How to Help Clients Say Goodbye to Windows Server 2003

By now, you’ve likely been hearing from all sides that Microsoft’s Windows Sever 2003 is quickly approaching end of support. On July 14th, 2015, Microsoft will officially discontinue support for Windows Server 2003. While you understand the weight of this shift, your clients might be apt to think they can continue coasting through with Windows Server 2003 in their datacenter. And who can blame them? To them it may seem like a huge undertaking. So, how do you help them recognize how critical July 14th will be for their business?

For starters, put the change in context for them. General Manager of Cloud and Enterprise Group at Microsoft Asia Pacific, Arun Ulagaratchagan, suggests the metaphor of an old elevator. Ulagaratchagan asks, “Would you step into an old but functioning lift that is no longer getting maintenance support from its manufacturer?” Hopefully not, yet some daredevils may even answer yes to this. If all else fails, try asking, “Would you continue to trust your health in the hands of a doctor that got his or her degree over a decade ago and is no longer practicing regularly or fulfilling their ongoing education requirement?” Sure, they may still be able to perform at the bare minimum level but the medical field is quickly advancing, there are strict regulations to adhere to, and your health is a serious and complex matter, not to be taken lightly.

Sticking with Windows Server 2003 after July 14th is no different. Clients who don’t migrate will no longer receive patches, including security updates. To put that into perspective, there were 37 critical updates in 2013 alone! The lack of updates will mean that companies hosting their applications on these servers will put themselves at risk for regulatory noncompliance. Increased risk of industrial espionage and falling out of compliance? That definitely doesn’t sound like much fun.

Nonetheless, it’s important to understand that clients may see migrating to Windows Server 2012 as an uphill battle that’s going to cost them time and money. In response to that, be prepared to help them understand the process and also to sell them on the benefits. While they see the migration as a glass half-empty circumstance, it can really be a glass half-full situation. This is an opportunity for your clients to modernize their IT infrastructures, take advantage of cloud computing with Microsoft Azure, and re-assess the efficiency of some of their outdated applications. Surely, at some point everyone is going to have to make the investment but keeping aging technology afloat past its end of service point will actually cost more in the long run. Your mission right now? Provide the valuable solution your client needs right when they need it most.

Once your clients can grasp that this is an opportunity to extend the health of their business, walk them through The Lenovo Windows Server 2003 End of Support Migration Program. Learn more at: Lenovo Partner Network.