Back in July at the World Partner Conference, Microsoft announced a new SaaS offering for Enterprise customers. What was particularly unique this time was that the S stood for Surface. Surface as a Service is Microsoft's program for leasing Surfaces to businesses, specifically to large businesses. Along with financing options, the program comes with customized options for support and services businesses need when deploying technology across large workforces.
Surface as a Service is part of a larger Microsoft program called the Surface Enterprise Initiative. This initiative was announced last fall, highlighting a partnership with Dell Technologies among others. Since last fall, the Surface Enterprise Initiative has been growing with new partners and now the Surface as a Service leasing program.
Today, just as their enterprise focused conference Ignite kicks off, Microsoft announced they are expanding their Surface as a Service program. Specifically, Microsoft is expanding the Support and Service features of the program. The technology company announced they are opening up the Surface Enterprise Initiative to their partners to also create and provide support and services for the Microsoft Surface.
Hayete Gallot, General Manager of Microsoft Devices, said this expansion of the Surface Enterprise Inititaive will be focused on the following four 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.
Expanding the program to include more partners could help create an ecosystem of services around the Microsoft Surface. And if there is a rich and robust ecosystem of services, any type of business interested in a leasing a Surface is more likely to find the exact custom tailored support their company needs. As other technology companies look to sell hybrid tablets to enterprise customers, Microsoft's Surface Enterprise Initiative helps differentiate their ability to provide a company's devices.