Stone Group appointed as authorised refurbisher for Microsoft
Leading circular IT solutions provider, Stone Group, has been appointed as a Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher (MAR), allowing it to offer genuine Windows 10 operating systems on the computers it refurbishes and sells to public and private sector organisations in the UK. As one of only five MARs in the UK, Stone is able to differentiate itself in the marketplace by supplying refurbished computers preinstalled with genuine Windows operating systems and also sell these operating systems to other UK third party refurbishers (TPRs), providing support throughout the process.
This agreement allows Stone to access low-cost licenses and direct support from Microsoft, with the opportunity for marketing investments to help drive mutual business and support with government opportunities through the MAR channel.
With the Microsoft Certificate of Authenticity (COA) being replaced by Digital Product Keys (DPKs) from July, as a MAR Stone will be available to help TPRs manage the transition seamlessly, supporting the set up of the required infrastructure and Azure directory. This move to DPKs makes the sourcing of licenses faster, eliminating the minimum order quantity restrictions and the wait for the printing and shipping of the physical COAs.
As well as selling licenses to TPRs and supporting them through the DPK transition, Stone Group is able to support Microsoft’s refurbishment drive through its IT asset disposal (ITAD) facilities in Staffordshire and dedicated app, Stone 360. The app, which launched last October, helps organisations to arrange collection of their redundant IT equipment and all items are then taken to Stone Group’s dedicated ITAD facility where they are securely recycled or refurbished. App users can track and manage the rebates for their old IT assets and collect points to purchase new or refurbished IT. Stone Group is also working in partnership with the National Forest to plant a tree for every 200 pieces of kit they donate.
Andrew Arnold, MAR lead for UK and Ireland at Microsoft, commented, “There is a long standing and successful business relationship between Stone and Microsoft. Our mutual priorities in the growth of the refurbishment business and commitment to sustainable IT practices gives us a great opportunity to grow our partnership yet further.”
Chief Procurement Officer at Stone Group, Peter Berks, commented, “We’re incredibly proud to be recognised as a MAR partner, with the continuous growth in our recycling numbers and investments to support this, it was vital we worked towards this accreditation over the last few years. I’m grateful to Microsoft for granting us this opportunity. MAR status supports and underpins our sustainability strategy, demonstrating our commitment with Microsoft’s backing.
“Our focus on refurbishment, the Stone 360 app, and our growth plans for this area align perfectly with the MAR programme’s focus on genuine licensing, sustainability, and growth. As Microsoft invests and continues to develop in this area, we are in a unique position to take advantage, working in collaboration and forming a strong alliance, being first to pilot new programmes, and much more.”
The Stone360 app is free to download and is available on both iOS and Android devices.