modern Work solutions in real-world scenarios.

With intY’s support and all the content created for you, all you need to do is choose your preferred topic, recruit your customers, and deliver it!

Get in touch with our Microsoft Practice or your account manager to find out how you can get involved.

Current promotions and incentives:

Azure Incentives

We are running an exclusive Proof of Concept (or ACO) incentive for partners on our partner enablement platform, Azure Ascend. This incentive will reward you for creating new opportunities in Microsoft Azure. If you are interested in applying for this funding, please read the terms & conditions below and then register via the form.

To qualify, you’ll need to be signed up to Azure Ascend and have completed your onboarding call in Stage One, Step One. Once you’ve registered for this incentive and transact through a Microsoft Azure subscription, you will receive a credit against your Azure consumption for the first two billing cycles.

UK Partners: apply here

US Partners: apply here

Microsoft Promotions

At the beginning of each month, Microsoft release a Promo Guide which highlights the current promotions they are making available for partners.

Check out this month’s promo guide here but keep in mind region and programme availability!

Community Corner: 

Visit the case study page on our website to discover partner success stories and get a general feel for the intY community.

Upcoming Events: 

Azure Ascend Base Camp: Reading 6th March 2024 | Microsoft UK Headquarters, Reading 

Ready to explore Security, Backup, and Disaster Recovery? 

Join us for the next installment of Azure Ascend Base Camp, where our Azure specialists will guide you through unlocking the true potential of Microsoft’s cloud platform. Access insights, tips, and hands-on expertise to safeguard your Microsoft Azure estate, ensure business continuity, and protect your investment. 

You’ll gain specialist advice for businesses taking their first steps in Azure Security, Backup, and Disaster Recovery and have any questions answered directly by the experts. 

Sign up here and don’t miss this opportunity to ascend to new heights in the cloud! 

Microsoft 365 Copilot Readiness Workshop 13th March 2024 | Virtual

Empower your organisation with robust governance and compliance in Microsoft 365!

Join us at our Microsoft 365 Copilot Readiness workshop, led by Microsoft professional services consultants Elysian:IT, where we focus on mastering governance and compliance for Copilot.

Ensure your organisation is AI-ready by delving into advanced strategies and best practices.

Secure your place here.

Thursday Think Tank with our Microsoft experts

Bi-weekly on a Thursday, we’re rolling out the virtual red carpet for an exclusive drop-in session: Thursday Think Tank.  

Hosted by our Microsoft maestros – sessions will focus on the latest news on Microsoft solutions, key learning opportunities for you and your team, and answers to your burning questions on all things Microsoft. 

It’s not just a meeting; it’s a chance to connect, learn, and thrive with fellow Microsoft professionals.  

Visit our events page to sign up for the next one!

Upcoming Microsoft workshops 

Keep an eye on Microsoft’s upcoming Digital Events here.

[Top tip: Bookmark this page so you can always stay up to date!]

Concluding thoughts… 

As we conclude this edition of our Microsoft Partner Newsletter, we want to express our gratitude for your continued partnership and dedication with us. Together, we’ve explored the latest advancements in Microsoft solutions, shared valuable insights and resources, and celebrated the achievements of our vibrant MSP community.

As you embark on your journey with Microsoft, remember that our team at intY is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re seeking guidance on achieving Solutions Partner Designations, accessing training and enablement resources, or navigating the latest updates and events, we’re committed to helping you succeed.

We look forward to continuing this journey together, driving innovation, growth, and success in the dynamic world of Microsoft solutions. Thank you for being a valued member of our community, and we can’t wait to see what we’ll achieve together next.

If you have any feedback on the way we do things around here, please feel free to get in touch at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you! 

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