Are Windows 7 and Exchange 2010 part of your upgrade plans for 2010?
Any kind of software or hardware upgrades remain a tough sell as companies tread water in the Great Recession. But with Microsoft Services, a consulting and enterprise support division of Microsoft, the software giant is going to do its damndest to get you upgraded to its latest products and technologies.
Microsoft Services, which has consultants and technical specialists in 82 countries helping customers plan for and adopt new Microsoft software, is touting four new services for upgrading to Windows 7 and one for upgrading to Exchange 2010.
The suite of services for Windows 7 are meant to cut costs and speed up desktop planning, desktop application testing, desktop image engineering and desktop deployment.
[ For complete coverage on Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system — including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts — see CIO.com’s Windows 7 Bible. ]
For Exchange 2010, there is an Architecture and Design service that includes planning, risk assessment, and (true to its name) architecture and design tools.
The pricing for these service offerings vary depending on a company’s size and IT complexity, although prices typically start in the tens of thousands, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.
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In an interview on Microsoft’s Web site, Microsoft Services CTO Norm Judah stresses that application compatibility with Windows 7 and general cost savings are on the minds of IT managers looking to do upgrades.
As an example, Judah mentions a petrochemical company in Europe that has 1,000 internally developed applications that were incompatible with Windows 7. Microsoft Services’ testing tool discovered that a single library module that had been used in writing all of the apps was causing the incompatibility. By changing the module, the issue was resolved.
For cost cutting, Microsoft Services helped Canadian aerospace company Bombardier upgrade its 15,000 PCs to Windows 7. It expects to save $10 for each PC by implementing Windows 7 security features such as Windows Firewall, BitLocker and BitLocker to Go, improving access to company data with BranchCache, and getting rid of firewall and encryption software it was licensing from third-party vendors.
Microsoft Services’ advantage over other service providers, says Judah, is that it works directly with the product development teams that build the technologies that it is helping customers implement.
With Windows 7, Microsoft Services has been working with dozens of early adopters since before the Windows 7 beta was released, and has been passing on tips and best practices to the Microsoft development teams and its hardware and software partners.
Click here for the full interview with Microsoft Services CTO Norm Judah.
Shane O’Neill is a senior writer at CIO.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/smoneill. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter at twitter.com/CIOonline.