Microsoft, Dell, HP Bringing Surface Pro Tablets To Enterprises - InformationWeek

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Commentary
9/9/2015
12:30 PM
Larry Loeb
Larry Loeb
Commentary
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Microsoft, Dell, HP Bringing Surface Pro Tablets To Enterprises

In a move to bring more Surface Pro tablets into the enterprise, Microsoft is teaming up with hardware partners Dell and HP.

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In an attempt to steal some of spotlight away from Apple's expected announcement of a larger iPad Pro tablet on Sept. 9, Microsoft announced this week that it is partnering with Dell to sell its Surface Pro tablets to the enterprise market.

In the Sept. 8 announcement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted, "Today’s expanded partnership with Dell represents a bold step forward as we marry amazing devices, such as Surface Pro, with enterprise-class service and support."

In other words, they are countering the recent Apple and IBM effort to sell into the enterprise with some of their own partnerships. Microsoft has not had a great track record of selling hardware into the enterprise.

(Image: Kelly Sheridan/InformationWeek)

(Image: Kelly Sheridan/InformationWeek)

Dell already has relationships with many different enterprises, whether through direct sales or IT services. In addition, the Microsoft agreement gives Dell the ability to upsell businesses with different services.

"Surface Pro devices sold through Dell will include the option of Dell Services, including Dell Hardware Warranty, ProSupport with Accidental Damage Service, and Configuration and Deployment Services," according to Microsoft.

Dell seemed a bit giddy about all of this.

In its announcement of the deal, Dell noted:

Beginning early October 2015, we will be selling Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Pro accessories through our North America sales organization, and rolling out to other regions starting in early 2016. No other PC maker is doing anything like this with Microsoft.

Well, not quite true.

HP was also included in this Surface Enterprise Initiative effort.

As HP put it:

We are excited to announce that as part of the Surface Enterprise Initiative with Microsoft, we will be offering the Surface Pro 3 through the HP direct sales force. Independently, we will also be offering a new set of HP Care Packs designed specifically to help customers to plan, configure, deploy and manage in enterprise environments. We also plan to offer some mobility workflow transformation tools and services that will be available next year.

So, HP sees this as another platform for it to leverage its own portfolio of service plans. HP, as well as Dell, has its own hardware to sell, but the company seems to be responding to perceived desires within the enterprise market for a one-stop solution that provides hardware and the support for that hardware on one purchase order.

[Check out our comparison of Microsoft's Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3.]

There was also a third component of Microsoft's business push, one that looks to get Windows 10 into the hands of more business buyers.

Microsoft announced that Accenture and Avanade have also been named part of the same initiative. Neither company will be reselling Surface hardware, but the Avanade joint venture with Microsoft has built apps for Windows enterprise customers.

The Surface Enterprise Initiative is a way for Microsoft to make up with its own customers for its past actions in creating hardware in the first place. At the time, the company was seen as alienating those who provided Microsoft with much revenue by loading its software onto their hardware.

This initiative gives space to Dell and HP to leverage their existing enterprise relationships into purchases that involve more than anything Microsoft can provide by itself.

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet ... View Full Bio
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larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/15/2015 | 7:43:09 AM
Re: Great move for the Surface Pro lineup
This arrangement lifts the Microsoft tablet into better corporate visibility so it can counter IBM/Apple's efforts.

I'll bet the upcoming Pro 4 will be part of all of this. Probably have a MSPencil for it too.
nomii
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nomii,
User Rank: Ninja
9/15/2015 | 2:58:04 AM
Re: Great move for the Surface Pro lineup

@Larryloeb very true. I believe that both parties are playing to their strengths and if they can live upto their joint venture repute there will be no turning back. But these kind of ventures seldom succeed as many organizational as well as pesonal stakes comes into play. Both parties need to take these steps very carefully for a better ROI. I think it will be a win-win situation for both parties.

larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/14/2015 | 4:53:01 PM
Re: Great move for the Surface Pro lineup
Yeah, there's all kinds of makeup ---uhhh--- interactions going on here.

HP and Dell may not care where they actually get the tablets, since thier own brands are not buring up the house.

But they get the service on-going revenue out of this, which may be the reason they are in tablets n the first place.

Redmond binds them closer to itself, and they play to their strengths.

Win-win-win.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
9/14/2015 | 12:43:29 PM
Great move for the Surface Pro lineup
We started a pilot of Surface Pro 3 tablets around this time last year and then deployed more than 50 this past spring. Great form factor. Not-so-great enterprise level support from Microsoft. As a Dell customer, being able to get premier support (NBD and accidental damage) on a Surface Pro is huge for my help desk folks who struggle with Microsoft's depot ability, or lack thereof. This is a good move for Microsoft since Dell and HP already have the distribution channels and support organizations.
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/13/2015 | 12:00:44 PM
Re: Apple accouncements
Oh yes, the internet became disruptive.

But, it grew into that. It did not just appear fully formed. What users wanted from it framed how it evolved.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/12/2015 | 3:32:59 PM
Re: Apple accouncements
I think they were innovative especially for consumers.  It has become the main hub for all things entertainment( playing games, watching movies, and reading).  I'm surprise to see kids using it at such a young age.  They aren't carrying toys when they are outside, but have a tablet on their hand.  I think the Internet was disruptive; it changed the way we communicate and seek information, impact different industries as well. 
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2015 | 10:37:35 AM
Re: Apple accouncements
Want to get started on Oxford commas?
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2015 | 9:27:48 AM
Re: Apple accouncements
I am tempted here to start screaming "Words have meanings!", but it won't help.

I am usually tempted to scream, "Use the right word!" or "Three exclamation points are never appropriate!"
larryloeb
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larryloeb,
User Rank: Author
9/11/2015 | 7:32:24 AM
Re: Apple accouncements
Yeah, that could be one reason.

I am tempted here to start screaming "Words have meanings!", but it won't help.

Innovation has had its meaning watered down so much, the PR folk don't know when to use it correctly any more.

Disrupt has an edge to it, a connotation of action with effect, that may appeal to those trying to get your attention.

 

 
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
9/11/2015 | 7:10:33 AM
Re: Apple accouncements
Oh, I totally get your perspective on the word. It's just weird that someone would use that word because it has negative connotations. I know they mean it as a good thing, as in "this technology disrupts the way you think about X because it's so innovative"...as in the disruption will change the way you think about something because it's a game changer. But it is negative word. So they're just trying to get around the over-used "innovative"?
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