Surface and partners: Creating next generation services and support
Last September, we launched the Surface Enterprise Initiative – to help the world’s biggest businesses get the most out of Surface devices with strategic partnerships designed to provide unmatched services and support, industry specific application and solutions development, and flexible purchase and deployment methods.
We kicked off the Surface Enterprise Initiative with Dell providing Surface customers with global procurement capabilities and the power of Dell’s services and support offering. In July, we added specific application and solutions development partnerships with IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton. In one short year, we grew our purchasing and deployment partner footprint from 200 to more than 10,000 partners worldwide in the channel; created a Multi-National Purchasing Program with resellers like CDW, Insight, SHI and Zones; and created an entirely unique model for purchasing and deploying our devices with Surface as a Service.
Today, we are proud to share what’s next for the Surface Enterprise Initiative in services and support while sharing the remarkable progress we are seeing with Surface as a Service.
Expansion of Services and Support Capabilities
Over the past 12 months our customers have told us they love Surface devices. They value the flexibility, choice and control we offer them from a purchasing perspective and have asked that a similar flexibility be applied to support capabilities. And, like we have with hardware, they want Surface to help anticipate their future services and support needs while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, since devices are a catalyst of the transformation they are driving in their businesses.
With that in mind, we are excited to expand the Surface Enterprise Initiative to enable partners, worldwide, to create and provide services and support capabilities for Surface. We will invest in the following fundamental services and support areas:
- Configuration and Deployment Services – such as imaging, asset management, provisioning and integration services.
- Enhanced Replacement and Exchange Services – such as next business day, advanced exchange and onsite replacement services.
- Logistics and Warehousing Services – such as custom shipping, order consolidation and kitting services.
- Next Generation Services and Support – working alongside IT decision makers, partners and the broader Surface ecosystem to conceive and create solutions, that will provide tools for businesses worldwide to enable change in their organizations and use devices as a key component in that change.
Surface has a history of pushing the envelope and setting new standards for how devices transform businesses and lives. While field serviceability is important today, as businesses embark on their digital transformation journeys, their support needs are evolving. Surface will evolve with them, to not only change and create lasting and meaningful employee engagement, but to also enable IT and Business Decision Makers.
There is fertile ground to be explored in this area, and we are excited to work with and through partners worldwide to create the next generation services and support capabilities. For the partners interested in joining us on this journey, please visit the website Surface Drumbeat: drumbeat.surface.com.
Surface as a Service Partner Momentum
We created Surface as a Service to provide enterprise customers who love Surface greater flexibility and choice in their deployment and purchasing decision making process, as many look to move from CAPEX to OPEX. Surface as a Service provides flexibility of solutions, enables faster device refresh, and ensures customers can have the latest Surface devices that evolve with the best of Windows and Office.
We’re extremely pleased by the momentum we’ve seen in the past two months since we introduced Surface as a Service. Some of the largest distribution and reseller partners have joined us, including: ALSO, Tech Data, Ingram Micro, Inc., Acrodex and others, with market coverage across the US, Canada, UK and Western Europe. Based on the customer demand and partner interest, we anticipate additional markets coming online in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia soon.
Our first partner to offer Surface as a Service was, in Germany. ALSO has been extremely successful in recruiting partners, already 300 resellers since July, by creating compelling customer offerings and delivering powerful tools for resellers such as pricing and offer configurators, easy and simple billing, hence accelerating the buying process.
“Surface as a Service is a great model for ALSO to reach customers that want choice, flexibility and control. Our customers love Surface not only for its flexibility, but also for the unique way it takes advantage of this buying model.”Malte Wigger, head of Workplace as a Service, ALSO
One of ALSO’s premier resellers, Infoteq, agrees that Surface as a Service has the potential to significantly impact their engagement with customers.
“We are absolutely confident that this new model – Surface as a Service – is a highly attractive solution for SMB customers. It’s great that we can support customers with an easy and flexible solution with this end-to-end approach.”Franz Martin, Managing Director, Infoteq
In addition, Tech Data, a global leader in distribution of technology, services and solutions, has joined Surface as a Service with their program: Surface Advantage.
“We are seeing an increased interest from our partners and their customers to provide innovative ways to deliver Microsoft Surface. Our Surface Advantage program combines the power and mobility of Microsoft Surface with the productivity and security of Windows 10 and Office 365. We are proud to partner with Microsoft to address the building demand for Device-as-a-Service solutions.”Brian Davis, senior vice president, U.S. Marketing at Tech Data
We’re proud to highlight that Ingram Micro is launching its Surface as a Subscription offering in October, which allows a monthly payment for the use of Surface during the subscription period versus buying the devices. Under the new program, Ingram Micro uses end-of-term residuals to lower monthly payment plans and create more ongoing refresh and sales opportunities for channel partners. Available in the U.S., the Ingram Micro offering expects up to provide 20 percent cost savings over a two-year term, with options for extended terms.
“Surface-as-a-Subscription is a simple and sales-friendly solution that benefits both the channel partner and their customer. We’re excited to build awareness and generate demand for Surface-as-a-Subscription and see tremendous business value and potential growth in the ‘as a subscription’ service model.”Mike Erwin, senior director, Ingram Micro, Inc.
Acrodex (a PCM Company), one of Canada’s largest IT solution providers, has achieved great success with their offering that leverages the benefits of Surface as a Service. The solution, Evolve, is designed to enable and empower end users with the five pillars of productivity: Microsoft Surface, Office 365, End-User Coaching, On-Call Support, and an online license Management Portal. The solution starts at $89.95 per user per month.
“Evolve is designed to remove productivity obstacles for our customers. We want to provide a smart-bundle that truly empowers end users with the right device, software, and services. The Microsoft Surface is integral to our Evolve solution, providing clients with a device that is truly unique among the competition – much like our bundled solution.”Phil Soper, President PCM Canada
We’ve made it our mission to partner with the best in the industry to create the Surface ecosystem together. We continue to look for partners who want to be a part of the greater Surface ecosystem. Those who are interested in taking advantage of our next-generation services and support or procuring their devices via Surface as a Service should go to drumbeat.surface.com – our one-stop shop for partner guidance and resources. Together we will do great things.
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