As you may have seen in the press or heard from Steve Ballmer, the new Office Customer Preview is here. The preview allows you and your customers to test and give feedback on nearly all the new Office products and services: Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project and Visio.
For over 21 years, Microsoft Office has delivered the best in productivity and more recently collaboration technology. Last week’s announcement continues this tradition of excellence with the announcement of the new Office. This latest version creates a seamless, touch-enabled experience across devices, allowing your customers to stay productive and connected, in a secure environment.
What does this mean to you, our partners?
You have an opportunity to serve a wide customer audience with great new scenarios and experiences. In particular, there is a large Office 2003 base waiting to be upgraded to the new Office and it’s logical, touch-enabled user interface. Budget constrained customers can now afford business capabilities they previously could not by bypassing infrastructure concerns. The new Office addresses the consumerization of IT in a way that Microsoft hasn’t before, and creates great opportunities for you with new and existing customers.
How can you get started with the new Office?
Start by visiting the Office Customer Preview MPN site. There you will find links to training and other important readiness materials. Once there, download (and encourage your customers to download) the Customer Preview to experience the new Office first-hand and tell your story about the experience as well as provide us critical feedback as we lock the final features of the new Office. Also, take a look at the new Office 365 Open and FPP offerings as these provide partners with the kind of business opportunities you’ve been looking for to own the customer billing relationship and attractive price points.
For more information on how the new Office alignment maps to specific MPN competencies to help you build a practice in business productivity solutions or desktop deployment, take a look at the Desktop competency (to be renamed and focused on Devices and Deployment in November) via the competency information on the MPN membership page as well as other competencies focused on Communications (Lync), Content and Collaboration (Sharepoint), plus others. We are eager to help you prepare to land and deliver the business value to customers that the new Office platform represents.