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Old 05-12-2003, 03:30 PM   #1
vous
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How to sell Linux solutions to a long-time Windows-based customer.


Hello All,

I am trying to put down together a series of points/arguments in order to pitch Linux based solutions to customers that have been Windows based for a long time.

Take into account that when you make a sales pitch, you encounter both the commercial guys and the "techies"...by this I try to say that any point/argument in either side of the field would be welcome.


For the commercial guys...

The licensing issue apparently is everwhere to be seen and even though it is an extremely important one, for many companies, this isn't enough. They are thinking of issues such as: re-training their administrative staff, re-training their IT department, would we need new hardware...?


And for the techies...

Security. Yes, but what about simply using Linux as firewall and keeping the "real stuff" in the software they have been using for for years....:Windows.

Clusters, robustness, migrations (from Windows to Linux), support, etc.

So there you go, some points for starters....what would you suggest in response?
 
Old 05-12-2003, 03:32 PM   #2
markus1982
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You could do performance comparisons and tuning support. You could also mention about problems that arise that will acutally be solved by the community rather than being ignored by giants like M$.

Of course you could compare prices for everything ...
 
Old 05-12-2003, 03:58 PM   #3
vous
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Quote:
You could also mention about problems that arise that will acutally be solved by the community rather than being ignored by giants like M$.
In this point I couldn't agree with you more...BUT, be it as it may, Customers, and especially BIG ones, want to know that they can call a 24/7 support line and that sort of thing.

Have you perhaps had experience in this sort of linux-support scenario, probably in-house, from externals, or from SuSE or RedHat themselves...?

Last edited by vous; 05-12-2003 at 03:59 PM.
 
Old 05-12-2003, 04:50 PM   #4
cli_man
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I don't know what apps you are going to be using, but I have not gotten much from microsoft when I want support from them, they charge you for every little thing. If you know what distro you are going to be using (redhat or such) you can buy yearly support, that gives you the support and you don't have to worry about licencing. Also depending on what progs you are using you can get support from them for the apps they make.

If you get the argument that you will be paying eather way if you buy support from redhat or buy licencing from microsoft you can mention the fact that upgrades are free and there is no licence restrictions to x number of clients.

Also as it was said above, bugfixes are made much faster. Where with microsoft if they make any major bugfixes they pack it as a new os and make you buy it.
 
Old 05-12-2003, 09:14 PM   #5
arnold
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i think there are 3 issues:
1. applications
2 applications
3. applications

if your "customers that have been Windows based for a long time.",
you had best establish that their applications will continue to seamlessly run on Linux (which I doubt).

There are linux application almost workalikes - i am sure a few of your customers use Netscape(2 out of 50?). The Linux Windoze emulators which actually work (vmware and win4lin) co$t and I am not sure of their application coverage.
 
Old 05-13-2003, 04:03 AM   #6
vous
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Quote:
....you can mention the fact that upgrades are free and there is no licence restrictions to x number of clients.
In reference to this...How does this really work? A company can purchase SuSE or Red Hat (for example), and then simply install it in 200 workstations and when the new versions come along you just upgrade for free and when the new version comes you just upgrade for free and so on? Thus, if you buy one license, you can run that unlimitedly (in as many workstations as you please) and upgrade from here to eternity? Is this correct?
 
Old 05-13-2003, 09:14 AM   #7
cli_man
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That depends, if you use the free version you can download off the web you never have to buy the first licence and you can go and install it on 2000 machines if you like. Then you can just buy the support, I have never bought the commercial versions of linux so I don't know about there licencing.
 
Old 05-13-2003, 11:22 AM   #8
awdoyle
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This link to a LinuxWorld article might prove helpful:
A strategic comparison of Windows vs. Unix

Andrew
 
Old 05-13-2003, 12:13 PM   #9
vous
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Quote:
think there are 3 issues:
1. applications
2 applications
3. applications

if your "customers that have been Windows based for a long time.",
you had best establish that their applications will continue to seamlessly run on Linux (which I doubt).
In response to the comment above....BIG ISSUE!


Do any of you use OpenOffice.org in your office environments? Have you had any experience with companies that have moved completely from MSOffice to OpenOffice.org AND that have no angry faces...
 
Old 05-13-2003, 05:12 PM   #10
aigartua
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I work in a Company with 600 employees, a love Linux, why? for the support (in internet), perfomance, a lot of excellents deamons, etc. 2 year ago we change ms office to staroffice and now to openoffice, at first nobody want to change to staroffice, but we unistalled ms office , at this moment everybodu use staroffice or openoffice, and the new ones too.

ServerS that we use supported by Linux: FTP, APACHE, SQUID, ISERVERD, QMAIL, SAMBA, ROUTERS, AND ROUTING FOR MULTIPLES PROVIDERS

i hope this help
 
Old 05-21-2003, 05:29 PM   #11
RolledOat
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I converted everyone in my department from MS office to openoffice once they realized the publishing capabilities into automatic web sites for presentations. We still interface with the outside world which is pure MS and no complaints so far. About the only thing they hate is that it takes a while to load. They are an incredibly technical group though and all are very comfortable with Solaris. Getting OpenOffice means they never have to touch Windows anymore, for which they are grateful.

For this thread, the BEST thing you can do, personally, is to have an example of virtually all tasks that most offices use today. Examples.

1) OpenOffice OR Codeweavers running Office on Linux
2) Evolution, Mozilla, etc
3) PDA programs
4) Time management, project management software
5) Central mail access.
6) CD Burners
7) Network Maintenance
8) GPS software, etc
etc

If you really look at how any person uses a computer, it is going to come down to 3-4 primary tasks. If you have the answer to each of
them without hesitation, makes things a lot easier. Not only that,
have demo disks with the Windows versions of
Mozilla, OpenOffice, etc ready to hand out for them to pre-try. Since the app itself is what is needed, regardless of OS, you won't
set them up for disapointment if it doesn't do all they want, and if it does, they can start the transition before Linux is installed.

Data point: My wife. Complete computer illiterate. Just want what works. Set her up with an account on my machine, she just played for a few months, then couldn't stand windows, she now uses Linux and still has no clue how a computer does what it does.

RO
 
Old 05-21-2003, 05:38 PM   #12
TheFishingGeek
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Bring a Knoppix CD with ya. There's a lot of software on there that should demo up pretty nice, and it's only marginally slower than if it was run off of a hard disk, which can be usually easily explained.
 
Old 05-22-2003, 05:39 AM   #13
fotoguy
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Knoppix is a good choice, all you could ever need on a bootable cd-rom,no need to touch the already installed operating system. When they see the versatility of linux you may have already won half the battle
 
Old 05-22-2003, 07:35 AM   #14
JZL240I-U
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I don't see why you have to go for absolutes. I mean, if your customer(s) use special applications on a few Windows machines, so what? Let them carry on in peace. Normal tasks is, what you should aim for (office in the sense of writing standard correspondence, CD-burning, whatever Linux does well).

Then Linux will take care of itself.
 
  


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