Microsoft has been working hard to make its Surface devices more appealing to business customers, and it seems its efforts are paying off. Even before it's officially on sale, Microsoft said today that its new Surface Pro 4 is already a big hit with corporate buyers.
A major component of the company's efforts is the Surface Enterprise Initiative announced last month, under which Dell, HP and other major hardware partners will not only sell, but also support, Microsoft's Surface Pro tablets in business deployments. Today, Microsoft announced two new additions to the Enterprise Initiative, which it says are "designed to accelerate adoption of Surface and Windows 10".
First, there's a new Microsoft 'Complete for Enterprise' warranty and service plan, following the launch of other 'Microsoft Complete' consumer offerings earlier this month. Complete for Enterprise is available exclusively via Microsoft's commercial reseller partners:
The new enterprise warranty offering includes four elements that our larger enterprise customers have asked for:
- Ability to pool warranty claims by company versus individual devices
- Allowing for warranty claims against non-bootable devices – helpful when customers have data security policies that either require a device to be wiped of all confidential information or require destruction of the hard drive prior to the device being returned under the warranty
- Next day air in the U.S. for fastest possible device replacement, and a similar rapid replace processing for markets outside the U.S.
- An on-boarding center to ensure a premium experience within the first 30 days for both IT and end users – Microsoft will assist IT staff to get setup with warranty and support processes as well as provide online training for their employees to get productive as fast as possible.
Microsoft also announced a new 'Business Device Trade-in Program' today:
Many customers have told us that they want to upgrade to Surface and Windows 10, but have invested in devices and need to maximize the value they receive from those assets. With the Business Device Trade-in Program we make it simple. This is different from other trade-in offers in that it is a permanent program for business customers, rather than a limited time promotion.
With 24 hour quotes, prepaid shipping labels and secure data wipe, business customers can trade their used business laptops, tablets, and phones for credit towards the purchase of new Surface devices. This offer will be available in the coming weeks to business customers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. In the coming weeks the offer will also be available in Australia, France, Germany and the UK. For all the details including any limits or restrictions that may apply, visit www.microsoft.cetradein.com.
Along with these additions to its corporate Surface offering, Microsoft also revealed the extent of its efforts to expand corporate availability of its devices in recent months. The company said in July that it planned to increase the number of resellers offering its devices from a few hundred, to several thousand. Today, just three months later, Microsoft said it now has around 5,000 business resellers selling Surface products in 30 markets.