Someone asked me … if a vendor shouldn’t be able to have a compelling reason to get you to upgrade.  I mean let’s face it…. vendors don’t want you to be satisfied..they want you to want more.  To think you need more.  So they are going to want to stick a carrot out there to make you upgrade.

So here’s where my geek view meets my beancounter view…..

Geek views….

Read both Wayne’s blog and Nick’s blog….they have the view (and rightly so) that line of business applications are deadly slow in updating.  That you don’t rip out the working SQL database with a new one until the line of business vendor signs off…and they normally take like a service pack or two before they feel confortable updating.  Add on top of that that recoding and testing is like …. oh… slow as molasses….. like watching grass grow… or any other trite statements about how you don’t do this easily.  They also have a view that SBSers should be able to compartmentalize SBS and allow not only for additional CAL rights for the SQL 2000, but downgrade just the SQL part back to the SQL 2000 from the SQL 2005 workgroup.

Beancounter views….

A vendor needs a carrot.  They need something to get you to upgrade.  Yeah it’s a bit sucky on this…but hey…that’s business.  SBS has always been from day one a “bundle” and Microsoft has never allowed a person to “just” upgrade a part of the software’s an all or nothing.  So if you want those additional Exchange cal rights or those additional SQL 2005 workgroup cal rights?  You’ll need to eat the carrot and upgrade.  And you’ll have to upgrade to SQL 2005 workgroup and not get downgrade rights to SQL 2000.  You need SQL 2000 because of your sucky line of business app  is waiting for service pack 3 before he or she even begins looking at SQL 2005 workgroup?  Sorry you’ll have to stay back on SQL 2000. You’ll have to order the SBS 2003 sp1 sku.

So what do you think?    … yeah there will be a need for SBS 2003 SP1 in the channel for a long time as those line of business apps are slow….but if you want R2… as a business owner I think it’s fair to ask you to eat the carrot.  As a geek… yeah I know that those applications won’t be ready for SQL 2005 workgroup for a long…long time.

But the business side of me thinks that the vendor should be consistent in how it’s bundled the software in the past… and allowed their carrots….

So what do you think?

 and on a wacko note…you gotta check out this “Mr. Carrot head” site…yes there’s an online carrot musuem.


4 Responses to A compelling upgrade story – aka the carrot

  1. Amy says:

    Microsoft should stay the course and not mess around with SBS licensing at all. Nor should they take things out, dumb down what’s in it or add additional software to it. They’ve got a good formula and should stick with it.

  2. Alun Jones says:

    The eternal problem – how to persuade people to upgrade. If you can’t persuade people to install a patch – to fix a known bug that others are using to invade machines – how do you persuade them to install a whole new version of the OS?

  3. Fred Pullen says:

    Amy, we’ve made one licensing change in SBS R2 which I think is pretty useful. In the past, if you added a member server to run Exchange or SQL Server, you had to add Exchange or SQL CALs. The new SBS R2 licensing means that with your standard SBS CAL you now can run Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition and/or SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition on another server, and you don’t have to add additional CALs. This makes sense to me, because it allows companies room to grow. Otherwise, yes, I agree with you–Microsoft has a great solution with SBS! We’re just trying to make it better.

  4. Susan,

    I want to be clear 🙂 I have no issue with the Carrot method of getting me to upgrade with the great CAL improvement.

    I simply do not want to be forced to go through the LOB application hell to move to SQL2005 “just because Microsoft want me to”.

    Microsoft *still* do not understand that a small business operates differently than a large business. (Even though we and others have tried hard to explain).

    “Joe Bloggs Garage” cares about being able to add other servers without having to purchase more CAL’s but does NOT care to upgrade to a new database and therefore pay his LOB application vendor a TON of money to upgrade to a new database.

    Most small companies run something that uses MSDE or SQL2000. By not having the option to allow downgrade rights Microsoft are stopping these small businesses from having SBS R2 as an option, even on new servers, which is crazy…

    I would mention SA here… but that is simply a rip off 🙂

    I could go on…. but I wont 🙂