Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are you Ready?

Live and in living color (Microsoft orange), the new EBS Jumpstart site has been brought to life and is now ready to help begin preparing you for the pending release of Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server 2008. That is a mouthful for sure. Here is the URL:

This interactive site has been designed to help partners evaluate where they are in relationship to the needed skill sets required to be successful selling EBS into the mid market. It deals with issues related to technical, sales and marketing and also addresses the real issue - that of ownership. At the end of the day, a decision to add something new to a company's product offering is no small decision. It takes time and energy to learn, train, market and sell anything. So this site is designed to help you count those costs up front, before you jump in and decide you may not be quite ready. It will help you see if there are any areas you need to get up to speed on - areas you may have to make some investments.

There are things about EBS that some won't like. No different than anything else in life. If we surveyed your spouse or kids, they may even know some things about you they don't like. So it isn't a perfect solution. It has some warts and will require a change in thinking for some. But it is worth a close look. It has enough good qualities and opportunities to really be something you should consider seriously and evaluate fairly. I know in my case, if I focus on the things I might have done differently, I can certainly convince myself to push it aside and just determine before even really digging in I don't like it. But that would be a mistake. And just like relationships where I make initial determinations about people only to find out what I thought was true on the surface is not when I dig in a ways - that same experience will likely be true about EBS if you take a little time to learn about it.

My challenge to you is to invest some time - which none of us have - to learn about EBS and give it a fair shake. Business decisions and company leadership depend on those who run the place doing due diligence around opportunities. This is one investment you need to make. You may determine it is not a fit for your company. That result is fine as long as it really results from making a decison based on facts, not on reaction to what "seems to be". When I look at this product and consider how it fits with our HP blade strategy and the needs of our mid market clients, and even some of our smaller clients, EBS has a place in our practice. It isn't exactly how I would have designed it, but then again, had I built it there would likely have been more pressing issues like getting it to work at that is why I am not a software architect or a developer and I leave that to the professionals. My expertise is applying technology to the business pains and needs of SMB clients. EBS fits in my toolbelt to do exactly that.

Take some time and do an evaluation of how this product might fit your client needs. The EBS Jumpstart is an attempt to help with that process. Not all the answers will be "you must go build an EBS practice". It gives you an honest response based on things that need to be in place to succeed. That is what we all want - to succeed in serving our clients and meeting their needs while removing their pain. And of course make a few bucks along the way. EBS can do that for many of us. I hope you don't miss that opportunity for your clients!

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