Microsoft Drumming Up Surface Sales via New Business Channel Program
Microsoft launches a business channel expansion and announces its AppsForSurface app dev program to spur corporate interest in its own Windows tablets.In a bet that enterprises will snap up Surface slates with strong channel support, Microsoft is launching a business channel expansion aimed at luring corporate IT departments. The company today announced the new Microsoft Devices Program, a move that could potentially help boost enterprise adoption of the software giant's in-house line of Windows 8 and RT tablets. Describing the program's launch as a "very important milestone," which also happens to fall on the beginning of the software titan's fiscal year, Jenni Flinders, vice president of the U.S. Partner Business at Microsoft said during a press call July 1 that Microsoft had kicked off the "first phase to make Surface available to commercial customers" in the United States. She added that the company plans to "expand to other countries in upcoming months." In a Microsoft US Partner Team blog post, Flinders detailed the two-tier nature of the commercial channel program. Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data are the "inaugural device authorized distributors." They, in turn, will "sell Surface to a newly designated group" of authorized resellers, which includes CDW, CompuCom Systems, En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises, PC Connection, PCM, Softchoice, Softmart, SHI International and Zones Inc. Apart from making it easier for corporate buyers to purchase Surface tablets, the program allows resellers to bring a variety of "value-added services to the Surface family such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, on-site service and support, device recycling and data protection," stated the company in press remarks.
Hinting that Microsoft learned its lesson from the Surface's restrictive distribution strategy at launch, Flinders added: "This program greatly expands the reach of the Microsoft devices-and-services strategy, extending our family of devices enabled by cloud services to more organizations."