Small businesses succeed by embracing modern technology – The Fire Hose – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:

“It used to be that in order to have the most advanced technology, small businesses would have to invest in the same expensive hardware as large companies,” Bates says. “It was cost-prohibitive. Now with cloud technology, small businesses pay for cloud-based versions of those same enterprise-level capabilities based on what they use, making it incredibly affordable.”

That sentence kinda annoyed me (as you can tell in what I’m about to write).

Once upon a time, Cindy, there was this product called Small business Server.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it?  It provided a very affordable way, on affordable computer hardware to get the same technology as the Enterprise folks.  Quite frankly Cindy, It’s more cost prohibitive now for me and my firm, not less, to keep up to date with Microsoft technology these days.  For some smaller shops, sure cloud email is the way to go and is certainly cheaper than buying a server to host email on site, but for others, like me, changing over to a monthly cash outlay isn’t the answer and isn’t what we what we want to do.  To recreate the level of technology I currently have (and enjoy) with your currently line up of products actually costs me more with Server licenses, Server cals, RDS cals that I now need for remote access in addition to the cloud services I would need.  We’re not (yet anyway) in an all cloud world where I can just pay a monthly fee.  I need both servers on site as well as cloud services, so I end up paying more for the same level of services, not less. 

Windows 8 tablet devices are more expensive than their Android (and in some cases) Apple counterparts, and Windows 8 tablets still have a very steep learning curve and impact productiviity (even if you do purchase the Surface 2 pros and get the Start8 menu bar).  So upgrading to Windows 8 costs more at this time as well.

I’m not saying that people should at a mimimum ensure that Windows XP devices are not used in client facing/Internet facing deployments and are only used in situations where there’s a key line of business device that has no other/or little other options, but  I’m not buying the line that cloud technology somehow makes enterprise level capabilities affordable.  Cloud technologies is how you want to support small businesses.  You don’t want to build email to fit in a small firm deployment footprint anymore.  I get that subscription models fit in your business and financial roadmaps.  But I’ve been a small business for a long time, long enough to have been here when Microsoft first brought affordable technology TO small business .  Cloud technology isn’t new.  I’ve used it 25 years ago.  It’s just the way you guys want to offer up your software to this space these days, that’s all.

Bottom line Cindy, none of this is new.  And it’s not incredibly afforable.  At least not to me who’s been around the space for a long time.   It’s just how you are packaging up your solutions these days. 

Pick the solutions that you need to do based on your business needs.  These days, it’s a mixture of devices and solutions. 


6 Responses to Small businesses succeed by embracing modern technology

  1. Jerry Robertson says:

    Well put Susan!!

  2. John Stutsman says:

    Thank you for speaking up Susan!!

  3. JD says:

    It’s not the cost of on-site hardware that makes the cloud seem affordable. Hardware has actually has gotten cheaper. It’s the software that has remained expensive, with complicated licensing, that places it out of reach.

  4. Lyle Epstein says:

    I sure wish Microsoft would listen to their customers, and also their partners. Susan, you are right on the money once again!

  5. Tony Baulch says:

    Just completing an SBS2011 install now on a site with really slow ADSL – the cloud isn’t the answer here

  6. I totally agree Susan. Microsoft dropped the ball *big time* regarding decently priced onsite solutions – Small Business Server was an ideal package for a great many small businesses and is still a better solution than Essentials + Cloud Email for almost as many small businesses.

    As was pointed out by JD above, the cost of hardware has been decreasing quite nicely over time, however the cost of Microsoft’s software has been increasing – to the point where they are trying to force the world into a Microsoft Subscription mindset by elevating the full product prices to ridiculous levels. Especially for small business.

    Microsoft is not doing themselves any favors here. Pissing off your client and channel partner base by cranking up prices and forcing changes that are really unnecessary is not a good business model.