It may just be a perfect storm.
For Microsoft's affiliate partners, there is a huge potential opportunity, as they heard several times during Microsoft's Inspire Partner Show last week. Traditionally, Microsoft's support for an operating system eliminates multiple chances for partners to sell customers about migration, commissioning, and other services.
At the same time, the way business customers buy PCs change. By 2020 – Windows 7 will finally arrive – 30 percent of all PCs will be purchased via DaaS, or service plans, Microsoft officials told partners last week.
DaaS is the term to hire a PC on subscription basis, often combined with other support services. It is sometimes used exchange with "desktop as a service." Microsoft is working on its own DaaS strategy, currently labeled as "Microsoft Managed Desktop." (I do not know if Microsoft plans to allow partners to resell their Managed Desktop service or if the company intends to sell this service directly to corporate customers.)
During the Inspire show, Microsoft execs worked to hammer home the idea of that dealers should not only sell Windows 7 users a new device running Windows 10. Instead, they should take the DaaS approach and set up a whole platform to rent new Windows 10 PCs to customers.
Microsoft officials told partners The sweet place for DaaS is customers with 99 or fewer devices. Many of these customers just do not want daily headaches around devices, "said Steve Jensen, a Senior Partner Solutions Manager for Microsoft, during a session on Inspire. Partners should benefit from this by leasing devices that are preloaded with cloud services, desktop services, security services and more, he said.
Microsoft showed collaborators a slide (built-in above) that outlined the DaaS framework. The three main components are a "modern" commercial device, which means a device running Microsoft 365; cloud management of that device; and "modern" invoicing, which means everlasting renewable leasing. These three components could be collected in a single monthly bill for each user, says Jensen.
Jensen cited a study by Forrester Research made by Microsoft, which showed that partners could earn gross returns of more than $ 100 per seat per year by selling the Microsoft 365 stack via a DaaS approach.
Some companies have already pushed the DaaS approach. For example, HP offers DaaS for both Windows and Apple devices. Dell offers a variety of PC-service options.
Microsoft has been groundbreaking in the DaaS approach over the last year – plus partners through its "Modern Desktop" pilots. The company has been encouraging partners to go beyond simple operating system management and add new features such as device management down to the driver level as a way of distinguishing.