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With the fanfare surrounding Microsoft’s big announcement on System Center 2012 earlier in the year, I wanted to share my thoughts in what will be the first installment of a series leading up to this summer’s exciting release.

One of the big things that caught my eye was the revamping of its licensing model (click here for more information). In a nutshell, System Center 2012 will now be sold as one suite, or ‘platform’ if you will, as opposed to 8 separate products. I’ll admit to initially feeling pretty skeptical about this. However, after speaking to members in the System Center community and letting a few thoughts percolate whilst mountain biking in the rain today, I actually think this makes a lot of sense. Crucially, I believe it provides a rather compelling argument to management on the strategic benefits of selecting System Center. Here’s my 2 cents why…

For as long as I have been in IT, one of the biggest complaints I hear from business leaders is that IT people are too technical and make things sound too complicated by not speaking in ‘business terms’. I think being honest, we’re all guilty of this. Even an entire industry has been created to help address and solve these problems but it seems we’re still no further.

With System Center being sold as a platform, I feel it helps alleviate some of these traditional misconceptions as it will force everyone from techies to the sales team to elevate the conversation to strategic IT business decisions and cost benefit rather than a traditional tactical feature / function discussion. Now when talking with IT & Business leaders, the System Center platform conversation really does make the buzzwords of ‘reduced costs’, ‘doing more for less’, ‘vendor consolidation’, and the ever snappy ‘improved ROI through tighter integration’ much, much more powerful as it’s one IT Management platform from the desktop to data center.

I know some of you may be tempted to conclude I am suggesting you present everything IT in terms of cost. That’s not the case at all. We need to talk and be proud about how fast the network is, uptime of cloud services, and HR automation as these things are absolutely critical to any business success. But translating IT speak into money will go a long way for you in terms of influencing outcomes in the executive suite. As let’s face it, every IT and business project is scrutinized for return on investment, value, and impact. So we should embrace the System Center platform makes light work of those potential barriers and lets us take control of the conversation .

My next blog will focus on the great feature in Service Manager 2012 called Service Catalog and how this helps immensely in IT understanding the business services required and consumed.

Do you agree? Let me know what do you think on this or anything else at paul.sutton@cireson.com

Paul Sutton works at a leading Microsoft partner focused on System Center. Paul has played an active role within the IT community and has presented many times on delivering IT value back to the business.