Don't get me wrong; I don't hate Microsoft, but I do not think their software is in the best interest of freemium, innovation, and cost. I have a few different providers superior to the giant Google and Microsoft Collaboration software, and I prefer Google over Microsoft. Managed services seem to have been sold, "it's the only way." Well, I am here to tell you, it's not.
If we were to redesign a dealership, you must first understand how you are communicating. A telephone, website, and email are givens. No dealership can survive without presenting a channel to customers and vendors. Larger dealerships take it a step further by adding vendors to increase the quality of these three. Marketing budgets go into your website. Building budgets go into telephones, and you hire a service to manage your POP3 and SMTP email.
So when did we need thousands a year to manage your computer password when you turn it on? At what point do we get convinced Microsoft is secure and then spend thousands more from 3rd parties to secure the software? It's simple; we were sold.
If we were to redo the dealership, what would we do? Would we subscribe to the latest fortune 500 build, or would we sit down and think about it. I respect and honor the Mechanics and Technicians for their role in purchasing and choosing their tools. As dealerships evolve, they will become BOYD and hand over cash to the users to select their products. I am sure you are thinking, how would that work? Everyone would have something different. You would have to give up control over what people are doing and what is being done with your data. How does the shop do it? The shop has a set of rules and measurements.
Microsoft is totalitarian with these rules. My computer, my Operating System, my Group Policy, and my licensing requirements. The expense is involved at each step. The device's CPU memory and motherboard are designed around Microsoft Operating System. The operating system is not free. You must purchase a special license to control all operating systems. Finally, they hide the details of running it with classes that cost a fortune and leave you with no guarantee the person will stay when the license is up.
So what do you do? How do you please your employees and provide excellent customer service? How can a dealership or group survive without Microsoft? Let's first look again at your telephone, website, and email. Your telephone is run on Voice Over IP on Linux. Your website is hosted on Linux. Your email service is hosted on Linux. It's only natural your PCs should run on Linux. Everything you run should be in the cloud, accessible by a Website. Each website has a username, password, and MFA, making the computer's username and password irrelevant.
A managed Service Provider or your hired IT company has no interest in your telephone, website, or email unless you pay them. And if any of these functions fail, they will work to restore it, but they cannot reduce the frequency. For them to serve you, you must give up totalitarian control of your telephone, website, and email and pay a premium. Leaving the providers abruptly could destroy your company.
So why do they love Microsoft? You, as a dealer, have to pay for the platform for them to provide a service. Because it's easy to remote in and make changes. Microsoft has a high failure rate (security and patching), justifying their service company fee. On top of that, they want you to use subscription-based collaboration software for - email.
No one loves Microsoft; they tolerate it. Those seeking alternatives like Google, ONLYOFFICE, or Quip are financially savvy and understand the power of Freemium. Locking yourself down to $40 a month per user per month for life and offering an additional $30 a month service to manage the new expense is just bad IT Advice.