Sophiane D.
December 10, 2019

Package vs pick ‘n’ mix: choosing the right Windows 10 upgrade path

There are a lot of things happening in 2020 – the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 for sports fans, the US presidential election for the politically-minded. So, spare a thought for a big event which might be going under the radar for some people: the end of support for Windows 7.

Sure, it’s not as massive as an international sports event or a historic election. But the implications are still very significant for companies who don’t transition away from Windows 7 before the 14th January.

We’ve been very vocal in recent months about Windows 10 and the benefits for businesses. But I’m still fielding questions from a lot of partners about the upgrade paths available on CSP and which path would be the best for their customers. So it’s time to set the record straight, while there’s still time to act.

Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward and Westcoast Cloud can help you with your challenges. In this blog I’ll explain some of the benefits of upgrading to Windows 10 through CSP, and what the different options are, so that you can be both clear and concise with your customers.

To CSP or not to CSP

The major advantage of upgrading via CSP is that the licenses are offered on a subscription basis rather than perpetually. This means the cost is spread out over a longer period of time for customers, with less capital investment required upfront. The monthly subscription also ensures that all employees have the latest version of the software, with patches and updates automatically rolled out on a regular basis.

What’s more, subscription licenses are aligned to users rather than devices, which is very suited to remote working. Employees can log in on any Window 10 compatible device to access the operating system. Licenses can be easily transferred to new employees if people leave your business, and you shouldn’t find yourself over-licensed ever again if this is managed properly.

All in all, it’s a much more flexible licensing module for your customers – there are very few reasons as to why they should stay on the perpetual licensing path. And, as I’ll share below, it’s also a pretty sweet deal for resellers too.

Top tips for customers

It’s worth pointing out that you can’t really cheat the system by upgrading to Windows 10 via CSP and then cancelling the subscription. In that case, the operating system would simply revert back to whatever operating system was being used before, or the device default.

Your customers also need to be using Windows 7 Pro as a minimum to upgrade to Windows 10 through CSP. If they’re using a home variant of Windows OS, they’ll need to get onto Pro first.

Package vs Pick ‘n’ Mix

In upgrading to Windows 10 via CSP, you have two choices – either a Microsoft 365 package, or the Windows 10 upgrade SKU. The Microsoft 365 package offers include Windows 10, the Microsoft Office Suite, and Enterprise Mobility + Security, whilst the Windows 10 upgrade SKU is just the operating system on its own.

From our perspective here at Westcoast Cloud, the Microsoft 365 packages present a better value deal, both for partners and their customers. While some clients may consider buying Windows 10 in isolation via the upgrade SKU, they won’t get the added benefit of the excellent Microsoft security features available on the EM+S suite unless they already have them. If they decide to invest in the security features at a later date, they could end up paying more in total. For partners, the package is easier to manage and set up, and it also offers a better source of recurring revenue – it can also open up more cross-sell opportunities for further Microsoft solutions too.

So that’s your quick run-through of the Windows 10 upgrade paths open to you and your customers on CSP. You don’t need to go it alone though if you’re still getting to grips with the options; if you’re a Westcoast Cloud partner, feel free to get in touch with me and the team and we can answer any questions you have. We’re here to help.