Q: Microsoft’s Windows 10 is being released on July 29. What opportunities does this present to my MSP business? How can I use this release to sell my services and connect with my customers?
The announcement that Windows 10 will be the last release of the OS platform brought questions, concerns, hopes, and opportunities for businesses that use Windows products and their IT service providers. Now, after months of discussion, the release is upon us.
Windows 10 stands apart from previous versions for a number of reasons. Microsoft has said that this release will be a free upgrade for some (but not all) of their customers including ongoing beta testers. The OS also includes interesting new features like Hologram technology, Cortana (the equivalent to Apple’s Siri), and new web browser dubbed Edge, to name a few.
But the key update with Windows 10 is that it signals Microsoft’s move to cloud computing. There will no longer be major releases of the product. Instead, smaller, incremental upgrades will be delivered via the cloud.
Recently, we reached out to some of our partners to get their thoughts on the Windows 10 release, and we’re happy to report that the feedback was generally positive. Based on those conversations, here are the top three ways to turn Windows 10 into an opportunity for your MSP business:
Bundle it with other managed services
SMBs moving to Windows 10 will be looking to their IT service providers to help guide them through the transition and manage the upgrades needed on their systems. At a high-level, there’s an opportunity for you to leverage your business as an expert in this arena, relieving small business owners from having to manage them alone.
It also gives you a chance to bundle Windows 10 with other managed services SMBs need, which will help you generate more recurring revenue. Perform a needs assessment to find out what kinds of support they can benefit from. These conversations can lead to all kinds of opportunities and help you build strategic relationships with your customers.
For example, as you transition a customer to the new OS platform, you might find that their systems need stronger security measures in place. This discovery may prompt you to offer them more up-to-date anti-virus software, along with onsite installation services, and ongoing managed services to make sure everything gets updated regularly.
Migrating off legacy programs
There’s a good chance small business customers are still running a few legacy programs on their operating systems. As you begin moving them to Windows 10, you’ll uncover programs like this and can start conversations about switching to more current programs that will be more efficient and more compatible with Windows 10.
You can reassure customers that these business functions will operate much better running on an updated operating system. This is another example of how you can use Windows 10 management and migration as an opportunity to introduce additional services.
Moving to the cloud
The key to Windows 10 is that ongoing updates will be delivered via the cloud. Once you get a customer comfortable with Windows 10, it will be easier to transition them to other cloud-based solutions you offer. For customers who’ve been reluctant to move to the cloud, this release opens the door for a stress-free conversation about the possibilities.
As you’re managing the transition to cloud-based Windows 10, there’s also an opportunity to sell cloud backup as a vital part of the upgrade process. If an update is deployed on a system that’s not assessed beforehand, issues that could arise result in corrupt or lost data. So it’s important for customers to back up their data offsite before you begin upgrading their systems.
The Windows 10 release spells opportunity for IT service providers. Whether you use the release to upsell your customers to the next level of service, teach them about cloud computing, move them off legacy programs, or even just to begin the conversation about protecting their data, there’s more than one way to leverage this new OS platform to your benefit.
Ask an MSP Expert is a weekly advice column answering common questions from MSPs and IT service providers. It covers topics ranging from pricing and selling to marketing and communications—and everything in between.