Even though it has had time to settle in slightly, there is been a lot of controversy about Microsoft Vista. However, with most PCs running Windows these days, one thing is inevitable – eventually, it will become the most prevalent operating system in the country, in much the same way as XP has superseded Windows ME and 98’. However, aside from selling the software itself, where are the opportunities for resellers?
First and foremost, resellers need to understand the pain points of the new operating system to help their customers overcome them. While most people expect new operating systems (OS) to have high system requirements, Vista’s requirements are quite demanding. In fact, the chances are that if a PC is more than three years old, it will need upgrading. To make the rollout as interruption-free as possible, IT managers will need to profile the hardware of every PC in the company, including remote workers, to ensure that it meets the minimum system requirements. This will avoid having to stop and order new components every time the IT team discovers a PC with less than optimal specifications.
Many IT managers do not wish to spend all of their time on the OS upgrade process, so resellers with either asset management packages or professional consultancy services can minimise their customers’ pain by offering this.
Once these systems have been profiled and assets inventoried, new hardware or PCs may be needed. The business version of Vista recommends that systems have at least 1GB of RAM present, so hardware resellers will need to be prepared for an influx of demand for extra chips. The business edition also recommends having 128MB of graphical memory and a DVD drive, so many IT managers will be considering ordering extra hardware to make sure that everything runs smoothly during the installation procedure. On the other hand, resellers should be aware that companies requiring a great deal of new hardware may put off implementing the new OS because of the costs involved, so not everyone will be keen to move to Vista.
The actual roll-out of the software may be the most unappealing side of installation. Although many companies can automatically roll out software overnight, many IT managers still manually install software on PCs. This can take at least an hour for each user PC, which can add up to weeks, if not months of effort. Resellers can help their customers with this problem by either automating the rollout or offering professional services across the entire span of the implementation and taking the pressure off the in-house IT department.
In conclusion, resellers can not only help their customers by selling the actual Vista software itself, but also along every step of the implementation process. By supplying asset management software, PC components, helping with the rollout or offering manpower to help with the grunt work, resellers can help their customers overcome the substantial challenge of a major OS rollout, simultaneously making margin and improving their relationships with customers by easing their pain points.
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