Sunday, November 17, 2013

Support for Microsoft Products expiring April 8, 2014. What will your organization do?

On April 8, 2014, support for Windows XP and Server 2003 will no longer be available. With an estimated 45% of the small and mid-size businesses currently utilizing Windows XP, financial challenges lie ahead. For most, the standard practice will be to run down to their local retailer and begin purchasing new equipment either in mass or on a as needed basis. The major problem with this strategy is that it is inefficient and may lead to spending additional funds for unnecessary software. For example, if one purchases a new computer at their local retail outlet they will generally find that the version of Microsoft Office is either a Student or Home version. Very limited in its features and/or capacity. Thus, the purchaser will be required to upgrade to a larger version of Microsoft Office. This upgrade will cost the small and mid-size business more money. In addition, the software license is a per device license (one software download per device). However, one way to remedy this problem would be to merely contact a member of the Microsoft Business Partner Network and a Value Added Reseller (VAR) and purchase a Software Assurance Agreement. This way, the small business owner is protected and receives the latest upgrades and software support per license. Another strategy would be for the small business to purchase the software upgrades directly from a Microsoft Business Network Partner and Value Added Reseller (VAR) directly and add additional devices and/or software to its licensing agreements. Thus, protecting the entire organization. However, this still leaves us with the issue of current hardware. Although the organization will now have the latest version of Windows (Windows 8.1), the question becomes one of whether or not the current equipment has the capacity to run the full version of Windows 8.1 on the present equipment. Those are questions that a Microsoft Business Partner and Value Added Reseller (VAR) are trained to provide you with directly. However, is that the best option available? What if your organization could keep its current hardware, upgrade to Windows 8.1, and have access to several Microsoft Office 2013 programs at once? What if you could obtain licensing for not just one device, or per individual but obtain licensing for five (5) devices per individual instead? What if those five (5) devices could include a variety of smart phones, tablets, desktop PC's, etc.? What if it were possible to retain your present On-Premise Server configuration and still access the data 24/7, 365 days per year? What if all of the employees within the organization could actually do the same (either on-premise or remotely)? The answer? Microsoft Office 365. With Windows 8.1 and Office 365 the organization may (in many cases) retain its current hardware, and by utilizing Windows and Microsoft Office Apps., conduct business anywhere in the world simultaneously. True collaboration and integration with Microsoft Outlook, Linc, and SharePoint allows such capabilities. Instead of purchasing large volumes of equipment, and even larger volumes of software, the small business owner can cuts his/her IT overhead costs dramatically. For example, it is estimated that the costs (in real dollars) for IT and technical support (on a per employee basis) costs the business organization as much as $75,000.00 per year, per employee). By migrating much of this technology to the cloud, and obtaining software via a Lease Agreement, the small to mid-size business will experience an immediate savings in technology costs. In addition, the organization will have access to the latest software programs and upgrades, and will be able to maximize its resources by have licensing on a per individual (versus per device) basis. Now is the time to start thinking about how to position your company for future growth and expansion with minimal overhead costs. Microsoft Office 365 can offer what no other program package offers, true collaboration and integration along all of the Microsoft Software packages. Also, with compatibility view, the business owner can still operate their older software programs (those that operated with Windows XP) without having to replace them as well. the best of "ALL" worlds and a significant cost savings for the organization. Team Strategy Inc. is a Microsoft Business Partner and Value Added Reseller (VAR) specializing in the small and mid-size business application arena.

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