Top 10 systems tips for solution providers from 2008

Read the top 10 systems tips as chosen by our solution provider readers, covering topics such as Software as a Service, SharePoint and Windows Vista.

We've sorted through the numbers to compile a list of our most popular systems tips of 2008. Find out what was hot this year for systems integrators and expand your knowledge on topics such as Software as a Service (SaaS), SharePoint, failover clustering, Windows Vista and more. For more great tips for systems solution providers, check out our full tips collection.

TIP #1------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Selling SaaS: How and why providers need to change their thinking
Software as a Service (SaaS) is dramatically changing the software distribution landscape. And while it won't render service providers obsolete, it will require some operational changes and a different approach to selling software within many application categories. Find out what changes will be needed and how to survive the shift to SaaS.

TIP #2------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cost comparison: Virtual vs. Vista desktop management
The rise of virtualization is changing the desktop upgrade equation. Until recently, almost all shops went straight to a Windows upgrade when client PC operating systems reached end of life. Now, desktop management efficiencies are swaying the pendulum in virtualization's direction. Find out how the numbers break down in this cost comparison.

TIP #3------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SharePoint implementation best practices
Any SharePoint implementation requires careful planning, with proper attention to infrastructure issues, the discovery stage and topology planning. Learn best practices to deliver an efficient portal that suits your customer's needs.

TIP #4------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Failover clustering, network load balancing drive high availability
Windows shops with mission-critical servers and applications can use Windows Server 2008's failover clustering and network load balancing features to ensure high availability.

TIP #5------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Upgrading to Windows Server 2008
Upgrading to Windows Server 2008 will require hardware refreshes at many customer sites. Even with hardware that's already capable of running Server 2008, configuration and testing are on the list of chores. Service providers can ease the burden on customers by bundling hardware upgrades and system testing into a support package built around Windows Server 2008.

TIP #6------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Software as a Service market gives rise to new software sales decision maker
VARs involved in software sales will need to change their tactics as Software as a Service takes hold of the market and a new decision maker emerges. Find out how to adjust your strategy to stay ahead of the competition.

TIP #7------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Top three system monitoring tools
Choosing a system monitoring tool to recommend to your customers is complex, made more so by the number of products on the market. To help speed up the selection process, we chose the top three products for you to consider.

TIP #8------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Top three systems technology certifications
The number of technology certifications is increasing, from vendor-backed to vendor-neutral certs. Find out which three are key to your business as a systems service provider.

TIP #9------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Changing virtualization services in wake of VMware Server ESX 3i
The server virtualization services market is about to change. VMware Server ESX 3i is an embedded solution that customers can configure on their own. Service providers need to take note and begin to change their server virtualization offerings.

TIP #10----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

iPhone Exchange ActiveSync makes iPhone viable for businesses
Apple's support for Exchange ActiveSync on the iPhone will improve the viability of the device for business users. Find out how iPhone 2.0 will measure up against BlackBerry and Palm.

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