Try being a customer…

Yesterday I chatted with a fellow business owner about technology and we talked about the “Happy meal” impact on technology. The business owner goes to get a proposal and instead of of someone listening to their concerns and coming up with a real solution they get a “Happy meal”.  Then you get the religious wars.  Oh, no I’m not talking about the Linux versus Windows, Open source versus Closed source nosireee, I’m talking about the this platform is better than that platform religious wars.  Some are comfortable with SBS, some are not.  Some are comfortable with one firewall, some argue their favorite brand. 


Then some vendors include service, some don’t.  Some include the hidden costs of a solution (data plans for phones) some don’t.  So at the end of the day the business owner has to be a bit on the tech savvy side just to compare solutions and to try to glean enough info from the bid to get an apples to apples comparison.


At right now at this time as well, it’s doubly hard to make a decision, I think.  You have SBS 2003 sounding like a 4 year old product, compared to Exchange 2007 which is the new kid on the block.  So if you are coming in selling a messaging solution saying that Exchange 2007 gives more growth ability, and future voice mail to email integration, suddenly SBS looks a bit tired on the shelf to that business owner.  But at the same time he may not be realizing (okay let’s be fair even needing) that Remote Web Workplace features is lost.   


So maybe Vlad is right and the best of both worlds is SBS and a separate Server to do Exchange 2007, or maybe SBS and hosted Exchange or maybe for a firm that doesn’t need RWW, two servers none of which are SBS.  And one vendor says it’s better to be on the parts as that’s easier to upgrade, and one vendor tells them Vista needs no antivirus.  VPN isn’t always a solution that I’m comfortable with for remote access.


Regardless, I’m just very glad right now I’m not a customer having to make a decision to go from peer to peer to server technology.  It’s a tough time being a customer deciding between the options and bids that the vendors are providing.  Because every var/vap wants to sell you their version of the “Happy meal” and no one is listening to the real needs.  And all they are ending up doing is making it confusing to that decision maker.


And please…. to all those vendors out there making promises to clients that they don’t need antivirus if they run Vista.  Stop that.  Right now.  Stop listening to the marketing mumbo jumbo.  You still need layered protection and to tell a client who’s running an older accounting application and wheezing by on Windows 98 that Vista is the holy grail that doesn’t need antivirus is doing you and Vista a disservice.


Malke’s list of antivirus for 32bit
Dr. J’s list for 64 bit


Unless you run your system and have educated end users like Dr. J and Malke, put something on those boxes.

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