Windows 7: No Rest for This VAR
Don’t tell Stephen Hall there’s no money in Windows 7 deployments. The CEO of District Computers LLC, a Microsoft Gold Partner, says his team is booked solid with Windows 7 deployments every weekend (except holidays) through January 2010. Why is Hall seeing so much demand for Microsoft’s new operating system — even before Windows 7 ships on Oct. 22? Here’s the scoop.
First, a little background. Loyal readers know The VAR Guy’s blogger team runs a mix of Windows XP, Linux and Mac OS X. The VAR Guy himself — likely many readers — lost faith in Microsoft during the Windows Vista fiasco. Fast forward to the present and the early buzz on Windows 7 is positive.
Just ask Hall, who offers these claims over email…
- “Outright, Windows client sales equal cash.”
- “Windows 7 Pro sales open the door for Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 upgrades or new sales, which equal more cash.”
- “Windows 7 Enterprise plus Server 2008 R2 equals lots of cash.”
At first glance, Hall potentially resmbles a traditional reseller who’s overly dependent on PC and operating system sales. But that doesn’t appear to be the case: Hall also is a successful managed services provider running Kaseya (for remote monitoring) and ConnectWise (for business automation) to generate recurring revenue. Smart guy.
But how did Hall get so wrapped up in Windows 7? His company was one of the rare (less than 40) worldwide partners involved in the Windows 7 Ignite Program for small businesses. “We built many of the case studies that VARs will be using to sell Windows 7 to their clients,” he crows.
Hall also elaborated a little about the Microsoft Windows Deployment Tool Kit too:
“From our standpoint, with minimal customization using the MDT, we can roll-out a complete install with Office, Adobe and a few other apps start to finish in less than 20 minutes per system using a gigabit LAN or USB media – that’s sick!”
In addition to including Hall in the Ignite Program, Microsoft invited Hall to speak at a range of conferences — including the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and SMB Nation. More recently, Microsft has developed several case studies highlighting Hall’s Windows 7 and Windows Small Business Server 2008 deployments.
Not bad, considering Windows 7 hasn’t even shipped yet.