Laplink Offers VARs PCmover Discounts to Help with Microsoft Windows 7 Migration

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Laplink's channel manager tells Channel Insider that the Geek Squad charges $250 per PC for PC migration services, and that Laplink is offering its PCmover product at a discount that can go as low as $6 a PC to VARs that participate in its newly reintroduced channel partner program.

Lots of technology companies are expecting a big migration this year from Microsoft’s Windows XP to its new operating system introduced in October 2009, Windows 7.

That’s because the market is considered to be bloated with pent-up demand from so many people skipping Windows Vista, the highly criticized operating system in between. Indeed it was so criticized that many businesses and users opted for downgrading their new PCs from Windows Vista to Windows XP.

And those businesses and end users who bought new PCs in the months before Windows 7 was released were promised a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it came out. For those who kept the Vista operating system, that wasn’t a problem, VARs have told Channel Insider.

George Worthington, president of Computer Force in Warminster, Pa., has told Channel Insider that he just gives a disk to users who are upgrading from Vista to Windows 7. But for those moving from XP (who opted for the XP downgrade), data must be backed up, favorites saved and Windows 7 must be installed as new, and then all the data must be loaded onto the new system.

If you explain that process to a user who wants as little work time disrupted as possible, you know the user will delay any kind of upgrade for as long as possible.

But IT solution providers may lean on an old stalwart to help with what might have been a giant headache of a process.

Laplink’s channel manager Brian Schaper says the company’s PCmover flagship product will transfer anything from the old PC to the new PC without the need for manually reinstalling software, transferring files or transferring users. And it’s something the industry seems to be hopping onto again as the great move to a new Windows client operating system is under way.

"Our direct online sales grew over 400 percent in the first month after Windows 7 came out, and sales just continue to grow," Schaper says. Some shops use PCmover to do a mass PC upgrade deployment because of its automated nature, he adds.

"When Windows 7 was released, one of the big issues was that Microsoft doesn’t support the Win XP to Win 7 upgrade path so customers were forced to wipe their drives," he says. "PCmover bypasses that limitation and allows you to migrate."

Laplink reintroduced its channel partner program on Oct. 1 and since then has had about 1,000 non-OEM partners sign up.

"The value-added reseller really finds it interesting because it allows them to increase margins significantly," he says. "Reselling hardware and software—the margins aren’t there anymore. It’s all in services."

The PCmover partner program offers significant discounts of up to 60 percent off for partners. Licenses are sold in 10 and 25 license packs, and the company also offers a site license allowing a company to use PCmover for one year.

Prices to VARs can go down to as low as $6 per PC, while the recommended retail price is $49.95. Schaper notes that the Geek Squad sells the service based on PCmover for $250 per PC.

"It doesn’t take too much time for IT technicians," he says. "Once the transfer starts, they can go off and manage a server or make a sandwich."

The partner program offers the standard fare, including training on the product, marketing collateral and custom e-mails. A starter kit costs $500 and includes 25 licenses, training and tech support, among other features.  

Schaper estimates that 60 to 66 percent of those who are still running XP could be candidates for an OS upgrade.

"We do see a large market for XP to Win 7 migration," he says. "It’s something an IT service provider can offer. It’s a no-brainer."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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