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News
Aug
14
Microsoft Slaughtering It’s Own Cash Cow?
Posted by Reprinted Article on 14 August 2013 03:28 PM

We in SMB IT have been hearing the Microsoft Cloud Drums for quite a few years now.

In the first year or two the call was along the lines of how great Microsoft’s new Cloud was to be and how we were all going to do well selling it.

Well, in SMB IT that pretty much fell flat on its face once it became apparent the SMB IT Provider was not be be billing the customer Microsoft was.

Plus, where was the SMB IT Provider supposed to fit in to the picture anyway?

The drums kept beating but the SMB IT Solution Provider did not listen.

Microsoft made some changes in their sales model for the Microsoft Cloud product line that allowed the SMB IT Provider to bill their clients, but uptake was probably very slow if at all.

Off to conferences and Webinars we go where “Partners” trumpet their great success selling Microsoft and other Cloud Vendor’s wares. How great their success was they were proclaiming but in the end we received a lot of fluff with little substance.

The drums are still beating today. However, they no longer beat for us to take up the call and sell Microsoft Cloud.

IMNSHO, they now beat the message to the end customer to avoid working with us altogether.

You don’t need the SMB IT Provider! You can do it all yourself! We’re making it really easy for you!

To be fair, Microsoft pushed really hard to get the SMB IT Provider on board with training and certification. They spent hundreds of thousands if not millions on getting us to on-board with the Small Business Specialist Community and the certification structures it required.

Those of us that took up to that beat, that is the SBSC and all it entailed, did really well and Microsoft took great pains to support us.

Unfortunately, in the end, the folks that drove Microsoft to create the SBSC and make efforts to bring things up to par kept on doing what they were doing: Giving Microsoft and other legitimate SMB IT Providers a black eye.

As much as the “Trusted Advisor” role has been poo poo’d by many behind the Cloud drum beating we are the ones that the SMB Business Owner will listen to over commercials, surveys, and Consumer Reports.

Yes, the ones responsible for the black eyes for both Microsoft and those SMB IT Providers doing the right thing will be the ones most hurt by their customers bailing away from the pain they’ve been in for however many years by adopting the Cloud over on-premises.

Why would those customers, that is the ones that have been repeatedly burned, trust us anyway? And why would they trust Microsoft to provide a Cloud service that say Google or Amazon may be able to do just as well if not better?

While we and our client population may not be in the majority as far as SMB IT, we do represent a substantial number of small to medium businesses and the directions they take with the IT infrastructure.

A sales driver within SMB is the excited Geek coming in with a new product that perfectly fits in to their client’s business model. In fact, the Geek would have a demo prepared that directly relates to _that specific client_ without even thinking about it.

That situation translates into sales. _Lots_ of sales. And business owners talk.

Perhaps I’m overestimating our worth here? Maybe I am but then again, maybe I am not.

The drums today are beating “You SMB Business go Cloud. Period.”

We are cautioning our clients that a hybrid approach may be a better rule of thumb for so many reasons. Think PRISM for one and the Patriot Act for another.

Now, given the Microsoft’s position for us is all-in for the Cloud one has to wonder how long it will be before Microsoft removes the “choice” in SME and Enterprise environments?

Meaning, how long before Microsoft makes on-premises a lot more expensive than their Cloud offerings to in effect remove that option?

Certainly the restructuring that has happened around a services model this new Microsoft fiscal year may indicate such.

Most certainly Microsoft is at a crossroads.

Depending on the tact they take over the next 12 to 24 months we could see a vastly different company down the road that may in fact be more like Apple was before it was bailed out or like RIM is today.

Drum beating the message and forcing us in SMB into a direction because as single units we are essentially powerless against them is one thing (though we’ve been seeing that we are not so powerless after all over this last year or so).

However, trying the same tact with SME and Enterprise businesses may well fall flat on its face.

No one person or business has ever liked being shoe-horned into an option.

If given no option by a vendor, then it is more likely that another will be found, or much to the possible surprise of Microsoft, and others before them, the business may carry on and/or build what is needed from within.

Most certainly changes are afoot and we need to be very aware of what is happening around us!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Aug
14
Microsoft Slaughtering It’s Own Cash Cow?
Posted by Reprinted Article on 14 August 2013 03:28 PM

We in SMB IT have been hearing the Microsoft Cloud Drums for quite a few years now.

In the first year or two the call was along the lines of how great Microsoft’s new Cloud was to be and how we were all going to do well selling it.

Well, in SMB IT that pretty much fell flat on its face once it became apparent the SMB IT Provider was not be be billing the customer Microsoft was.

Plus, where was the SMB IT Provider supposed to fit in to the picture anyway?

The drums kept beating but the SMB IT Solution Provider did not listen.

Microsoft made some changes in their sales model for the Microsoft Cloud product line that allowed the SMB IT Provider to bill their clients, but uptake was probably very slow if at all.

Off to conferences and Webinars we go where “Partners” trumpet their great success selling Microsoft and other Cloud Vendor’s wares. How great their success was they were proclaiming but in the end we received a lot of fluff with little substance.

The drums are still beating today. However, they no longer beat for us to take up the call and sell Microsoft Cloud.

IMNSHO, they now beat the message to the end customer to avoid working with us altogether.

You don’t need the SMB IT Provider! You can do it all yourself! We’re making it really easy for you!

To be fair, Microsoft pushed really hard to get the SMB IT Provider on board with training and certification. They spent hundreds of thousands if not millions on getting us to on-board with the Small Business Specialist Community and the certification structures it required.

Those of us that took up to that beat, that is the SBSC and all it entailed, did really well and Microsoft took great pains to support us.

Unfortunately, in the end, the folks that drove Microsoft to create the SBSC and make efforts to bring things up to par kept on doing what they were doing: Giving Microsoft and other legitimate SMB IT Providers a black eye.

As much as the “Trusted Advisor” role has been poo poo’d by many behind the Cloud drum beating we are the ones that the SMB Business Owner will listen to over commercials, surveys, and Consumer Reports.

Yes, the ones responsible for the black eyes for both Microsoft and those SMB IT Providers doing the right thing will be the ones most hurt by their customers bailing away from the pain they’ve been in for however many years by adopting the Cloud over on-premises.

Why would those customers, that is the ones that have been repeatedly burned, trust us anyway? And why would they trust Microsoft to provide a Cloud service that say Google or Amazon may be able to do just as well if not better?

While we and our client population may not be in the majority as far as SMB IT, we do represent a substantial number of small to medium businesses and the directions they take with the IT infrastructure.

A sales driver within SMB is the excited Geek coming in with a new product that perfectly fits in to their client’s business model. In fact, the Geek would have a demo prepared that directly relates to _that specific client_ without even thinking about it.

That situation translates into sales. _Lots_ of sales. And business owners talk.

Perhaps I’m overestimating our worth here? Maybe I am but then again, maybe I am not.

The drums today are beating “You SMB Business go Cloud. Period.”

We are cautioning our clients that a hybrid approach may be a better rule of thumb for so many reasons. Think PRISM for one and the Patriot Act for another.

Now, given the Microsoft’s position for us is all-in for the Cloud one has to wonder how long it will be before Microsoft removes the “choice” in SME and Enterprise environments?

Meaning, how long before Microsoft makes on-premises a lot more expensive than their Cloud offerings to in effect remove that option?

Certainly the restructuring that has happened around a services model this new Microsoft fiscal year may indicate such.

Most certainly Microsoft is at a crossroads.

Depending on the tact they take over the next 12 to 24 months we could see a vastly different company down the road that may in fact be more like Apple was before it was bailed out or like RIM is today.

Drum beating the message and forcing us in SMB into a direction because as single units we are essentially powerless against them is one thing (though we’ve been seeing that we are not so powerless after all over this last year or so).

However, trying the same tact with SME and Enterprise businesses may well fall flat on its face.

No one person or business has ever liked being shoe-horned into an option.

If given no option by a vendor, then it is more likely that another will be found, or much to the possible surprise of Microsoft, and others before them, the business may carry on and/or build what is needed from within.

Most certainly changes are afoot and we need to be very aware of what is happening around us!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Aug
2
A Really Good Read on the State of IT and Cloud Outsourcing
Posted by Reprinted Article on 02 August 2013 05:42 PM

It seems that Aidan Finn and I are somewhat on the same page as far as how the Cloud has been significantly strong due to the “Bad IT Pro”.

Indeed, if we in the SMB community especially had a majority of IT Pros that fit into the “Good IT Pro” category as defined by Aidan the Cloud would probably have little place in the small to medium business.

Now, have a listen to my interview podcast with Robert Crane of CIAOPS in Australia that was done in December of 2012:

Robert and I have a pretty good parlay around the Cloud versus on-premises situation in SMB IT with my touching on the need to be trained, keep up on the tech, and work hard at IT!

Ultimately, it is our responsibility to make sure our skill-set is up to the task of providing the best IT Solutions for our clients. This task costs in both time and money with the investment, yes it _is_ an investment to get trained, paying off in ways we sometimes are not able to anticipate!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Aug
2
A Really Good Read on the State of IT and Cloud Outsourcing
Posted by Reprinted Article on 02 August 2013 05:42 PM

It seems that Aidan Finn and I are somewhat on the same page as far as how the Cloud has been significantly strong due to the “Bad IT Pro”.

Indeed, if we in the SMB community especially had a majority of IT Pros that fit into the “Good IT Pro” category as defined by Aidan the Cloud would probably have little place in the small to medium business.

Now, have a listen to my interview podcast with Robert Crane of CIAOPS in Australia that was done in December of 2012:

Robert and I have a pretty good parlay around the Cloud versus on-premises situation in SMB IT with my touching on the need to be trained, keep up on the tech, and work hard at IT!

Ultimately, it is our responsibility to make sure our skill-set is up to the task of providing the best IT Solutions for our clients. This task costs in both time and money with the investment, yes it _is_ an investment to get trained, paying off in ways we sometimes are not able to anticipate!

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Jul
8
Things are Cloudy: Some Monday Morning Cloud Reading and Thoughts on Trust
Posted by Reprinted Article on 08 July 2013 02:02 PM

Here are a few interesting articles that paint some reality on the ongoing Cloud picture.

Both articles are a good read and provide some insight into company’s perspectives on being in the Cloud and Microsoft’s vision for the Cloud.

BTW, what exactly is meant by an “update” anyway? We are not too sure on that one.

Conflicting Messages for SMB IT

Now, the kicker that really brings about the meaning of the word “irony” is in this quote from the Business Week article.

The Office unit says packaged releases will still be available to users who are resistant to Office 365 and its frequent updates, but most of the team’s energy will be focused online. “Microsoft has an established history and trust with customers [emphasis ours],” says Pisoni. “So far those who are hesitant about going to the cloud, they’re willing to put their trust in Microsoft. No other competitor—Google, Box—has that established trust.” Raman Padmanabhan, chief information officer for Xerox’s (XRX) business services unit, has been briefed on Microsoft’s move to faster updates and says he supports the shift as long as the product is good. “It’s all about service and quality,” he says. “You have to have a certain quality or it just kills your business.”

How many of us in SMB have been banging our heads against the wall, so to speak, trying to make the message clear that in SMB IT it is the face-to-face time and relationship trust that we build up with our clients that are keys to both business’s success?

The business relationship and trust have always been, and will always be, the foundation to our way of doing business.

The Cloud Message and many of the Cloud Prophets have been trying to blow that off for SMB IT for the last three or four years now and yet here we have it straight from Microsoft. _Trust_ is the foundation for moving forward.

Yes, there is a little bit of frustration here and it may show so our apologies for that. :S

But, at least it is good to see in print that our own SMB IT way of doing things is confirmed, though not directly. :)

As time goes on we shall see how all things play out.

From this arm chair it looks like Microsoft is in the process of slaughtering their cash cows and diving in for the lowest common denominator ... which in the end means that they will be on the same, and level, playing field as the other Cloud Vendors.

IMNSHO, this is _not_ a good place for Microsoft to go.

Most especially because a huge chunk of the Microsoft Partner base, that is those of us IT Providers in SMB, is being stepped on to get to wherever Microsoft’s current Cloudy Vision is leading them.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »



Jul
8
Things are Cloudy: Some Monday Morning Cloud Reading and Thoughts on Trust
Posted by Reprinted Article on 08 July 2013 02:02 PM

Here are a few interesting articles that paint some reality on the ongoing Cloud picture.

Both articles are a good read and provide some insight into company’s perspectives on being in the Cloud and Microsoft’s vision for the Cloud.

BTW, what exactly is meant by an “update” anyway? We are not too sure on that one.

Conflicting Messages for SMB IT

Now, the kicker that really brings about the meaning of the word “irony” is in this quote from the Business Week article.

The Office unit says packaged releases will still be available to users who are resistant to Office 365 and its frequent updates, but most of the team’s energy will be focused online. “Microsoft has an established history and trust with customers [emphasis ours],” says Pisoni. “So far those who are hesitant about going to the cloud, they’re willing to put their trust in Microsoft. No other competitor—Google, Box—has that established trust.” Raman Padmanabhan, chief information officer for Xerox’s (XRX) business services unit, has been briefed on Microsoft’s move to faster updates and says he supports the shift as long as the product is good. “It’s all about service and quality,” he says. “You have to have a certain quality or it just kills your business.”

How many of us in SMB have been banging our heads against the wall, so to speak, trying to make the message clear that in SMB IT it is the face-to-face time and relationship trust that we build up with our clients that are keys to both business’s success?

The business relationship and trust have always been, and will always be, the foundation to our way of doing business.

The Cloud Message and many of the Cloud Prophets have been trying to blow that off for SMB IT for the last three or four years now and yet here we have it straight from Microsoft. _Trust_ is the foundation for moving forward.

Yes, there is a little bit of frustration here and it may show so our apologies for that. :S

But, at least it is good to see in print that our own SMB IT way of doing things is confirmed, though not directly. :)

As time goes on we shall see how all things play out.

From this arm chair it looks like Microsoft is in the process of slaughtering their cash cows and diving in for the lowest common denominator ... which in the end means that they will be on the same, and level, playing field as the other Cloud Vendors.

IMNSHO, this is _not_ a good place for Microsoft to go.

Most especially because a huge chunk of the Microsoft Partner base, that is those of us IT Providers in SMB, is being stepped on to get to wherever Microsoft’s current Cloudy Vision is leading them.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at
www.thirdtier.net/enterprise-solutions-for-small-business/

Windows Live Writer


Read more »




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