Replacing Your 2003 Server? Find a Managed Services Provider


March 6, 2015


If you have one of the estimated 12 to 20 million servers running Windows Server 2003, you are likely aware the version is quickly approaching end of life (EOL) this July.  You are probably hunting for an IT service provider to help you manage a new server project.

A lot of time, effort and money go into finding an IT provider to manage a server replacement project. Instead of looking for an IT service provider to solve this one project, we advise you take this opportunity to find a managed services provider (MSP).

Find a MSP First

When researching IT providers for one-time projects, businesses typically focus on two questions:

  1. Can the provider execute the project by the deadline?
  2. Can the provider execute the project within budget?

These questions completely ignore the most essential issue: can this provider implement the best solution for your business? If you’re just looking for a one-off server project provider the answer is no.

To illustrate, we once had a prospect who was looking for an IT service provider to manage a server project. Naturally, we advised them to look for an MSP first, even if it wasn’t us. Fortunately, they selected us. After the first month of service we had a completely different understanding of their business, and the server project looked very different than we originally would have recommended.

Even though the EOL deadline is approaching fast, there is still enough time to find an MSP, allow them to onboard your business and learn about it, then execute the server replacement project. What an MSP learns after onboarding and providing a month of service can dramatically change the project and impact your satisfaction during the life of your next server.

If You Just Need This One Server Replacement Project

Recurring IT projects are inevitable for any business. Taking the appropriate time to predict, budget and manage a project will minimize disruption. Case and point, businesses without an MSP have four months to replace their Windows 2003 server, which isn’t an impossible deadline, but it’s not the least disruptive.

Furthermore, any business with five users and a server should look into an MSP. There are numerous benefits outside of high-quality project management. In fact, businesses not utilizing an MSP are likely incurring greater costs.

If You Have a Provider, But Are Shopping Around For This Server Project

Kudos. Evaluating your current vendors from time to time is always a good idea. However, if you’re shopping around we recommend it be for the right reasons.

If you’re happy with your provider but not crazy about the price of their server project, most likely we will advise you to pay more and stay with them. They understand your business and are most qualified to manage the project, so they will do the best job. If their proposal is substantially more than other providers there is probably a really good reason and other providers don’t know what to account for. Ask them about it.

Naturally, if you’re not satisfied with your provider overall, we advise you to look for a new one. We just recommend you look for a new MSP as opposed to a project provider.

If you need any assistance with your Windows 2003 server replacement, contact us.

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Lori-Mankin1 Lori Mankin, Marketing Coordinator

Our goal for this blog is to answer the questions you ask. If you have any questions about server replacement or any other topic please email me at To learn more about IT subscribe to our blog.



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