The block capital letters and brown background of the Hershey logo were everywhere at D&H Distributing’s Mid-Atlantic Fall Technology Show in Hershey, Pa., last month—the sweets’ logo was almost as abundant as the Windows 10 logo, but not quite.
Indeed, it was Windows 10 that fueled much of D&H’s tradeshow features. Seminar sessions presented by Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, HP, and WD each touched upon the OS upgrade. Vendor exhibits from Acer, ASUS, Dell, Epson, NVIDIA, Symantec, and others also made connections to the refresh.
“We want one billion [people] using Windows 10 in the next two to three years,” explained Paul Morano, a Microsoft sales executive for US OEM distributors, during the tradeshow. “Win10 launched the end of July. We’re up to 110 million users already.”
Add to it all the new availability from D&H Distributing for partners to electronically download software, and the Hershey showfloor was a-buzz with talk of opportunity.
Free for a Year
The upgrade to Windows 10 was offered free for a year to existing Windows 7 and 8 users. While some partners balked, Morano explains the offer is a good one.
“Don’t think that free is a bad thing. It’s a gateway to a conversation,” Morano says. “You can talk not only about hardware, but the periphery products that go with that as well. Hardware and PCs need to be upgraded. Maybe they’re not touch-enabled. Then, you add to it managed services and packaged IP.”
Another partner-friendly feature of the upgraded OS, according to Morano, is its ease-of-deployment.
“People don’t want to spend a lot of unnecessary money, and people want things that will deploy easily,” Morano explains. “You will be able to take Windows 10 preloaded machines and set them with provisioning packaging really easily. So, we’re making management a lot quicker and less intrusive.”
Along with the OS upgrade, Microsoft has announced a new plan for Office 365, with an updated pricelist and lineup. Office 365 E5, for example, is a new SKU to the Office 365 list, adding voice capabilities to the 365 suite (along with Skype meeting broadcast, PSTN conferencing, cloud PBX, and PSTN calling).
“We will be releasing the pricelist preview the beginning of November because E5 will be available December first,” explains Onur Dogruoz, a Microsoft partner technology strategist for U.S. SMBs.
“Remember,” says Dogruoz, “if you are a Microsoft partner, you don’t have to pay usage rights for your internal seats. So, take advantage of that.”
D&H Supports ESD
Many D&H Distributing partners will be thrilled to learn that a number of the company’s software offerings will be available for electronic download.
“Why is digital distribution important?” asks Damon Kegerise, D&H’s Microsoft BDM specialist. “Because we don’t have to stock. It’s faster, it’s safer, and many PCs don’t include optical drives anymore.”
Resellers will see Microsoft ESD items in the online catalog search results. After adding ESD products to the cart (assuming you’re an authorized partner), you will then proceed with prompts for an email address.
“There are options to send the download link directly to the end user,” Kegerise explains. “End user email address is not required.”
He adds: “This is not a volume license agreement. It’s the same as PKC. To buy ESD, you have to get authorized (assuring you won’t sell outside the territory, etc.). You then get an email from the partner to get authorized. Your digital locker will display all of your various digital licenses. You can enter to resend a link. You can download now.”
GEOFFREY OLDMIXON is a Springfield, Mass.-based freelance writer and editor.