Microsoft opens door to Surface sales


Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has kicked off its annual World Partner Conference in Orlando with channel chief Phil Sorgen outlining several investments in its channel.

The vendor is to significantly increase the number of partners that can sell Microsoft Surface – taking the number of resellers from a few hundred to a few thousand globally in the coming months.

“Surface is an integral part of our Windows strategy, and the expansion of this programme coinciding with the upcoming launch of Windows 10 creates exciting opportunities for partners,” comments Sorgen in his blog.

“We’re also investing in helping partners unlock customer mobility opportunities with new competencies for Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) that will enable them to differentiate their expertise and grow their business.”

Elsewhere Microsoft is to expand its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme to 131 markets. Additionally, Azure and CRM Online will join Office 365, Windows Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in the CSP.

In addition, Microsoft is to introduce a new premium Office 365 enterprise suite called E5 before the end of this year.

According to Sorgen, “E5 will encompass the core value of Office 365 productivity and collaboration capabilities, as well as significant new innovations, including newSkype for Business services such as Cloud PBX and Meeting Broadcast; Power BI & analytics features, like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics; and new advanced security features, such as eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox, and Advanced Threat Protection.

“The E5 suite will provide a significant new opportunity for partners to build new service offerings around real-time communication and analytics, and to reach new customers with important new security features.”

The exec urged partners to reinvent themselves or “risk extinction”.

Sorgen recently told Channel Pro that he sees “a clear split” in the vendor’s partner base when it comes to cloud, with those developing their own Intellectual Property (IP) surging ahead of the competition.


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