VARs: Microsoft Server 2008 Opportunities Begin In Mid-Market

Windows Server launched Wednesday migration

The move to a 64-bit operating system and the virtualization support in Server 2008 is going to have considerable appeal in the near-term for mid-sized companies, said Bob Longo, director of channel development at Little Rock, Ark.-based ClearPointe Technology.

"We haven't had any advance orders, but we expect a tremendous amount of activity around it in next 12 to 24 months. We expect to leverage virtualization considerably," said Longo, whose company provides managed IT services to 28,000 users at businesses across North America.

"I clearly see more activity from our end in the medium-sized space. The medium-sized space is smart enough to know they need change, but they still need outside help on getting there. At the enterprise level they're going to migrate as well, but they don't need as much external help," he said.

ClearPointe will introduce its plans for Server 2008 and virtualization to customers in April at the company's annual users' group meeting, Longo said.

Sponsored post

InCompass IT of St. Paul, Minn. has already implemented Server 2008 in production, and CEO Tim Lambrecht expects a "pretty good launch."

"We've done a couple of events now on the benefits of 2008, and the response we've been getting is very good," Lambrecht said. He agreed that the first opportunities would lie in larger deployments, but expected some demand from smaller customers over time.

"[Migration] starts to make sense in the three- to five-server range in the coming months. From our point of view, the addition of virtualization in the Windows platform is going to add a lot benefits, even in the SMB market," he said.

For VARs like Fairfax, Va.-based Evolve Technologies, Microsoft SharePoint Server installations remain the bread-and-butter and probably will for some time, said CEO Dave Sobel.

"We focus on the SMB, companies that seat less than 100 users. The majority of my install base is SPS. So Server 2008, congratulations that it's launched and so far it looks good, but I'm still waiting for my product," Sobel said.

Convincing customers with single-server environments to migrate to 64-bit is "going to be difficult," Sobel said, but "when we master that, we're going to make a ton of money."