Microsoft partners with IBM for Surface support; launches Surface Alliance
Microsoft has partnered up with IBM in a new deal to bolster support for Microsoft’s Surface devices for enterprise customers.
Ryan Gavin, Microsoft devices marketing general manager, says Microsoft will use IBM Technology Support Services to enhance its Microsoft Complete extended warranty offerings and deliver technology services and support for Surface devices.
“Pre and post-sale services and support are essential for modern businesses to succeed,” Gavin says.
“Enterprises need devices that not only help them transform digital workflows but also ensure their employees are productive.”
Gavin says while Microsoft’s next generation services and support, launched at Ignite last year, is now active in 10 countries including Australia, New Zealand and Japan, ‘we know larger enterprise customers expect services such as next business day replacement and next business day onsite support on a global scale’.
Gavin says in addition to the partnership with IBM Technology Support Services, which will be offered by channel partners and will start rolling out next week in the United States and Canada before launching in other markets 'soon', Microsoft will also be offering next business day replacement and next business day onsite support services for new and existing customers using a Microsoft Complete extended service plan.
The vendor is also launching a Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance, designed to provide Surface partners with easy access to product information, training, marketing support material, end-customer assistance and help with and direct deal registration for distributor managed partners.
Launching in the Northern Hemisphere fall, the Surface Reseller Alliance training program also includes a revamped online portal with training modules and live webinars for newly launched Surface products.
Gavin says Microsoft will be providing incentives for partners to complete the training.
He says marketing support will also be ramped up with ‘significant’ investments in lead generation, providing assets, guidelines and assistance to help partners create ‘fantastic’ marketing collateral and web experiences.
On the deal registration front, Gavin says a Deal Registration Portal will launch ‘in the coming months’ allowing distributor managed partners to register their deals directly, rather than going through the distributor.
“This will save them time and energy so they can focus on winning new business,” he says.
“We will continue to create additional Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance programs like the Deal Registration Portal and make other subsequent updates to improve the portal over time,” he says adding: “This is just the beginning.”