So I’ll start with the “How do I justify
They won’t have a choice.
So now you’re saying, Whoa… wait a second … what do you mean they won’t have a choice? Well, if you’ve worked with SMB customers you already know the answer. When Dell (or fill in the name of your low-cost workstation provider) stops selling systems with Windows XP, the SMB customers are just going to start replacing their systems with whatever is available at the time their workstations fail.
And that’s going to be Vista.
Okay so they’re not going to have a choice. I get it. But this isn’t a business justification for SMB customers to move to
Oh but it is. And if you’re a certified partner, it means it’s time to sit down with your whole team and come up with a new approach to selling to these smaller SMB customers. You see, these guys (small SMB) have always been the tough nuts to crack. Often times they have the highest expectations, the smallest budget, and are the slowest to pay. They’re also why certified partners tend to move up the chain to medium-sized businesses as soon as practical. But that said, smaller SMB tend to like fixed costs.
And that’s your opportunity. A fixed-cost managed services model.
Go back and take a look at some of what I’ve written about the managed services model. Because if you haven’t done much with managed services
I know what you’re thinking… this is a rehash of what corporate IT has been selling for years. It’s the managed-services/standardization mantra. And it’s typically been the hardest to articulate to SMB customers. Only now, with the falling costs of hardware, better remote support tools, and some good cost models, you can start to articulate this vision to your most difficult customers.
Get them on a supportable platform, and you can show real value. And while you're at it, start putting those Windows Vista betas though the paces. Figure out what's going to sell Vista like RDP sold XP to your existing customers. Then you'll be selling not just cost models, and chrome, but the whole package.