Tag Archives: Inspire 2017

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!

We’re expanding the Mixed Reality Partner Program

Just over a year ago at Build 2016, we welcomed 10 digital and creative agencies to develop mixed reality solutions as part of the HoloLens Agency Readiness Partner Program. As part of the program, we provided these partners with technical readiness training to extend their design competencies and help them deliver compelling mixed reality solutions across industries, including education, healthcare, architecture, engineering, construction, and design.

With the expansion of Microsoft HoloLens to more developers and commercial customers around the globe this last March — including those in Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, China, and Japan — we welcomed new partners to the program to create the future of mixed reality experiences for customers in those regions. Now more than 30 HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners are producing tangible results such as proof-of-concepts (POC), pilots and deployments of world class mixed reality solutions, leading the digital transformation for customers like Boeing, Cirque du Soleil, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cylance, Lowe’s, Jabil, Paccar, PGA Tour, Real Madrid, and Stryker.

Today, we are excited to announce that due to growing demand from partners and customers, we have created the Mixed Reality Partner Program, which expands the agency readiness program to welcome systems integrators (SIs) and digital agencies around the world. All existing HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners will be grandfathered into the Mixed Reality Partner Program.

We’ve learned that successful mixed reality solutions are built on great experiences — and those experiences require both a creative design component and a strong competency in application and infrastructure integration and deployment. SIs around the world already know how to build, support, integrate, and extend Microsoft technologies to meet their customers’ business and IT goals. As members of the Mixed Reality Partner Program, these SIs, and digital/creative agencies will play a critical role in building 3D and mixed reality experiences for enterprise commercial customers.

So how can you get involved? Eligible partners will begin a multi-week readiness program that consists of both in-depth technical training on mixed reality solutions and sales and marketing readiness. Upon completion of the program and a successful customer POC, partners can qualify to receive a wide range of benefits, such as direct access to Microsoft engineering support and mentorship, as well as marketing and sales assistance. Qualified partners that are accepted into the program will participate in joint business planning with the Mixed Reality extended team, which includes engineers, product managers, field sales and marketing leads

Partners who already have deep expertise in designing and deploying mixed reality solutions will have the option to take a fast track and immediately work with the Microsoft team on plans to engage customer accounts.

We’re excited for new partners around the globe to join us on this mixed reality journey, and we’re excited to see the mixed reality solutions that our partners create!

Partners can learn about and apply to join the Mixed Reality Partner Program, and if you’re attending Microsoft Inspire this week, I encourage you to join me for a breakout session on July 12 to learn more about the program.

-Jeff

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!

Windows virtualization use rights coming to CSP

We’re exceptionally proud that Windows 10, the most secure Windows ever, offers the widest range of device form factors and the greatest breadth of input options with support for touch, pen, gesture, and voice. Customers choose Windows 10 knowing that they can purchase a great new business PC for just a few hundred dollars, an incredible Surface Pro or Surface Book device for the ultimate in business productivity, or build their own custom rig part-by-part to meet any budget.

For some business customers, Windows virtualization is the solution that best meets their productivity, security, and IT infrastructure needs. This may mean PCs connecting to Windows client VMs running on dedicated or multi-tenant hardware enabling users to freely move from device to device, through to scenarios where a particular app or data set requires an additional layer of separation from the end-user device achieved through virtualization. The common factor here is choice and it’s one of the main reasons our customers and partners choose Windows 10.

Today, we’re making two announcements that provide our business customers with greater choice.
The first is that virtualization use rights will be coming to Windows 10 subscriptions in the cloud solution provider (CSP) program starting in September, with the flexibility to host in both Azure or with 3rd party hosting partners. And the second announcement is a new certification program for 3rd party hosting partners that wish to host virtual machines (VMs) licensed via CSP subscriptions.

Virtualization is not for every customer and so we’re creating offerings with and without virtualization use rights to ensure customers have the choice to subscribe to the solution that best meets their needs while not paying for rights they don’t require.

Beginning September 6th, 2017, customers will be able to choose from five subscription offerings in the CSP program with Windows 10 virtualization use rights, enabling Windows VMs to be hosted in Azure or with a qualified multitenant hosting partner:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise E3 will be available with or without virtualization use rights
  • Windows 10 Enterprise E5 will be updated to include virtualization use rights
  • A new Windows 10 Enterprise E3 VDA offering will be created for customers that require access to Windows VMs on non-Windows Pro devices
  • Customers purchasing or already subscribed to Microsoft 365 Enterprise (formerly known as Secure Productive Enterprise) via CSP will automatically receive Windows 10 virtualization use rights at no extra cost

Compute and consumption charges may apply based on VM use.

To learn more about Windows Enterprise subscriptions in CSP or to find a Windows 10 in CSP partner please visit this page.

To learn more about Windows virtualization licensing please refer to this document

And for partners who wish to learn more about becoming a qualified multitenant hoster, please visit this link