Microsoft Says New Server Family `Essential` for Midmarket

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print

Microsoft says its new Essential Server family, targeted for small and midmarket businesses, will help customers drive recurring revenue. 

Microsoft has unveiled details of its Essential Server family of products, including Essential Business Server targeted specifically for the midmarket, which it says will help partners earn recurring revenue through services and spur customer upgrades.

The Essential Server Family, based on Windows Server 2008 Standard, includes Microsoft Small Business Server ( SBS) 2008 and Microsoft Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008, which is targeted at the midmarket, said Steven VanRoekel, Microsoft's senior director of Windows Server Solutions Group.

The new product family includes enhanced remote monitoring and management tools to help partners move away from a strictly break/fix service, VanRoekel said. The new family will encourage recurring revenue, since partners will be able to wrap monitoring, management and integration services around the Essential Server family hardware and software, he added. 

"We know partners' business models are evolving to focus on recurring value and revenue through managed services, remote monitoring and a full complement of services," VanRoekel said, adding that Microsoft worked hard to improve those capabilities in the new product family.

VanRoekel said 90 percent of Microsoft's SMB business is driven by partners, and the new products' increased functionality will spur partners to upgrade their customers to the new server products.

The Essential Business Server is targeted at midmarket companies with limited IT staff and resources, he said. The product was developed based on customer and Microsoft partner feedback and addresses a number of partner and customer concerns, including virtualization, redundancy, scalability and pricing, VanRoekel said. 

"Before, a partner could either sell SBS or sell stand-alone enterprise products," he said, which meant customers either ended up stretching small-business technology to try to meet midmarket needs or were forced to try to strip down large-enterprise technology to their midmarket business. "Neither way was productive or cost-effective," said VanRoekel. 

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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