Last Christmas was my daughter's first and there were so many presents.
She was sitting on the ground with me amid a pile of shapes wrapped in bright primary colours. None of it was lost on her, full of laughter and lots of slapping my arms and face, as she could not think of any other way to express her excitement.
During that seemingly endless morning, all my cynical feelings about carols, badly-written cartoons and ill-fitting fur hats with bobbles on them, disappeared.
Now, based on blogs, conversations and generally negatively tilting articles, I would like to ask you to join me in putting cynicism aside and prepare for a love fest.
I spent three days working with Microsoft on its My Biz Expo stand in mid-October. The event was focused on introducing small business to the Office 365 platform, outlining the capabilities around Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Dynamics CRM.
Microsoft offered free trials, engaged in conversations with potential customers about migration from outdated services or unsatisfactory competitive offerings. While the event generated leads, it was the primary colours of Windows 8 that brought the people in. There were a myriad of desktops, touch screen laptops, and of course tablets, available, and the audience was hungry for it.
Most asked about Microsoft Surface — its availability and price, but almost no conversations about specs. To me the most telling thing I noticed was that most did not know whether their existing hardware provider —Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony or Toshiba, to name a few — were bringing anything to market in the tablet space. This is a trend that has repeated itself in meetings that have followed.
We are at a turning point in technology and this time it’s not just limited to the consumption devices. As resellers we should always be looking at the up sell: introducing the topic of the next generation, determining the early adopters who are willing to absorb the cost of our learning as they are looking for solutions.
This allows us to be ready to deliver by the time the early and late majority are ready to purchase, and you are not left behind. So what kind of conversations can you have with prospects and clients?
For Windows 8, you can talk about information and mobile workers. For Windows Server, the on-premise/cloud hybrid. SQL Server raises business intelligence and data management discussions, while System Centre is about infrastructure and device management.
It is time to "unwrap" the "gifts" and get down to building innovative solutions.
Let’s be honest. New ways of digesting information are well established. Now Microsoft has delivered a whole platform that is built to support this model. If resellers don’t establish themselves as the trusted advisors for this technology, users have clearly proven that they have their own appetite that they will satisfy.
I am sure that very few of you want to give up your margins to even more clients adopting a policy of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Now is the time to partner with hardware manufactures to take back the standard operating environment that now delivers all the flexibility and more control.
Check your calendar, how many more days till Christmas? Now is your opportunity to sow the seeds with your client to consider what they can do to better support their businesses with technology. In four days after it released the Windows 8 upgrade sold four million copies, this figure does not take into account how many new devices have been sold. There is more coming and your customers won’t catch that train if they are not on the right platform.