Tag Archives: Microsoft 365

Now is the best time to be a Surface partner

Men and woman sitting around a conference table looking at a Surface Pro.

I love the energy of our partners and hearing about their successes with Surface. To every Surface partner: thank you. You are helping businesses around the globe create workplaces that harness the full power of their teams and unleash their people’s creativity. It’s meaningful work that inspires me personally and the Surface team daily.

It’s amazing to think about how far the Surface Commercial business has come in three years because of our partners – from one to over 15,000 partners worldwide. Partners have developed innovative delivery and service models, such as Surface as a Service, which in under a year has grown from one partner and one customer to over 50 partners in 15 markets worldwide. Another partner-led program, the Surface Hub Value Added Distributor Program for Opportunity Resellers (VADOR), in less than four months has grown to over 500 partners and now accounts for 15% of Surface Hub sales worldwide!

The momentum Surface has will continue to grow especially considering today’s announcement of Microsoft 365, which combines the best of Microsoft products across Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Surface devices represent the best expression of the Microsoft 365 offerings, allowing individuals and organizations to take the fullest advantage of their Office and Windows investments.

Today, I am highlighting two new opportunities for partners and customers to get more value out of their Surface devices: a new Services and Support opportunity as well as previewing our new Surface Reseller Alliance.

Improvements to services and support

Pre and Post-sale Services and Support are essential for modern businesses to succeed. Enterprises need devices that not only help them transform digital workflows but also ensure that their employees are always productive. I am excited to share that since the announcement at Ignite last year, we have quite a bit of progress on our next-generation Services and Support. The partner program for Services and Support was successfully piloted and is now active in 10 countries: the US., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Japan and the expansion to other Surface markets are coming over the next few months.

That said, we know larger Enterprise customers expect services such as next business day replacement and next business day onsite support on a global scale.

With that in mind, today I’m announcing that Microsoft Surface is partnering with IBM Technology Support Services (TSS) – one of the world’s leading support providers – to enhance our Microsoft Complete extended warranty offerings and deliver technology services and support for Surface devices. 

These services, offered by our channel partners, will be available starting July 15th in the US and Canada, with other Surface markets coming online soon.

I’m also happy to share that next business day replacement and next business day onsite support services will be available for new and existing customers who have a Microsoft Complete extended service plan.

Now whether you’re a 100-person company with one location or a 5,000+ person organization spread across the globe, you can receive the best post-sale services and support, thanks to our updated offerings.

Surface Reseller Alliance

Our goal is to enable our Surface resellers the ability to provide a premium experience when they interact with our shared end customers. To ensure our Surface reseller partners have the latest information in training, set up and transactional assistance, we’ve created the Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance. The goal of the Alliance is to provide the Surface partners easy access to product information, training, marketing support materials, end-customer assistance and help with and direct deal registration for Distributor Managed Partners (DMPs). The Alliance is currently in preview and is accessible via the current Surface Drumbeat site. We will launch it in full later this fall.

The Surface Reseller Alliance training program includes a revamped online portal with training modules, live webinars for newly launched Surface products, and will provide incentives for partner sellers to complete training curriculum. We’re also ramping up our marketing support by making significant investments in lead generation, providing assets, guidelines and assistance to help partners create fantastic marketing collateral and web experiences wherever Surface is sold.

An example of our efforts to unify our resellers experience is the Deal Registration Portal that we will launch in the coming months. The Deal Registration Portal will allow our DMPs to register their deals directly as opposed to through their distributor. This will save them time and energy so they can focus on winning new business.

We will continue to create additional Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance programs like the Deal Registration Portal and make other subsequent updates to improve the portal over time. This is just the beginning. To learn more partners can contact their Microsoft Account Teams starting today.

The success of Surface in the commercial sector in large part is due to the hard work of our partner network, who enable us to create innovative programs to better serve the needs of our shared customers worldwide. We are grateful to partners for their innovative spirits, tenacity, input, and desire as together we enable businesses and people around the world to do more. We look forward to years of continued success!

Connecting with partners to empower the modern workplace

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year! It’s a week where Microsoft leaders connect with thousands of partners from around the world to talk about what’s new and the opportunity in front of us in the coming year. Since our last partner conference a year ago, we’ve been working together to better serve customers who have continuously evolving demands of technology.

We’re on a mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more in the Modern Workplace. A big part of that mission is delivering a new way for customers to transform their business with modern Microsoft products and services that help make employees more productive, creative and secure.

Just last week we announced new security and management features in Windows 10 that will arrive in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

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Today, we’re excited to announce Microsoft 365, a new set of offerings that include Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, to create a complete, intelligent, secure solution that empowers everyone to be creative and work together, securely.

We introduced two Microsoft 365 solutions:

  • Microsoft 365 Enterprise includes Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Enterprise Mobility + Security and is offered in two plans – Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5.  Both plans provide customers with a complete set of productivity and security capabilities, while Microsoft 365 E5 provides the latest and most advanced innovations in security, compliance, analytics, and collaboration.
  • Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB) and includes Office 365 Business Premium, security and management features for Office apps and Windows 10 devices, upgrade rights to Windows 10, and a centralized IT console. It will be available in public preview starting August 2.

For our partners, Microsoft 365 offers exciting new opportunities – from the ability to modernize a customer’s environment through managed services, to the ability to differentiate their offerings with advanced enterprise services. We believe Microsoft 365 will be a further catalyst to drive customer creativity, security and simplicity in their desktop management.

In addition to having end-to-end solutions with Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, we know customers need the ability to decide how to operate. Today we are announcing that Windows 10 E3 and E5 customers will now have the option to add virtualization use rights to Windows subscriptions in the CSP program starting in September.

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Now is the best time to be a Surface partner

Since last year when we first introduced Surface as a Service at Inspire, the program has grown from one partner in the channel to more than 50 partners in 15 markets worldwide. The Surface channel is well equipped to handle the demand that will come from Microsoft 365 customers worldwide and we cannot wait for customers to get the best of the complete Microsoft stack in their hands.

On top of the momentum Microsoft Surface partners have worldwide, Surface is highlighting two new opportunities for partners to get more value out of being a Surface partner: a new Services and Support opportunity as well as a new Surface Reseller Alliance. The partner program for Services and Support was successfully piloted and is now active in 10 countries: the US., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. Japan and the expansion to other Surface markets are coming over the next few months. Surface also announced a partnership with IBM Technology Support Services (TSS) – one of the world’s leading support providers – to enhance our Microsoft Complete extended warranty offerings and deliver technology services and support for Surface devices.

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The Surface Reseller Alliance training program includes a revamped online portal with training modules, live webinars for newly launched Surface products, and will provide incentives for partner sellers to complete training curriculum.  You can read more about it on the Devices Blog.

Expanding the Mixed Reality Partner Program

We’ve also been working to expand our partnership program for Windows Mixed Reality around the world. Today, we are excited to announce the creation of the Mixed Reality Partner Program, welcoming both system integrators (SIs) and digital agencies around the world.

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The Mixed Reality Partner Program is an expansion of the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program which was announced just over a year ago at //build 2016. At that time, we welcomed 10 digital and creative agencies to develop mixed reality solutions. As we have expanded Microsoft HoloLens to more developers and commercial customers around the globe, we added new Europe-focused partners to the program. Now with more than 16 HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners, we’re creating the future of mixed reality experiences with partners and customers.

As the technology landscape continues to advance at unprecedented rates, Microsoft and the Windows and Devices Group will be at the forefront with new ideas to enhance the way our partners work with customers.

Hearing from our partners is extremely important and we look forward to talking with you during a great week at Inspire!