Microsoft (MSFT) Server 2003 will reach end of life in July 2015. Microsoft estimates that there are as many as 30 million instances of Server 2003 still active. In anticipation of this date, many managed services providers (MSPs) have been capitalizing on upgrade projects for the last few years, but another opportunity is knocking at the door. Will MSPs take advantage of it in the coming year?

The technology landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years and has intensified over the last 12 months. As cloud options have become more cost-effective and reliable, small businesses are now contemplating if this is the right time to move their IT needs to the cloud.

The average MSP-supported small business has two options as they ready themselves to pull the plug on Server 2003:

  1. Upgrade to another on-premise solution with similar functionality.
  2. Move to a cloud solution with more enhanced functionality.

The real opportunity for MSPs is to offer a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution that introduces increased functionality at a decreased price.  The key is knowing how to present a vivid side-by-side comparison of on-premise versus DaaS options to the client. MSPs must create a fixed fee bundle that includes: required servers, access to their data, access to their third party applications, back up, disaster recovery, hosted exchange and help desk support.

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DaaS is optimal for the client as they avoid the major upfront costs associated with an on-premise project. DaaS also represents a tremendous recurring revenue opportunity for the MSP. It’s a win-win.

I can also guarantee that if you’re not talking to your clients about the aforementioned cloud offering, another provider is, and it might not be another MSP. Time and time again I am hearing about MSPs losing clients to start up DaaS companies or other hosted solutions. Make sure you have the solution the client wants in your portfolio. 

Go to www.cloudclarityscore.com to access a tool to identify which of your clients are prime candidates for a DaaS solution. This is your opportunity! 

And if you are looking for a tried and true DaaS vs. on premise cost calculator so you can present that side-by-side comparison for your clients/prospects, email me at jimlippie@claritychannel.com.

Will MSPs take advantage of this opportunity in the upcoming year? How will you handle the Server 2003's end of life?