imageMicrosoft Windows Intune is now available in 35 countries around the world starting today as it reaches the general availability milestone! What an exciting time, and it seems like just the other day I was writing up my Microsoft Windows Intune availability announced in 35 countries starting March 23, 2011 post (even though it has now been a month since then). Now that Windows Intune has reached general availability, I thought I would put up this post to accomplish a few things:

  1. Share the fantastic news about Microsoft Windows Intune being available in 35 countries today! (Have I mentioned that yet??) Smile
  2. Share some information regarding Windows Intune and what it means for partners
  3. Provide you with a list of resources you can use to learn more about Windows Intune
  4. Provide a quick overview of what type of customers Windows Intune is ideal for?
  5. Let you know how and where you can acquire Windows Intune, as well as how and where you can obtain the trial of Windows Intune

Also, be sure to check out:

Jon Roskill’s blog on Windows Intune on the newly designed Microsoft Partner Network Community site. Gavriella Schuster’s post on the Windows For Business blog
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So what is Windows Intune?

  • At a high-level, Windows Intune brings together Windows® software and cloud services in one single, easy-to-use tool to help simplify PC management and security by enabling you to offer proactive, managed services—with minimal strain on your resources.
  • Windows Intune cloud service is easy to set up and requires no server infrastructure. You simply need an Internet connection and with Windows Intune, you can deliver PC management, security, and updates to keep your customers’ PCs running at peak performance.

Through Windows Intune’s simple Web-based console you can:

  • Manage updates: Centrally manage the deployment of Microsoft updates and service packs to all of your customers’ PCs.
  • Protect PCs from malware: Help protect your customers’ PCs from the latest threats with centralized protection built on the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine.
  • Proactively Monitor PCs: Receive alerts on updates and threats so that you can proactively identify and resolve problems with your customers’ PCs—before work becomes interrupted.
  • Provide remote assistance: Resolve PC issues, regardless of where you or your customers’ PCs are located, with remote assistance.
  • Track hardware and software inventory: Track hardware and software assets that your customers use to efficiently manage assets, licenses, and compliance.
  • Set security policies: Centrally manage update, firewall, and endpoint protection policies, even on remote machines outside of your customers’ corporate networks.

Windows Intune also provides a Multi-Account Console, which makes managing multiple accounts easy by aggregating views to help prioritize action items. (Click image to view full size)

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What does Windows Intune mean to and offer for partners?

“We designed Windows Intune to be used by service providers and IT consultants, as well as in house IT professionals. It’s a great way for partners to get into the managed service market by providing a valuable, comprehensive PC management solution without having to make an upfront investment in infrastructure.” – Gavriella Schuster, General Manager of Windows Product Marketing.

Windows Intune provides several opportunities for partners:

  1. Opportunities to grow revenue: (Always love this type of opportunity!)
    • Grow your managed services business – Through Windows Intune’s rich set of tools, you can provide remote PC management and security, which lets you extend your services to customers outside of your immediate geography without overstretching your existing resources.
    • Windows 7 – Windows Intune includes Windows upgrade rights in the subscription, which means you can upgrade your customers to Windows 7 Enterprise and offer additional services to set up select Windows 7 Enterprise features, such as BitLocker® drive encryption.
    • Recurring revenue – As the “partner of record,” you earn recurring revenues for each Windows Intune subscription you sell. You will earn 12% of the first year’s subscription fees for each new subscription and an additional 6% of the subscription fees during the first year and onward for each subscription that remains active.
    • Additional sales opportunities - Windows Intune can help you identify new sales scenarios. For instance, using the Windows Intune asset inventory service to help your customers plan their IT spend based on their current estate, or adding other cloud services such as Office 365 or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to your portfolio of services.
    • Reduce support overhead through standardization – Standardize your clients on a single version of Windows, creating a uniform PC environment that is simpler and more cost effective for you to manage and troubleshoot.
  2. Opportunities to extend your reach:
    • Reach new customers - Windows Intune provides a subscription model, which means costs are spread through Opex rather than Capex budget lines, making it more affordable for many businesses and meaning you can now sell to customers that you couldn’t previously.
    • Extend your boundaries – Because Windows Intune is a cloud service, you don’t have to worry about maintaining on-site PC management servers and software or managing remote users. As long as both you and your users have an Internet connection, you can deliver PC management, security, and updates through a single Web-based console.
    • Expand your offerings - Windows Intune enables you to offer PC Management to customer sites without an on-premise solution or where workers are not connected to the corporate network. For instance, businesses that have remote and mobile workers that may not be fully updated and protected when they are away from the corporate network.
    • Efficiently manage multiple customers – Through a single logon, you can access an aggregate view of the PC health across all of your customers’ accounts. With just one click from the Multi-Account Console (see picture above), you can enter your customer’s Windows Intune administration screen to view details or take action.
  3. Opportunities to increase velocity:
    • Low up-front barriers - Windows Intune allows you to offer a comprehensive PC management solution without the large budgetary barriers that can lengthen a sales cycle.
    • Greater flexibility - Windows Intune is an annual subscription, which means your customers can scale the number of seats they subscribe to each year to meet the requirements of their business. No long-term lock-ins. No minimum seat barrier. No delay in your sales cycle.
    • Demonstrate immediate value - Accelerate trial-to-purchase as you can demonstrate immediate customer value with Windows Intune, from patch management to inventory services.
    • Streamlined sales & deployment - Once the Windows Intune agent is on your customers’ PCs, they can be up and running in hours. There’s no delay for shipping, no waiting for a time slot for the IT team to integrate with the back-end infrastructure, no logistics to delay your sale.
    • Works with the tools you use – Windows Intune can integrate with common PSA and CRM tools so you can offer your customers smooth tracking from issue to resolution.

Resources you can use to learn more about Windows Intune

What type of customers is Windows Intune ideal for?

Some samples of the ideal customers for Windows Intune would be customers who:

  • Have no PC management in place or use multiple products to manage their PCs and security.
    • May have some in-house IT or may rely on IT support to be provided by an IT consultant
    • Have multiple PC configurations and no clear view of what’s running on their machines
  • Have a significant number of mobile workforce who are frequently off the corporate network.
    • Of interest to organizations that have mobile or contract workers
    • Need a means of ensuring PCs are secure when not on the corporate network
  • Would like to move to Windows 7 but face Capex budgetary challenges
    • Not due for a PC refresh in next 18 month
    • PCs capable of running Windows 7
    • No budget to upgrade through traditional Capex IT budget
  • Need to keep better track of software inventory.
    • Distributed workforce, either in remote offices or mobile workers

How and where you can acquire Windows Intune, as well as how and where you can obtain the trial of Windows Intune

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as: my Facebook page, my Twitter account, my Linkedin account, and my blog.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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