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Many industry estimates say 30-40 percent of the SMB market currently runs Microsoft Windows XP & Office 2003. With Microsoft ending support (EOS) for these products on April 8, 2014, there is a short, but fantastic, window of opportunity for ITSPs to build stronger relationships with clients and uncover revenue opportunities for their businesses.
Here are 4 ways to take advantage of this opportunity:
1. Be Proactive
Whether you use spreadsheets to track client assets under management or use an IT Business Management app like Autotask in combination with a Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tool, ITSPs should be able to determine if there are Windows XP devices, Office 2003 suites and other soon-to-be-unsupported hardware or software components in use by clients or prospects. RMM tools can capture this data and synchronize it with Autotask’s Service Desk and configuration items. This integration can produce good looking reports, especially when paired with Autotask Service Desk Client Dashboards, to show clients where they need to upgrade.
2. Inform & Educate
Once ITSPs are aware of the clients and prospects with EOS products in place, they should engage in guerilla marketing campaigns to inform and educate the target base about their options. XP EOS means no more security or operating system updates from Microsoft, leaving an opening for hackers. Customers and prospects will likely have a lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about security vulnerabilities, higher support costs and lack of current application support, which you can direct in a positive way to help them with their decisions to migrate from Windows XP.
ITSPs can use the contact group manager in Autotask Pro to email the target base and schedule follow up actions. Consider using XP EOS content already developed by our friends over at MailerMailer. Autotask can also help you quote your solution and manage your sales pipeline.
3. Help Clients Successfully Migrate
ITSPs need to determine their XP EOS migration solution and go out and win new business. The typical XP replacement will consist of a Microsoft Windows 7/8 primary device, Office 365 and other upgraded line of business applications all deployed by the ITSP’s service delivery team.
You could also add recurring revenue from a variety of cloud services like Office 365, Servers and Desktops in the cloud and back up—a nice opportunity to build a profitable, long-term recurring revenue stream.
Maximize profitability by buying right and executing efficiently. Microsoft and other vendors offer incentive programs to buy from their distributor partners. Vendors like Skykick provide easy to use migration tools to automate the migration process and help generate more service profit.
4. End Result
The Windows XP EOS deadline is an opportunity to get closer to clients and prospects and prove just how valuable you are to meeting their business needs. As a result, they will appreciate your efforts to minimize their security vulnerabilities and help them avoid major downtime. And, your company will enjoy revenue from XP migration projects, and recurring revenue from migrating clients to more current solutions.
Authored by Len DiCostanzo, Autotask Senior Vice President, Community & Business Development
View our webinar on demand where Raj Khera, CEO of MailerMailer (author of #1 Amazon Bestseller, The IT Marketing Crash Course) and Len DiCostanzo discussed:
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