But do you really have to migrate your customers’ data on to Windows 2012 R2?
I’m sure you will have heard that Microsoft Windows 2003 is ending its life on 14th July 2015. Amidst the usual security hype, many IT resellers are left wondering what this change really means for their customers.
Do client applications that have been running without fault on Windows Server 2003 really need to be migrated? Should IT vendors be encouraging their customers to move to a Windows 2012 R2 environment?
Whilst the benefits of migrating to a new environment remain compelling and the obvious commercial benefits remain for the reseller, the answer is - no you don’t have to migrate your client’s server. They can stay with their “nice old system” as long as they are aware of the risks of running applications on an out of date operating system.
What are the risks of using Windows Server 2003?
If your customers don’t want to migrate their systems to 2012 R2 then they need to know that there will be consequences because of their decision. After Windows 2003 finishes being supported by Microsoft in July, no further security updates will be offered.
No doubt your customers will want a system that is up to date and fully protected, so you’ll need to make them aware that this will be more difficult if they don’t move onto a newer operating system. As time goes by fewer manufacturers will support software on a Windows 2003 platform, making it tricky for your customers to interact with other IT partners.
Your customers should also be made aware of compliance issues. Customers may be affected by PCI compliance if they can’t demonstrate a fully supported system. Furthermore ISO compliance will also be affected in cases where the company relies on certain systems that reside on operating systems that are unsupported. Financial services companies face additional constraints if they are regulated under the FCA or FSA. As an IT provider, it’s your job to inform your customers of these risks and to put together a plan for keeping their systems up to date and secure.
How can you benefit as a Windows 2012 R2 reseller?
If you help your customers to migrate their systems, you will show them that you’re promoting their best interests by making sure that their systems are up-to-date and fully functional.
In time, this allows you to provide further support and consultancy services to them to help them make the most of their new system, bringing in an increasing financial return for your business.
What can Marathon Professional Services do to help you?
Marathon Professional Services has developed a fast track Windows 2003 discovery package. This helps IT companies with the task of migrating customer servers from Windows 2003 to the latest version. We understand that resellers don’t always have the time or resources to deliver server migration to their customers. The idea of the fast track service is to accelerate the discovery phase getting the customer to a position where they have all the facts needed to make a decision on what they want to do.
It’s your job as a reseller to give your customers an understanding of the costs for different options including the pros and cons. This enables the customer to make a well-informed decision. If they choose to go ahead with a migration to Windows 2012 R2 then you can complete the migration efficiently. If you don’t have the skills or time to do this then Marathon Professional Services acts as an extension of your team to get the job done - using our team of highly experienced engineers.
For more advice about migrating Windows 2003 for your customers, give Marathon Professional Services a call on 020 8329 1000.