Okay, then… I don’t get it. I’ve read the posts, I’ve looked at the changes in SBS 2003 R2, and I just don’t get what the fuss is all about. So it’s an updated release of SBS 2003 with some new features… some good, maybe some bad… but mostly relevant updates… I’ll do the same thing with R2 as I did with SBS2003.
I’ll start by looking at my customers who have servers that are coming up on hardware warranty expirations in the near future, I’ll explain to them the benefits of being covered under warranty, and how they’ll benefit from lower-cost subscription-based managed services and then I’ll recommend server replacement or OS upgrade where appropriate. Will the conversion rate be huge? I don’t know yet. Will I send out marketing materials about R2? Probably not. But will I talk to my customers about it to “plant a seed”? Absolutely.
It’s important to me that we convert the remaining SBS2000 customers to R2. Just like it was important when we converted those still on SBS4.5/NT4 to SBS2003. There’s always going to be customers that are a generation behind mainstream… and if they’re good customers, I’m not going to send them to competitors just because they’re slow to change (now if they don’t pay, that’s a different story).
I think planting the seed is important, because even if they decide not to upgrade today, they’re going to remember something about it during the next cycle. And as long as you’ve earned a spot as a trusted advisor, they’re going to remember (maybe with some prompting) that upgrade/replacement was talked this during the last cycle, and that they should give some serious consideration this time around.
The SMB market might not be the enterprise, but just because our customers work with smaller budgets, doesn't mean that we don't have a need for reliable service, and supporable hardware.