Older article that just popped on my radar…
My favorite reason of the reasons to let it die include bullet point 2:
“the ability to cut the cord of dependency on IT consultants (on which many small organizations rely because they don’t have in-house IT staff)”
Have you set up Office 365? Honestly, set it up – not the onmicrosoft.com domain — but with an honest to goodness real domain name? Have you set up clients? Have you set it up so that it fits into their needs of a business solution where the secretary can read and respond to the bosses email? That he gets that email on his computer at home, his iPhone, his iPad. This is not for the faint of heart and it’s still way way way too dns/domain name setup up uber geeky to the point where the average business owner will still need guidance for set up.
Not to mention you still have single points of failure in the form of Internet now that you need to plan on.
It’s still not so easy that a Caveman can do it. If Microsoft’s Office 365 product is going to put IT consultants out of business, they are going to need to make the process of setting up domain/authentication/business processes and workflow a LOT easier. Sure the cloud doesn’t need the normal patching and updating as they do that for you, but there’s a lot more that IT consultants do.
For the record, the reason that there’s a 25 user limit is that essentials does backups of 25 workstations. 75 – at this time – is not supportable.
I’ll give you a reason that the cloud is not for everyone – put forth by Microsoft’s own literature – the issue of jurisdiction. Office 365 cannot guarantee that your data stays within the legal jurisdiction of one country. That is an issue for some small businesses.
Lastly I’ll give you one more concern I have. Vendor ecosystem. The very same thing that Windows phone 7 is fighting is something I’m very concerned about with SBS essentials. Right now I only see HP as the major vendor coming out with an OEM build of it. I’ve not seen Dell come to market with an OEM build. So if SBS essentials is the go to product for small businesses, it going to need to be gotten to a lot easier than it is right now.
I hear people say “Hybrid is the way to go” but man, we gotta get this ecosystem of OEM vendors to step up to the plate (In my opinion) to get this ball rolling more.
My hope is that SBS Essentials decides what it wants to be – better for a DIY put the consultant out of work and be a LOT simplier to use, or listen carefully to what the var/vap partner wants and build it for HIS (or her) needs. Right now it’s a bit stuck in the middle.