Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference has already moved to day 2, and today's introducing keynote was all about how Microsoft can help its partners and businesses embrace digital transformation. To that end, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Windows and Devices Group Yusuf Mehdi announced today that the company will launch new subscription options for both Windows 10 and Surface devices.
Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for CSP
While Windows 10 is already running on 350 million devices, Medhi shared that Microsoft is looking for better ways to help business confronted to high security risks to upgrade to the more secure OS. That's the purpose of Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for Cloud Solution Provider channels (CSP): with this new offering, CSP partners will be able to provide businesses a subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise and get Microsoft's "full IT Stack" including Office 365, Dynamics, Azure and CRM as a per user, per month offering.
Medhi added that customers will be able to scale up or down this offering according to their needs, and that this is "ideal for businesses who do not have dedicated IT resources or limited IT staff, and want their licensing and IT needs managed by a trusted and experienced partner."
Key features will include:
- Increased Security: Offering the sophisticated security features of Windows 10 to help businesses secure sensitive data and identities, help ensure devices are protected from cybersecurity threats, give employees the freedom and flexibility to access sensitive data on a variety of devices, and help ensure controlled access to highly-sensitive data.
- Simplified Licensing & Deployment: Helping businesses lower up-front costs, eliminating the need for time-consuming device counting and audits, and making it easier to stay compliant with a subscription-based, per-user licensing model. This new offering allows businesses to easily move from Windows 10 Pro to Windows 10 Enterprise E3 without rebooting.
- Partner-managed IT: Configuring and managing devices by a partner experienced in Windows 10 and cloud deployments. Partners can also help businesses develop a device security and management strategy with the unique features of Windows 10. Businesses can view subscriptions and usage for Windows 10 Enterprise, and any other Microsoft cloud services purchased, in their partner portal for easier management with one contract, one user account, one support contact, and one simplified bill.
Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in CSP will be available Starting this fall at just $7 a seat per month, but Windows 10 Enterprise will continue to be available through the company's regular licensing programs and the newly-announced suites Secure Productive Enterprise E3 and E5 launching later this year.
The Surface as a Service Program and the expansion of the Surface Enterprise Initiative
By bringing to the market its Surface range of hybrid tablets, Microsoft contributed to define a new product category and Medhi emphasized how "innovative devices shift people’s behavior, inspire ideas, catalyze collaboration, accelerate progress, and transform business." The exec also outlined that the Surface Business has grown significantly in the past year, going from generating $1B in revenue in a year to $1B in revenue per quarter.
However, Redmond is looking for accelerating the shift towards more versatile devices with the help from its partners. To that end, the company announced today that all Cloud Solution Partners (who are also Surface Authorized Distributors) will be able to sell Surface as a Service, which means that all of them will be able to "offer Surface devices through a managed service offering to all of our resellers and customers, alongside managed cloud services, Office 365, Windows 10, and relevant ISV software." This new offering with start with leading CSP ALSO and will allow customers to get up do date devices in a more flexible way.
Medhi also announced an expansion of the company's Surface Multi-National Purchasing Program with the addition of CDW, Insight, SHI and Zones. According to the exec, This will provide businesses "added choice in how they purchase Surface devices, benefit from a streamlined path for getting Surface on company-wide standards lists, and see cross-country adoption for line of business scenarios."
Lastly, after Dell partnered with Microsoft to sell the Surface Pro and offer enterprise service and support last year, Medhi announced today that IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton have joined the company's Surface Enterprise Initiative "to deliver industry specific solutions to our shared customers."
In the end, Microsoft hopes that these new initiatives will "provide great opportunities for our partners and for our customers to transform their businesses to a more modern way of working." Let us know in the comments what do you think of this latest announcements.