Microsoft has expanded its Surface reseller channel to meet the demand for Surface devices in Australia, according to Microsoft Australia Surface business group lead, Tina Flammer.
Flammer told ARN the expansion demonstrates the company’s ability to scale and deliver the best program and experience for its partners and customers, in addition to delivering on its promise to grow the opportunity for more partners to sell Surface and address the growing customer demand for the devices across commercial, SMB, education and the public sector markets in Australia.
“This has been of high interest and high demand that we continue to have for the Surface from both customers and resellers. We have continually exceeded all growth expectations here in Australia with the Surface, so broadening our reach will enable us with more customers that want to incorporate it into their business,” she said.
“Achieving this breadth and reach is important because this allows us to make Surface and Windows 10 available to more customers than ever before. The introduction of new Surface devices alongside Windows 10 represents a big opportunity for us, our customers and our partners.”
To date, the company has 14 authorised Surface resellers, ranging from Datacom, Data#3, Dimension Data, Ethan Group, and Staples. By expanding the Surface channel program, Flammer said it has already attracted the interest of more than 150 new authorised resellers.
The new Surface authorised resellers will operate closely with Microsoft’s authorised device distributors, Ingram Micro and Synnex, while existing Surface authorised device resellers will continue to work directly with Microsoft to service their customers and partners.
“We’ve seen resellers across all territories here in Australia, so there has been interest nationwide.”
Resellers such as Astrontech, Winthrop Australia, Fujitsu, and Thomas Duryea, have recently joined the expanded program and Microsoft is looking for more resellers to come on board.
“These resellers have been so interested in bringing Surface into their portfolio because their enterprise customers want the Surface as part of their end-to-end mobility solution or transition to the Cloud. And we’re not going to put a cap on the number of resellers we bring on board,” Flammer claimed.
“When we think about fit, we think about resellers that currently have a strong mobility practice across software and hardware. Ingram Micro and Synnex will be responsible for the recruitment and management of the Surface reseller program.”
Winthrop Australia general manager, Cedric Celestine, said inclusion in Microsoft’s authorised device reseller program will expand its reach into different customer bases.
“It will allow Winthrop Australia to provide a complete end-to-end solution to our clients and help expand Microsoft’s devices into the Australian Education market. We look forward to the additional opportunities Microsoft’s range of devices will bring to Winthrop Australia,” Celestine said.
Astrontech alliances and development director, Tom Langley, said its enterprise customers are demanding more effective access to their data and applications and love the portability that tablet devices have given but still need the power of a laptop.
“Microsoft Surface has set the standard for merging these two seemingly conflicting sets of requirements with a single device that has redefined mobility for knowledge professionals. Astron Technology is very excited about now being able to offer Microsoft Surface devices to its customers,” Langley mentioned.
By broadening the distribution channel, Flammer also said that Microsoft is ensuring customers of all sizes and vertical industries will have access to a specialist partner authorised to sell Surface devices.
“In the past we’ve heard from a lot of customers that they’d like to see more partners offering Surface – particularly for SMBs, educational institutions and state and local government departments. These customers have particular reseller needs either based on preference, contract or location,” she added.
All Surface resellers will have access to Microsoft’s training materials, marketing assets, and sales enablement tools. The Surface Book has been available since December 2015 to authorised Surface resellers in Australia and Surface 3 4G LTE will be made available soon to current authorised Surface resellers.