Microsoft expands Surface channel reach to international markets; more news

Microsoft opens up Surface channel sales via large resellers in 17 international markets; plus, N-able adds reporting module to Ncentral RMM platform.

Microsoft expands Surface availability in the channel

On July 1, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Devices Program and put the Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets into the hands of authorized Microsoft distributors and selected authorized commercial resellers in the U.S. This week, Microsoft announced that devices are available in 17 international markets.

As gloom-and-doom news continues to haunt the Microsoft tablets and in anticipation of expected fourth-quarter tablet line refreshes by a number of tablet manufacturers, Microsoft kicked off the second phase of business channel availability in countries that include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.

Similar to the U.S. rollout, international partners are encouraged to wrap additional services around Surface sales, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, on-site service and support, device recycling, and data protection.

Also mirroring the U.S. rollout of Surface is the limited, or as Microsoft puts it, "thoughtful" expansion to select partners -- much to the chagrin of the multitude of Microsoft partners looking to put together hardware and software solutions for their business customers. Without the device at their fingertips, that work becomes more difficult. Microsoft has told those partners to direct their customers to a Microsoft retail store to purchase the devices; that suggestion has also dismayed many partners, according to published reports.

Microsoft recently announced that all Surface RT users can get Outlook RT now with the beta upgrade to Windows 8.1.

Report Manager module available from N-able

N-able Technologies' managed service providers, cloud service providers and VARs now have available a new optional model for N-able's Ncentral remote monitoring and management (RMM) and MSP service automation platform.

Report Manager 4.1 is the vendor's next-generation reporting tool and the first product-focused announcement since N-able was acquired by SolarWinds in late May.

The latest reporting tool includes more than 50 customizable, executive-level reports that cover the details of managed devices, warranties, antivirus, patch data protection, network reliability, server performance and ticketing, according to the vendor.

Some feature highlights include a network assessment that includes asset, capacity-planning and security status information; a ticket summary on all proactive and reactive tickets; antivirus status information, with consolidated reporting of all antivirus solutions; and a "managed devices versus time" report that's built for billing and professional services automation/RMM audits.

VaultLogix incentive program for resellers

VaultLogix, a cloud backup service provider for small and medium-sized businesses and resellers, announced this week the Cash for Clients program.

Certified VaultLogix resellers who document billable clients to VaultLogix active vaults during the program period -- which is now until Dec. 31 -- will receive an incentive reward.

According to the company, monetary rewards will be based on the number of billable clients added to the VaultLogix active vaults on a monthly calendar basis, and each client must be initially billable for a minimum of 60 days and 10 GB of stored data.

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