SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Guest Blog: Avoiding the Darker Context behind the Phrase "End of Life"

Laura-Shafer  headshot -100x100By Laura Shafer, Director of Product Marketing, StorageCraft

There are few terms that stop people cold quite as much as the phrase End of Life. No matter what the context, the subject is very ominous. Even in most discussions that I have about software end of life here at StorageCraft, the subject brings on some squeamishness and a lot of squirming. We even give it an acronym—E.O.L.—to make sure we don’t have to think about its darker context.

When it comes to software and hardware end of life, this is partly because no one likes to limit the way we do things. We set up systems a certain way because it made sense at the time. It was either easier to do, or it helped us accomplish what we wanted to do.

Let’s be honest though, the overwhelming reason why we don’t like to think about technology end of life is because we absolutely hate change. Even the most technologically savvy people—the early adopters, the true geeks among us—don’t want to change something that they really like. Which is why you’ll find fanboys in the Windows camp and the Mac camp and the Linux camp. Even the latest and greatest tech from another camp won’t woo those folks across enemy lines.

As technology pros, you can view end of life in another way though. It’s not just about forcing change on the unwilling. It’s an opportunity for you to guide the unwilling safely through change and give them a better option in the end.

The best example of this is Microsoft’s decision to end of life Windows Small Business Server (SBS). You may be in the group that cannot understand why Microsoft would end of life SBS. There is still a large market for servers specifically for small businesses. And small businesses vastly outnumber medium and large enterprises combined. This country and most countries in the world, depend on small business to fuel their economies. So why did Microsoft end of life SBS? The answer is virtualization and cloud computing.

Virtualization allows for the portability of systems and data, and it allows you to move your customers to the cloud more easily. That’s why you should look at this as a great opportunity for you. Not only are you able to take your customers by the hand and walk them through the difficult process of changing their technology, but you also get to get them on the up-to-date technology train, which is exactly where you want them to be. They’ll be happy that you’re their go-to guru for all things tech and that you’re able to patiently guide them into the 21st century without too much upheaval. Plus they get to tell all of their other small-business-owner friends how you’ve helped them say goodbye to their outdated hardware and software and made their business hum by ushering in new technology. You also get to show them how they can manage their business remotely and even do more business by adopting cloud computing practices and leading-edge products.

Which leads me to what we really love to talk about in the technology world: new product releases. But that will have to be a different blog post.

Laura Shafer is Director of Product Marketing at StorageCraft. While she has more than 15 years of experience working in IT, she is just as adept at a pottery wheel. If you play your cards right, she might give you a handmade mug.

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Monday, 23 October 2017