Microsoft’s EdTech partner ecosystem plays a key role in how Microsoft can successfully serve our education industry customers around the world, so each year we meet to collectively discuss where the education industry is going, consider opportunities for the Microsoft Education Partner community, and share insights into Microsoft’s Education business strategy.

This year’s meeting didn’t disappoint. The 16th Global Education Partner Summit (GEPS), held virtually from April 26-28, 2022, allowed Microsoft to connect with more than 1000 education industry partners to explore how we’ve been able to identify opportunities and innovate to solve needs and advance education globally, and how we’ll continue do so in the future

If you missed the live event, you can still check it out on-demand and participate in some of the follow-up offerings: 

1. Watch the GEPS Keynote on-demand

2. Post-GEPS ongoing learning and connect with Microsoft Engineering teams. Discover and register for upcoming learning opportunities provided exclusively for Microsoft Education partners.

3. Participate in the GEPS Learn Challenge—a gamified learning experience for Microsoft Education Partners. The goal is to familiarize our partner ecosystems with the Microsoft Learn Educator Center, including our free educator professional development and Microsoft Learn integration scenarios associated with the new Microsoft Learn platform that partners can leverage to enhance their education client engagements.

Microsoft Education executives led a variety of discussions at the summit that zeroed in on opportunities in education and how to successfully work with Microsoft and our partner organizations.

This year’s event covered three key themes:

1. The unprecedented and accelerating opportunities for Microsoft and its partners to drive innovation and transformation in education.

2. The need to provide more equitable teaching and learning in education—an opportunity that Microsoft and its partner ecosystem can help enable.

3. The importance of working together to ensure that the EdTech investments our shared customers have made over the last few years will deliver and exceed expectations.

Included in the keynote was an EdTech trends session led by Co-CEO Maria Spies with the market intelligence organization HolonIQ. Maria discussed the considerable EdTech investment happening in the industry and the possibilities for digital infrastructure. 

Maria and HolonIQ shared three key trends in education and EdTech:

1. Digital infrastructure and re-thinking learning processes.

2. The re-shaping of the post-secondary education landscape.

3. The impact of advanced technology on education.

Building on the trends discussion, the Microsoft Education Engineering leadership, led by Eran Megiddo, CTO of Windows & Devices at Microsoft, talked through the Microsoft Education product strategy and what we can expect in the future, including opportunities ahead. The EdTech market’s rapid growth presents a collective opportunity for us to help education institutions worldwide continue to transform digitally, including by truly integrating devices and interactive learning tools and by adding engaging esports and games into the learning experience.

Through our partner ecosystem, we can help our customers transform most efficiently and securely with the Cloud, and leverage data and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve learning outcomes. Deirdre Quarnstrom, Vice President (VP) of Education Experiences, Joe Brazier, Worldwide K-12 Strategy Manager, and Steve Liffick, VP of Platform & Customer Success, shared the latest innovations from our global product teams whose goal ultimately is to reach and impact students and educators together.

Building on the product strategy, Microsoft’s Paige Johnson, VP of Education Marketing at Microsoft, and Jordan Chrysafidis, General Manager of Worldwide Education Devices Sales at Microsoft, discussed the importance of equity in education and how we will work together with schools, systems, and institutions to accelerate opportunities for all learners. 

Paige and Jordan also shared many resources available to Microsoft EdTech partners, including:

The keynote concluded with Rick Hermann, VP of Worldwide Public Sector Education, and Tamer Erzurumlu, Worldwide Education Partner Strategy Lead, discussing Rick’s vision and plans for partner success, and how Microsoft is evolving Microsoft’s partner strategy to improve the opportunities for us and our Education partners. As part of the keynote, Microsoft Executives discussed questions that partners submitted.

Over three days, Microsoft hosted a series of daily engineering and industry expert roundtables where we and our partners could connect and discuss specific business and solutions covering an array of topics, such as: data and AI using Open Education Analytics; product integrations for accessibility and inclusion; partner opportunities with Windows 11; and the new Microsoft Learn Educator Center. The experts in the roundtables dove into how partners can apply these capabilities with their services and solutions, working in emerging markets with recovery funding. And for many of the participating partners, the 13 regional and country focused breakout sessions provided a great opportunity to connect and learn more about the specific Microsoft local and regional education strategies. 

As we wrapped up the formal annual GEPS event, the worldwide Microsoft Education team was impressed and excited about the level of engagement from the extensive community of Education partners, including our Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), System Integrators (SIs), Professional Development (PD)/Global Training Partners (GTPs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), and Distributors and Resellers who joined from around the world.

The Microsoft team is excited about the future of the industry, especially as we work with this impressive and critical community of education-focused technology partners at a pivotal, transformational time in the education industry. We look forward to continuing to build on the rich discussions and connections started at GEPS!