Over the past year or so, Microsoft has been offering existing customers the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost. Although this offer has now run out, it is still worthwhile upgrading your customers’ desktop infrastructure – but this process is different to the way previous upgrades have worked.
Changes to the upgrade method
Unlike upgrades in the past, the move to Windows 10 is not a simple “wipe and load” process. Instead, Microsoft delivers it as an ongoing service, which means that the whole deployment lifecycle is different. As an IT services provider to your clients, it is your job to ensure a smooth transition and deal with any teething issues that the new update has.
The deployment process is different
The basic principle of the deployment process for Windows 10 is this: discover, assess, target and migrate. During the discovery process, a complete inventory and audit should be carried out of hardware and software that needs to be implemented. This is followed by the Assess phase, which identifies the PC and application usage and readiness. Targets are established including any requirements for the upgrade, cloud and VDI options, and anything that needs to be changed beforehand – this can provide the blueprint for a successful migration to Windows 10.
What does Windows 10 have to offer?
The first question that you need to think about is “what does Windows 10 have to offer my clients?” Ultimately, previous versions will become obsolete in the long term, so migration to Windows 10 is inevitable at some stage. However, besides this, there are many reasons why migrating your customers to Windows 10 now could benefit them.
Enterprise deployment features
Just some of the features that come with the enterprise deployment of Windows 10 include EDGE (which is replacing Internet Explorer), Windows Hello, Spotlight, App-V, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Azure AD Join, Windows Store for Business, UE-V, Credential Guard and Device Guard, Intune Enrolment, Windows Information Protection (WIP) and Applocker/Bitlocker. As well as these, users will benefit from Enterprise Data Protection which is integrated within the operating system to provide additional security and protection against malware. Microsoft Passport is another exciting security feature whereby your clients are able to log in using biometrics such as a PIN, facial scan or fingerprint which is unique to them.
Other considerations for your clients
Although the benefits of Windows 10 seem obvious, there are some other things to consider before beginning the deployment process. Things like driver compatibility are key to ensuring that all of your devices are up to date and ready for Windows 10. It’s important as their IT provider to evaluate the changes that will occur and prepare your customers, whether this is through training or advice on where to find old things. Establish a migration plan which takes into account potential issues, infrastructure requirements and prepares for the requirements of Windows 10.
Windows 10 as a service
Windows 10 is the first upgrade to be considered as an ongoing service instead of just a product. This makes deployment simpler and automatically carried across some existing applications and settings. Upgrades will be ongoing, with an expectation of these happening a few times per year instead of annually. However, the migration process must be carried out flawlessly, with data and applications being backed up in case of any issues, to reduce any possible downtime for your customers.
Marathon’s consultancy team have over 24 years of experience of migration projects, with engineers in-house specialising in the latest Windows 10 migration.
To find out how Marathon Professional Services could assist you and your customers with Windows 10 Migrations, give us a call on 020 8329 1000 today.