Windows 10 offers growth opportunities
There’s no doubting the positive reaction to Windows 10 with 75 million consumer and business users having upgraded to the new operating system since it launched globally a little over a month ago.
That’s particularly pleasing for us here at Microsoft and, based on the positive reception, we expect Windows 10 will become the business operating system.
As a partner-first company Microsoft recognises our Partners are critical to helping make Windows 10 the business operating system and ensuring our mutual customers can take advantage of the innovations Windows 10 delivers.
To ensure we understand partners’ perception, as well as the business opportunity Windows 10 creates for them, we commissioned local research through Tech Research Asia (TRA) asking Australian Partners for their views on the new Windows 10 services opportunities and the associated financial impact that this will have to their businesses.
So what did the TRA research reveal? We learnt that Partners were really excited about the new operating system, with 86 per cent believing that it compares favourably to Windows 8 and 8.1 in meeting the needs of their customers, while 81 per cent felt that it compared favourably to Windows 7.
Interestingly, we also learnt that Partners appear to be under-estimating customer demand for Windows 10, because while the research highlighted that 64 per cent of customers are planning to migrate to the new system within the first 12 months, the vast majority – 80 per cent – of Partners thought only 33 per cent of their customers would upgrade in that period.
Despite this healthy demand for Windows 10 from a customer/end-user perspective, only 43 per cent of partners are ready to deploy Windows 10 now, indicating many Partners may be unprepared to take advantage of the Windows 10 opportunity.
Most Partners see that customer requirements are evolving, and while the research identified an opportunity around devices, with 66 per cent of customers planning a device refresh in the next 12 months, more than 90 per cent of Partners see an increased opportunity for services with Windows 10.
Partners see a strong link between Windows 10 deployment and the take-up of Azure Cloud services, with one Partner seeing “the future as being about the delivery of end user service and acceleration to the cloud”.
Our research findings concur that Windows 10 opens up the opportunity for Partners to grow their service offerings, with customers saying that after installing Windows 10 they will consider deploying Microsoft Cloud Services (53%), Microsoft Enterprise Social Services (53%), additional security solutions (52%) and Mobile Device Management services (51%) within 12 months.
Survey data also shows that within 12 months of a Windows 10 deployment more than 50 per cent of customers plan to evolve their application environment with three quarters believing Windows 10 will provide an attractive platform.
Customer are looking for partners who can help with the initial upgrade to Windows 10 but also their evolving needs around cloud, mobile device management and security solutions with the research revealing two-thirds of customers believe they need a partner to provide managed services to derive full value from Windows 10. The research also indicates a change in customer behaviour as it relates to partner engagement with 50 per cent of customers either proactively looking for a new partner or unsure whether they will utilise their existing partner to provide additional services once Windows 10 is deployed.
Data from customers and partners is clearly indicating that Windows 10 will be the platform of choice within the next two years and offer Partners opportunities ranging from new devices sales and fleet refreshes, deployment project services, through to new long term annuity services such as managed services and cloud computing and, for some, higher level intellectual property (IP) services that involve the creation of licensable customer applications.
Partners need to be fully across all the opportunities presented by Windows-as-a-Service and Universal Apps and to ensure their sales and technical teams are able to engage clients on the business issues and opportunities that the new operating system offers.
With that in mind we have developed a number of services and learning assets – including the Windows 10 Learning Series and new Go-To-Market assets – to ensure that our Partners are totally prepared to benefit from the Windows 10 success story.
At the moment, there are 1.5 billion Windows devices world-wide and our goal is to have one billion Windows 10 devices within 2-3 years. We’ve already got 75 million.
For our Partners, the opportunity is vast.
Download the Windows 10 infographic.