Microsoft is participating in PCR Boot Camp North on November 18th as Headline Partner, where the tech firm will exhibit a range of products to the show’s dealer and reseller delegates.
The company’s UK execs will be on hand to discuss the critical role its partners play in delivering its technology strategy in an ever-evolving market – and how partners can build a profitable Microsoft business as demand for Windows 10 hardware and cloud services grows.
“We work closely with our resellers, and PCR Boot Camp North provides the opportunity to really engage with the channel and get their feedback,” says Richard Wills, Microsoft’s OEM Group Marketing Manager. “The conference provides the platform to give partners an update on Microsoft’s Corporate strategy and overall direction. Equally the exhibition is a great opportunity to have interaction with smaller groups through our training sessions to provide partners with an update on the latest technology and products.”
In terms of the cloud, Microsoft is building momentum behind its Office 365 suite of solutions – on the day it will be showcasing what benefits the cloud has for indie retailers, as well as explaining the profit margins on such products.
Of particular focus will be how resellers should consider selling cloud services to help them differentiate in the market.
Microsoft has previously highlighted its ‘born in the cloud’ partners – those that didn’t exist before products like Office 365 were available. It says these partners are generally small, nimble and take the time to understand their customers and what solutions are best for them.
Away from the cloud, Microsoft also recently launched a couple of new programmes for UK resellers. EduWins offers resellers channel marketing investment and a channel rebate, while Shape the Future is a ‘breadth programme’ focusing on low-cost Windows SKUs.
The latter went live on October 1st and is a pilot scheme, focusing solely on resellers selling Windows education devices to schools.
Of course, in terms of macro trends 2015 has been the year of Windows 10 for Microsoft, following the launch of its latest OS in July.
Windows 10 has been positively received by consumers and will undoubtedly be driving the next phase of product evolution in the PC technology space, with tablet and mobile now also a core focus to the firm’s approach.
This was evidenced recently when Microsoft asked its enterprise customers via its blog how it can improve the adoption of Surface tablets and Windows 10 in the workplace. In addition to this, beginning in early 2016, Microsoft will have a new enterprise warranty and services available to customers via its commercial resellers.
In terms of specific hardware, Microsoft has just showcased the hybrid-tablet Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book ‘laptop’ during its Windows 10 Devices event in New York City, with both devices sure to be a topic of discussion at Boot Camp North.
The Surface Pro 4 features a larger screen size of 12.3-inches (compared to its predecessor that came with 12-inches), along with a docking station, updated keyboard and fingerprint reader.
Meanwhile, the Surface Book will feature a PixelSense screen that boasts six million pixels, an articulated hinge and 12 hours of battery life.
These announcements certainly prove that Microsoft is a key contender within the tablet market, and that the firm is starting to tap into the laptop market aggressively.
Microsoft is also taking part in joint marketing campaigns with larger resellers who have invested in syndication tools with CNET. The initiative allows any partner to utilise Microsoft campaign assets by simply adding a few lines of code to their website.
Delegates at Boot Camp North 2015 will be able to find out more details about the scheme, plus the latest on Microsoft’s software and hardware strategy.
“Technology is always changing and PCR Boot Camp North is a good opportunity to look at how the market has evolved recently and how partners can embrace this to build a profitable Microsoft business,” says Wills.
“Partners play a critical role in delivering Microsoft’s technology strategy, so we are looking forward to engaging with them and hearing how they differentiate themselves.”
Microsoft also has a few treats up its sleeve for Boot Camp North delegates: “With the recent launch of Office 2016 this year Microsoft will be giving away free Office 365 subscriptions, which is always up to date with the latest applications,” says Wills. “Customers will be entitled to one copy of Office 365 which is to be used for personal use only.”
PCR Boot Camp North will once again specifically cater for retailers and resellers in the Midlands, North, Scotland and Wales. It’s completely free for dealers and system builders to attend and all will go home with a free gift – a choice of two premium speakers.
The day will comprise a conference programme of panel sessions and talks in the morning, followed by an expo in the afternoon. There will also be an after-show drinks reception, allowing dealers and suppliers to network even more.
If you’re a dealer and want to register to attend Boot Camp North, click here - it's completely free.
For sponsorship and Expo opportunities, contact Jennie Lane via firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01992 535647.
PCR Boot Camp North is the region's premier PC and tech trade event and not to be missed.
But don't just take our word for it - here's the highlights reel from the Boot Camp event we held in May this year, including thoughts from the exhibitors and dealers present on the day: