WPC 2016: Microsoft reveals host of technology innovations on day 2

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 13 July 2016
WPC 2016: Microsoft reveals host of technology innovations on day 2

With this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference now in full swing in Toronto, Canada, the company has revealed a number of technology innovations that aim to help its partners maximise their profitability.

“More than 90% of our revenues come through partners, and we’re committed to helping them continually grow their business to meet the evolving needs of our mutual customers,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, in a blog post on the new innovations.

More than 350 million devices are now running Windows 10, something Microsoft believes is down to the fact it is the most secure Windows offering ever, as well as offering easier IT management and productivity enhancements.

A recent study from Forrester found that Windows 10 customers are already experiencing improved productivity and cost savings, resulting in an average return on investment of 188% with a 13-month payback.

On day 2 of WPC 2016, Microsoft announced the launch of Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for CSP, which allows businesses to get enterprise-grade security for US$7 a seat per month through the Cloud Solution Provider channel. This offering is designed for businesses with limited IT resources, but want their licensing and IT needs to be managed by a trusted partner.

Microsoft is also making it easier for customers to purchase Surface devices thanks to flexible purchasing options, such as Surface as a Service offering via the CSP channel and in conjunction with the new Windows 10 Enterprise E3 programmes.

“With Surface as a Service we are empowering partners to offer their customers the world-class capabilities of Surface devices and Microsoft Cloud Services as part of their managed services offerings,” said Schuster. “Surface as a Service will help us provide customers the power of Surface devices, helping them transact, manage and deploy Surface with the flexibility dynamic businesses need.”

Microsoft also revealed that Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 will launch at Microsoft Ignite later this year, helping companies accelerate their move to the cloud.

The general availability of Azure SQL Data Warehouse, which brings ‘cloud elasticity to data warehousing’, was also announced.

Schuster also commented on the market opportunity of real-time communications, and the greater demand this is creating.

“Enterprises are rediscovering the fundamental role real-time communications plays in overall productivity, and are turning to Skype for Business in Office 365 to modernise the way their employees connect with one another,” she said.

In order to support partners as they look to accelerate their cloud offerings, Microsoft has created the Skype Operations Framework. This end-to-end deployment methodology helps partners deliver Skype for Business Online to their customers, and create new business opportunities.

Microsoft also revealed it will introduce a new licensing model called Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE). This next-generation enterprise solution ‘brings together the best of Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise and Enterprise Mobility Suite with advanced E5 SKUs’.

“My ask to our partners is to take advantage of all the great innovations, tools and resources to grow your business in the coming year,” added Schuster. “I’m looking forward to the explosive growth we’ll see across our partner community, and can’t wait to check out the creative implementations you will bring to our mutual customers.”

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