Microsoft today announced several updates in its efforts to sell Surface devices into enterprises.
Microsoft now has more than 5,000 resellers on board, a few months after the tech giant committed to expanding its sales channel to bring on “a few thousand globally.” Prior to this, Microsoft had only a couple hundred Surface resellers. The increase in resellers should lead to sales of more Surface Pro 4 tablets and Surface Books, particularly for companies that prefer to buy local and for government agencies and schools that buy equipment with contracts, Microsoft Surface director Cyril Belikoff told VentureBeat in an interview.
So far, 13 enterprises have signed up to buy Surface Pro 4 devices for their employees. Early adopters include the Carlyle Group, BNY Mellon, USI Insurance Services, Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Land ‘O Lakes, AstraZeneca, Wessanen, Covanta, Clifford Chance, and the Global Fund.
Microsoft is also launching a permanent trade-in program, allowing companies to sell their Windows PCs, Macs, and even iOS devices and put the money toward new Surface devices.
And there’s a new Microsoft Complete for Enterprise program that comes with an onboarding center for IT staffers, pooling for warranty claim (by company), next-day delivery for replacements, and support for claims of non-bootable devices when companies want to ensure data protection.
These additions should help Microsoft not only boost its Surface revenue, but also help the devices become standard in enterprise settings. In determining whether a company can be considered an enterprise, Microsoft primarily takes into consideration the company’s needs — like security, compliance, and backup — which means that companies with smaller head counts could qualify as enterprises. That said, 500 is the numerical threshold for an enterprise at Microsoft, Belikoff said.
The Surface Book, meanwhile, is still new. But that doesn’t mean enterprises aren’t interested.
“I would say demand for it is pretty high,” Belikoff said.
A blog post from Belikoff has more detail on the news.