Adventures in Sales

It’s no secret (is it?) that sales guys and IT guys often don’t get along (see this link or maybe this one for classic examples). Today, I add my own recent experience in dealing with sales.

I was putting together a quote for a client who needed to deploy a new Windows server. They were also interested in multiple virtual servers instead of a single box for all services. Given the limitations of Small Business Server, I have decided never to recommend that again, unless there are fewer than 10 users and it’s unlikely that this number will ever grow. I told my sales rep this, and requested standard Windows licensing, as well as Windows Essential Business Services licensing, to see if that would get my client a significant price break.

My sales rep asked me what “WEBS” was. I explained this was Microsoft’s (relatively) new licensing model, which includes Windows and other “essential business services” (like Exchange) licenses, but is priced in such a way that you can purchase one license and distribute the services among multiple machines, instead of everything in one (a la SBS).

I received the quote from my distributor for standard licensing only. I emailed him back, asking for the WEBS licensing option.

I received several questions and after a few more emails back and forth, I received a link from my sales rep, explaining to me what the various Microsoft license options were, including standard licenses and WEBS licenses. I said “Yup, that’s what I’m looking for.”

A short time later, I received another quote… for Small Business Server.

I explained that this was not what I was looking for, and that SBS was not an option. I repeated my desire for a quote with WEBS licensing. Finally, after enough emails that I’ve lost count of them, I got a quote on WEBS licensing.

Why is this so hard?

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