To kick off season two of As the Gears Turn, we’re covering everything you ever wanted to know about Microsoft Surface.
and Patrick Cash
talk with Connor Douglass
, product marketing manager at Microsoft
- Why the Surface was created
- The benefits of the partner program
- How Autopilot works in the Microsoft environment
- Microsoft’s focus for H2
The Surface was created for three purposes:
- To light up Microsoft’s cloud solutions
- To drive innovation
- To empower customers to be more productive
Now, 10 years later, the Surface product line is seeing significant growth in education, state and local governments, the federal government and in niche markets like law firms.
Benefits of the partner program
There are three prisms through which Microsoft views the partner program:
- How do partners make money?
- How does Microsoft train you?
- How does Microsoft help you find leads?
With that in mind, Microsoft aims to give SMB partners similar resources they give to their largest partners.
Digital Marketing Content (DMC)
On this platform, Microsoft provides weekly content and campaigns to Surface-authorized partners, which they can share with their customer lists.
“The goal is to share on LinkedIn, in email campaigns, and website updates all the digital content you would need, with gated options as well, to help you capture leads,” Connor says.
This platform was once used to train Microsoft store reps on the newest Surface content. Using short, digestible, mobile-friendly “missions,” the platform educates partners on the features of the Surface and improves sales readiness.
Plus, the platform has rewards built into the system. Any partner who completes two missions receives a $20 gift card.
Cash rewards program
If you sell a minimum threshold of Surfaces in a given half, you earn 1.5% back on every dollar sold through this Microsoft program.
In addition, Ingram Micro has launched a DMP+ program that offers benefits for hitting certain amounts of revenue.
“On the Surface team, we believe that all boats will rise with Autopilot and zero-touch deployment,” Connor says.
Four years ago, the percentage of devices deployed via Autopilot was zero, but today, it’s up around a quarter.
“We’re just seeing the market move in that direction,” Connor says.
Plus, if the customer doesn’t want the partner to register the device for them, Microsoft will register any Surface device for free.
Based on historical data trends, Microsoft is focusing on two areas for H2.
The first area is Windows 11. Microsoft is making a big push to move the market to upgrade to Windows 11 this calendar year.
The second is the frontline worker. Microsoft wants to empower the frontline worker with a more premium device—namely, the Surface Go 3.
: Digital Marketing Content (microsoft.com)
: ExpertZone (microsoft.com)
(take 2 missions to earn $20)
: Surface cash rewards program (microsoft.com)
: Surface registration support for Windows Autopilot (Microsoft Docs)
: Ingram Micro’s Surface Team
for more information
To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk
Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or tune in on our website.