“Everyone, it’s time to buy something new.” (And I wish we could do so in a way that makes clients actually appreciate the heads-up.)
A few days ago, Microsoft announced that, after Jan. 14, 2020, it will no longer provide security upgrades or support for PCs that run Windows 7. To maintain support, upgrades to Windows 10 are necessary.
Right now, it’s estimated that 40% of all workstations still run Windows 7. There will now be a huge push to upgrade the software not due to performance, but instead due to heightened security concerns. As you know, this creates a need for corresponding hardware upgrades. It’s too risky in terms of cyber vulnerabilities not to upgrade.
Here’s what this means for you …
- The good news: You have a great opportunity to perform system upgrades for customers, which offers a good segue into XaaS conversations.
- The (slightly) bad news: Many of you have to upgrade your own servers and workstations as well.
Many of the systems you have under managed service contracts will now require an upgrade.
A classic example is digital signage. Many of the most popular systems, including content development software and media players, were built on a Windows 7 platform. Nearly all access control software is based on Windows 7; so are cloud-based videoconferencing systems, codecs, etc. Windows 7 is still used on most Windows Server 2012 systems because Windows 8 didn’t go over as planned. A jump to Windows Server 16 will be needed, which will create the need for firmware upgrades in many endpoints used today: nurse call systems, RTLS, fire alarm systems, access control systems, etc.
If all of these systems are covered under a service contract that includes vague language about end-of-life or obsolete products – and a client expects you to do those upgrades under the current agreement as a result – you’re in trouble.
If you have agreements that auto-renew, it’s crucial to keep this in mind. If possible, in the future, use the agreement templates found in NSCA’s Essentials Online Library, which indicate that operating systems are no longer supported.
In most traditional situations, we would be scared to death to tell a client that the system we installed now needs to be replaced. But now that we play by new rules, we need to be bold enough to follow the same path that Microsoft did when security issues are concerned.
You may also want to check out the free “Calculate Your Opportunity” calculator, offered by NSCA Business Accelerator GreatAmerica. It will help you determine how much Windows 7 opportunity sits within your current customer base. –Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director