Saturday, July 31, 2004

Microsoft Webcasts now on RSS

If you haven't got into RSS technology and feeds then you should check into it. There are many on the market but if you use Outlook a lot then check out Newsgator. Microsoft is really starting to embrace the technology and you'll see the little orange XML button or RSS just about everywhere now.

One thing that is a lot of people ask is how can you find out when Microsoft does webcasts? Well now it's pretty easy. Check out this new MSDN site. There are now RSS feeds for all the upcoming webcasts. Pretty cool, check it out.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager Service Pack 1

Using Business Contact Manager (BCM) with your SBS 2003 box or rolling it out to clients? Service Pack 1 of BCM has been released here.

It takes all of the security and performance enhancements and puts them all together. Also included is the SBS patch to make the BCM work with SBS 2003. Definitely get this patch and use it right away.

Office 2003 Service Pack 1 Released

So you were always wondering should I click the send information button when Word locks up on me and the Microsoft dialog comes up asking you to? Well now you know why its a nice thing. You can now download Office SP1 here.

One of the items on the download page answers why you should let your crash information go right back to Microsoft:
"SP1 also includes stability improvements developed as a result of user input from the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis in Office 2003 and from Microsoft Product Support feedback. "

I guess Microsoft isn't sooo bad after all.

Monday, July 26, 2004

TMobile finally announces a 2003 smartphone

Do you want better mobility? Then perhaps the iPAQ h6315 is for you. T-Mobile USA announced today that they are going to sell the HP handheld phone with Wi-Fi.

OK folks so here's the scoop. T-Mobile has an unlimited $19.99/month data plan to get your information. Now combine that with your Small Business Server with Exchange 2003 and the mobile capabilities it has and then you can see where I'm going. Getting your work email and contacts synced to your SBS server will be simple and for the on the go sales force will become a necessity.

It's not quite a "Smartphone" but this handheld will definitely increase the mobility market. Seemlessly going between wi-fi and GPRS is great as well. Rumors on the Internet sites are that it will be released around August 8th and as the article states for $499. Perhaps a little pricey but nice nonetheless.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Lookout search engine for Email and Contacts

With Microsoft's purchase of Lookout Software recently they now have Lookout's Outlook Search Engine available on their download site. Go ahead and download it to try. I'm sure as Microsoft continues to tackle Google they'll try and take Lookout to greater extremes.

It is nice to have a comprehensive search across all email, contacts, calendar items, notes, and even public folders...although you can't search your soul as the download page says!

Sneak Preview at CRM Mobile

CRM Mobile is just about ready to be released and you can take a look at these preview pictures to see what it looks like on a Pocket PC.
http://www.taznetworks.com/images/temp/crmaccountdetail.jpg
http://www.taznetworks.com/images/temp/crmaccounts.jpg
http://www.taznetworks.com/images/temp/crmappointments.jpg
http://www.taznetworks.com/images/temp/crmsnapshot.jpg
http://www.taznetworks.com/images/temp/crmsubscriptions.jpg

This really looks to be an awesome add-on for Microsoft CRM and one that should put it over the top of a lot of other CRM packages.

If you're a Microsoft partner and want to get more information on CRM Mobile sign up for the upcoming webinars on CRM mobile at http://www.msreadiness.com/webcast/mbswebcasts.asp

CRM/SBS Promotion Extended!

In case you haven't seen it already the SBS 2003/CRM promotion has been extended until December 31, 2004. Registered Partners can access the information on the promotion here. This is great news for CRM and SBS 2003 partners looking to generate more revenue.

CRM is really being pushed by Microsoft right now and what better way to get everybody to pay attention than by a price promotion! I had several clients call me on the previous deadline date of June 30th trying to decide if they wanted to do CRM or not. Well hopefully if you're on the fence you'll think about getting it now.

Don't forget that CRM Mobile is ready to be out anytime now. This will really help push CRM as well since mobility is what sales people are all about. Partners have the ability to take a peek right now and it may well be worth the effort to get acquainted with these new features right now!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

IBM Launches "Exchange Killer" uhhh OK

CMP has an article talking about how IBM says their new IBM Notes Domino Express is an "Exchange Killer". Well I haven't worked with Notes in a very long time (hopefully the user interface is better as I preferred Outlook back then) but take a look at the price per license.

They are targeting the SMB crowd and so again it comes down to what is your "definition" of SMB. IBM is offering Express for $48/user and it looks like up to 1000 users. Man that's a big Express! IBM quotes that Exchange is $98/user. Granted in the Big Boy version of Exchange I give them that (although I'm sure with Open Value you can get that down), but what about SBS 2003 standard that includes Exchange for up to 75 users? Let's see $599 divided by 75 users is about $8/user and that includes your OS, sharepoint, RWW, and all the other stuff that makes SBS great.

Sorry IBM you're still thinking too big for me. I have a hard time selling $8/user for email let alone $48/user. With accounts like GMail and Hotmail increasing what they give away it'll get even harder for the "S" of SMB to buy into email.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

SBS Backup Chat Transcript

Every so often Microsoft and the various teams have online chats with customers and partners to promote various products or answer questions. Located here is a recent chat transcript regarding SBS 2003 backup and restore.

Always nice to see the leads and program managers get involved with the user communities. Interesting that some know flaws are mentioned and talked about as working on for future SP's or releases. Spanning tapes comes to mind.

ISA Server 2004 KB now coming out

Just saw a KB reference here on how to publish a Microsoft Exchange server for Outlook Web Access in ISA Server 2004 Well this brings up the point should we go ahead and install ISA 2004 on our SBS Premium box?

The long answer is yeah you can do it, the short answer is nope hold on there young fella. Microsoft has pretty much disclosed that SP1 of SBS 2003 Premium will include ISA 2004. In SP1 they will change some of the wizards and under the scenes items to make sure ISA 2004 and SBS work together properly. So even though you can install it now, wait until SP1. You'll just save yourself a lot of headache in the long run.

I'll post details here when it's ready for primetime on SBS 2003.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

MOM 2005 Express for SBS?

First time I've seen this but Infoworld InfoWorld talks about a version of MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) for SBS. This is interesting. Now if the express is a free add on to Premium SBS then it might be a nice add on but if Microsoft is charging for some monitoring in addition to what is already in the Management Console out of the box it's probably going to be a pretty hard sell.

I'll be interested to test MOM Express with SBS that's for sure. If you can tie in several SBS servers into a proactive monitoring solution for an IT business such as ours then I'll definitely be into this. Having a way for our business to monitor client sites painlessly and effectively is always a challenge and perhaps MOM will fill a gap.

Friday, July 16, 2004

New SBS Overview PPT and NT to 2003 why upgrade doc

New Microsoft download located here. Looks to be a refresh on the SBS marketing powerpoint (I definitely like this one better). Also, there is a why upgrade from NT to 2003. This is a nice overview but very techy. To me as a solution provider you need to simplify this and target those NT installation bases out there that Ballmer recently talked about. I think my next project is to take this information out and put it into a form that SMB's understand. Then really market the you know what out of it. Let it be known loud and clear about the deficiencies of NT and what 2003 and SBS 2003 gets ya.

Want to see a Webcast?

Thanks to the Central Microsoft Region for posting all the webcasts together.  Definitely ones of interest for not only technology but marketing and business development as well!
 

Upcoming Microsoft Small Business Webcasts: August 2004
These free online webcasts connect small business owners with products and services that can help their business compete, grow, and prosper. During these webcasts, attendees will learn how they can use Microsoft technology to increase profitability, enhance customer service, and improve productivity.
All Microsoft Small Business Webcasts
By Topic
* E-Mail Marketing
* Intranet
* Productivity
* Security for Wireless Networks
* Spam
By Product/Technology
* Microsoft Access
* Microsoft Office
o Outlook
* Microsoft Small Business Manager
* Microsoft Word
* Windows SharePoint Services
* Windows XP
Additional Webcast Resources
All Microsoft Small Business Webcasts
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Upgrading your Microsoft Desktop
Thursday, August 05, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Darin Browning, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Are you thinking about upgrading your software at work? Understand how upgrading your Microsoft Windows and Office can be justified as an investment in your business. See how Windows XP is much more secure than older operating systems like Windows 98 or even Windows 2000. Learn to identify the five signs that it's time for an Office upgrade, and how the Office 2003 Small Business Edition can address those problems.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32600> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32600
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Upgrade Today: An Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 2
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Matt Berg, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Did you know that the Windows XP Service Pack 2 has a number of security enhancements to help you protect your PC? View this webcast and find out more about new security features including a pop-up blocker, enhanced firewall, and more. This webcast will show you exactly why you should download this free service pack today!
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32602> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32602
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Five Tips for Using Microsoft Word 2003 for Small Business
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Joelle Thompson, Business Development Manager,
Are you a Small Business looking for ways to save time and money? This webcast offers five features of Microsoft Word that can help you do this. We will cover techniques for creating business letterhead, tracking changes in documents, using mail merge, and more.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32604> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32604
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Enabling Business Contact Manager in Outlook 2003 to work with Small Business Server 2003
Thursday, August 12, 2004
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Mike Powell, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Interested in using the new Business Contact Manager in Outlook 2003? Microsoft has created a download which enables you to associate BCM databases with your Exchange profiles in Small Business Server 2003. View this webcast to find out more information and learn where to get this free patch.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32606> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32606
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign, A Series: Part One of Two, Introducing Microsoft List Builder
Thursday, August 12, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Allison Gay, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Many small business owners who have made one or more attempts of e-mail marketing are often not satisfied with the results. Perhaps you're worn out by labor-intensive special offers, staying on top of ever-changing databases and the challenge of understanding e-mail metrics. Nevertheless email marketing remains an affordable and effective tool. This webcast will cover how to update your email marketing strategy to get more for your investment. Some basic tips on content and format will be included.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32607> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32607
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign, A Series: Part Two of Two, Introducing Microsoft List Builder
Monday, August 16, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
NeKeta Argrow, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Are you looking for a way to market your business or product that is easy to prepare, inexpensive and immediate? E-mail marketing is an effective way to reach customers. Aside from sales and promotions, you can use it to inform people about company news and upcoming events you may be hosting or attending. E-mail marketers, however, must be careful, people are extremely frustrated by large volumes of junk e-mail, commonly known as spam. Microsoft List Builder is a powerful e-mail marketing tool that can help you run an e-mail marketing campaign without offending recipients. This webcast offers a closer look at how you can best use List Builder for your e-mail marketing needs.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32609> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32609
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Why Your Small Business Needs an Intranet
Thursday, August 19, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Greg Randall, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
As a Small Business Owner have you thought about an intranet? One great thing about running a small company is the ability to act quickly. Most decisions are made with a few people meeting around a conference table. There is a point when your business outgrows this arrangement but you still need constant, reliable and secure communications with others in the company to ensure successful growth. You need an intranet. View this webcast to learn the three major reasons your small business should invest in an intranet. You'll also see demonstrations of Microsoft's out-of-the-box intranet solution, Windows SharePoint Services.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32610> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32610
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: SLICE the SPAM: Junk Email Filters and Other Anti-Spam Features of Outlook 2003
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Don Roessler, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Do you receive unwanted or junk e-mail? Junk e-mail and spam can be bothersome and even offensive. View this webcast and learn to use the features in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 that help you spend less time managing unwanted e-mail.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32611> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32611
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Introducing Microsoft Small Business Manager, A Series: Part One of Four, Productivity
Thursday, August 26, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Larry Garcia, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Companies that need more than basic accounting software find that Microsoft Small Business Manager software is ideal, offering affordable, flexible, and fully integrated financial management, sales, purchasing, inventory, payroll, and reporting capabilities. By connecting people, information, and processes it helps manage your business more effectively. In this webcast, the first of a four-part series, you will get an overview of how SBM leads to greater productivity by enabling you to process transactions efficiently, access and analyze information, and improve business performance.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32613> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32613
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Microsoft Access for the Small Business: Basics of Building a Database
Monday, August 30, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Greg Boyd, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Microsoft Access 2003 is a database management program with powerful tools that are sophisticated enough for professional developers, yet easy to learn for new users. It allows you to create and use powerful database solutions that make organizing, accessing, and sharing information easier than ever. This webcast introduces the basics of Access 2003: Creating a database using the built-in templates, and importing/exporting data to and from other Office applications such as Excel and Outlook.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32615> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32615
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Avoid a Data Disaster on the Road: Five Tips
Monday, August 30, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Tim Armstrong, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Reliable information can make or break your next trip, whether it's the ability to cultivate a business contact, ensure accurate company records or keep you safe. Your PC data is priceless and you can not afford to be without it. This webcast outlines the steps necessary to help you avoid losing data while on the road. We'll cover synchronizing your data before you leave, accessing office data while on the road, and implementing a good backup routine
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32619> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32619
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: How Organized is Your Org?
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Carl Preston, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Have you considered purchasing specialized software to manage people and their time? Are you looking for a way to streamline day-to-day tasks? It may surprise you to know that powerful productivity and organizational features are built into the latest versions of the business software you may be using now. This webcast provides an overview of how the features in your existing software can help your employees get more done in less time, collaborate more closely, improve customer service, and market your business in ways that are both efficient and cost-effective.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32621> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32621
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Using Wi-Fi safely: encryption and other tips
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Ed Faulkner, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
When it comes to wireless networks, security is a top concern among business owners. However, more than half of all businesses take only basic precautions to protect their wireless networks or none at all. This webcast will show you how to make your Wi-Fi experience safer. We will discuss new and existing wireless security protocols as well as provide other tips for protecting your laptop.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32622> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32622
By Topic:

* E-Mail Marketing
* Intranet
* Productivity
* Security for Wireless Networks
* Spam
E-Mail Marketing
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign, A Series: Part One of Two, Introducing Microsoft List Builder
Thursday, August 12, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Allison Gay, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Many small business owners who have made one or more attempts of e-mail marketing are often not satisfied with the results. Perhaps you're worn out by labor-intensive special offers, staying on top of ever-changing databases and the challenge of understanding e-mail metrics. Nevertheless email marketing remains an affordable and effective tool. This webcast will cover how to update your email marketing strategy to get more for your investment. Some basic tips on content and format will be included.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32607> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32607
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign, A Series: Part Two of Two, Introducing Microsoft List Builder
Monday, August 16, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
NeKeta Argrow, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Are you looking for a way to market your business or product that is easy to prepare, inexpensive and immediate? E-mail marketing is an effective way to reach customers. Aside from sales and promotions, you can use it to inform people about company news and upcoming events you may be hosting or attending. E-mail marketers, however, must be careful, people are extremely frustrated by large volumes of junk e-mail, commonly known as spam. Microsoft List Builder is a powerful e-mail marketing tool that can help you run an e-mail marketing campaign without offending recipients. This webcast offers a closer look at how you can best use List Builder for your e-mail marketing needs.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32609> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32609
Intranet
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Why Your Small Business Needs an Intranet
Thursday, August 19, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Greg Randall, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
As a Small Business Owner have you thought about an intranet? One great thing about running a small company is the ability to act quickly. Most decisions are made with a few people meeting around a conference table. There is a point when your business outgrows this arrangement but you still need constant, reliable and secure communications with others in the company to ensure successful growth. You need an intranet. View this webcast to learn the three major reasons your small business should invest in an intranet. You'll also see demonstrations of Microsoft's out-of-the-box intranet solution, Windows SharePoint Services.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32610> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32610
Productivity
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: How Organized is Your Org?
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Carl Preston, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Have you considered purchasing specialized software to manage people and their time? Are you looking for a way to streamline day-to-day tasks? It may surprise you to know that powerful productivity and organizational features are built into the latest versions of the business software you may be using now. This webcast provides an overview of how the features in your existing software can help your employees get more done in less time, collaborate more closely, improve customer service, and market your business in ways that are both efficient and cost-effective.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32621> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32621
Security for Wireless Networks
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Using Wi-Fi safely: encryption and other tips
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Ed Faulkner, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
When it comes to wireless networks, security is a top concern among business owners. However, more than half of all businesses take only basic precautions to protect their wireless networks or none at all. This webcast will show you how to make your Wi-Fi experience safer. We will discuss new and existing wireless security protocols as well as provide other tips for protecting your laptop.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32622> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32622
Spam
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: SLICE the SPAM: Junk Email Filters and Other Anti-Spam Features of Outlook 2003
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Don Roessler, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Do you receive unwanted or junk e-mail? Junk e-mail and spam can be bothersome and even offensive. View this webcast and learn to use the features in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 that help you spend less time managing unwanted e-mail.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32611> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32611
By Product/Technology:

* Microsoft Access
* Microsoft Office
o Outlook
* Microsoft Small Business Manager
* Microsoft Word
* Windows SharePoint Services
* Windows XP
Microsoft Access
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Microsoft Access for the Small Business: Basics of Building a Database
Monday, August 30, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Greg Boyd, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Microsoft Access 2003 is a database management program with powerful tools that are sophisticated enough for professional developers, yet easy to learn for new users. It allows you to create and use powerful database solutions that make organizing, accessing, and sharing information easier than ever. This webcast introduces the basics of Access 2003: Creating a database using the built-in templates, and importing/exporting data to and from other Office applications such as Excel and Outlook.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32615> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32615
Outlook
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Enabling Business Contact Manager in Outlook 2003 to work with Small Business Server 2003
Thursday, August 12, 2004
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Mike Powell, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Interested in using the new Business Contact Manager in Outlook 2003? Microsoft has created a download which enables you to associate BCM databases with your Exchange profiles in Small Business Server 2003. View this webcast to find out more information and learn where to get this free patch.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32606> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32606
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: SLICE the SPAM: Junk Email Filters and Other Anti-Spam Features of Outlook 2003
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Don Roessler, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Do you receive unwanted or junk e-mail? Junk e-mail and spam can be bothersome and even offensive. View this webcast and learn to use the features in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 that help you spend less time managing unwanted e-mail.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32611> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32611
Microsoft Small Business Manager
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Introducing Microsoft Small Business Manager, A Series: Part One of Four, Productivity
Thursday, August 26, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Larry Garcia, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Companies that need more than basic accounting software find that Microsoft Small Business Manager software is ideal, offering affordable, flexible, and fully integrated financial management, sales, purchasing, inventory, payroll, and reporting capabilities. By connecting people, information, and processes it helps manage your business more effectively. In this webcast, the first of a four-part series, you will get an overview of how SBM leads to greater productivity by enabling you to process transactions efficiently, access and analyze information, and improve business performance.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32613> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32613
Microsoft Word
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Five Tips for Using Microsoft Word 2003 for Small Business
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Pacific Time
Joelle Thompson, Business Development Manager,
Are you a Small Business looking for ways to save time and money? This webcast offers five features of Microsoft Word that can help you do this. We will cover techniques for creating business letterhead, tracking changes in documents, using mail merge, and more.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32604> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32604
Windows SharePoint Services
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Why Your Small Business Needs an Intranet
Thursday, August 19, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Greg Randall, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
As a Small Business Owner have you thought about an intranet? One great thing about running a small company is the ability to act quickly. Most decisions are made with a few people meeting around a conference table. There is a point when your business outgrows this arrangement but you still need constant, reliable and secure communications with others in the company to ensure successful growth. You need an intranet. View this webcast to learn the three major reasons your small business should invest in an intranet. You'll also see demonstrations of Microsoft's out-of-the-box intranet solution, Windows SharePoint Services.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32610> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32610
Windows XP
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Upgrading your Microsoft Desktop
Thursday, August 05, 2004
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Darin Browning, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Are you thinking about upgrading your software at work? Understand how upgrading your Microsoft Windows and Office can be justified as an investment in your business. See how Windows XP is much more secure than older operating systems like Windows 98 or even Windows 2000. Learn to identify the five signs that it's time for an Office upgrade, and how the Office 2003 Small Business Edition can address those problems.
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32600> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32600
 
Microsoft Microsoft Small Business Webcast: Upgrade Today: An Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 2
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Matt Berg, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Did you know that the Windows XP Service Pack 2 has a number of security enhancements to help you protect your PC? View this webcast and find out more about new security features including a pop-up blocker, enhanced firewall, and more. This webcast will show you exactly why you should download this free service pack today!
<http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32602> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=32602
Additional Webcast Resources

* ALL upcoming Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=393776> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=393776
* ALL on-demand Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=393768> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=393768
* TechNet Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=446906> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=446906
* MSDN Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410865> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410865
* MSDN Architecture Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410866> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410866
* Microsoft Executive Circle Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=393792> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=393792
* Microsoft Office System Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410868> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410868
* Microsoft Business Solutions Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=29943> http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=29943
* Security Webcasts: <http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410863> http://go.microsoft.com/?LinkID=410863

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ballmer and a possible MBS?

CRN has a quick interview with Ballmer. Interesting tidbits on the success of SBS and sure sounds like the beginning of discussions of a Medium Business Server (MBS or perhaps SBS II or SBS on Viagra) where you could perhaps have 2 servers in the setup for the next size up company...perhaps up to 100 or more users.

SBS is going good and why not start to think about something a little bigger that targets a slightly bigger market? If I was Microsoft I sure see the reasoning. Whatever is done...please make sure it has an EASY upgrade path from SBS or SBS Mini or SBS Little Brother, whatever it'll be called at that point.

VoIP in SBS' Future?

Nice article over at CNET on Sprint's big VoIP plans for small business. The i4 does sound like a great feature and to me businesses that are using services such as Vonage may jump ship to the Sprint i4 if they don't continue to bolster their product line.

Interesting how at the end of the article Ben mentions the Cisco/Microsoft SBS team is focused on more than just data but also voice as well. Could the partnership between Cisco and Microsoft signal something to come in the future to connect a simple Cisco appliance for VoIP to SBS 2003 and have integrated phone with your server, CRM, and ERP package all on the SBS box? Man that would be saweeet.

Well one can dream can't he??

Personally as a solution provider I already get calls asking if I do VoIP because I'm the see all do all tech contact for a business. Adding VoIP would be nice to add to the bag of tricks and I've already looked into several packages that can be added directly to SBS.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Inside look at the Motorola MPx220

If you believe in mobility and think that smartphones and the pocket PC will help drive SBS sales or get your boss to approve SBS then take a look at this home made video of the Motorola MPx220. It's to be released very soon and if the US carriers get on the wagon (I think obviously AT&T will) then this smartphone could help drive SBS sales.

Being able to get email and contacts with your phone in a very convenient manner is great for the small business owner who has to get the kids and keep up with the business at the same time. Hopefully this phone and others like it will really push SBS sales as the mobility features of Exchange 2003 will really be highlighted.

SBS fixes for SP2 on the way

Charles Anthe from the SBS dev team mentions that some SBS fixes are on the way for the XP SP2 rollout. This definitely shouldn't be a surprise as we've been touting for some time how XP SP2 will be a change in the fundamentals of security for Microsoft. Be prepared for it and see how the Windows Firewall will change your SBS deployment(s) and what you need to know now to be prepared.

On a side note, Charles mentions other than that its pretty quite...right on I say! Cool that it's quiet on the SBS front...hopefully that means everything is great or the SBS team just has the summer doldrums. I doubt the latter so it's nice to see that in SBS land we're just rolling along.

Microsoft's Vision Site

Thanks to the EBitz (Susan Bradley) for this one! Microsoft has a site that demonstrates the potential of SBS, Smartphones and even tablet PC's. Check out the Microsoft: Your Potential. Our Passion. site here.

This is a nice and simple way to show how small businesses can use core Microsoft products to win business. That's the way to do it, show where it will help. Getting connected through smartphones and SBS with tablet PC's as well is definitely the way most small businesses should be thinking but unfortunately have no idea of what technologies are out there.

I gotta give Microsoft their props on this one. (Plus I'm a sucker for anything that promotes SBS and the SmartPhone!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Trend and HP work together

It appears that Trend and HP will be working together according to a Yahoo press release located here. This is great. Trend Micro is a great company and their SBS offerings are what I recommend. They seem to really be targeting their market.

If personal PC's always come loaded standard with Virus and Spam protection free for 30 or 90 days then why not servers. This will be a nice way for small businesses hopefully to see the benefits of Trend and then contact partners to activate thus increasing revenue. To me it looks like a win win for everyone, especially if you're the one that gets viruses from your local small business.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Check out a Tech Ed presentation on Exchange Mobile Access and Smartphones

Thanks to David Hibbeln for the link on this one! Yesterday we were talking about what you can do with a Windows Smartphone. Well the MS Exchange blog gives you a bunch of Tech Ed Presentations Online. Check them out here. Go to the one on Mobile services. The direct link to that presentation is here.

It shows exactly what can be done with a Smartphone and Outlook Mobile Access. Hmmm I wonder which smartphone the Microsoft presenter is using. Nice demo though.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Otey IS running SBS

Michael Otey, editor of Windows Mag, follows up on an article he wrote earlier and revisits SBS saying he does run it himself. It's even fixed some AD problems he was having.

Earlier I guess he got some SBS consultants riled up because he bemoaned 2 companies that couldn't use SBS. But he comes back and says that for the right environment SBS 2003 is great. Hey that's what we all say. It has a niche and to me even for the 3-50 computer business it's great.

Smartphones are cool...

OK now we're getting into cool territory if you ask me (a nerd at heart, I know). But when you can use your smartphone to monitor your marathon that's just plain cool.

I've been getting into the smartphone more and more lately and man I gotta admin that it's just plain cool what you can now do with it. There are some nice ones coming out soon. Keep up to date with everything smartphone related at smartphonethoughts.com Mobility is a big thing in the IT industry right now and being able to check your email or VPN into the network from a mobile phone and not a bigger Pocket PC is nice.

Bluetooth is catching on as well and more and more is coming out that is bluetooth aware. Bluetooth was invented to truly be a land line replacement unlike the current wi-fi standards out there.

One thing that a fellow IT consultant and myself have been discussing lately is using TMobile's $19.99 unlimited data plan for your bluetooth phone and getting a laptop bluetooth adapter or pocket PC that has bluetooth. Then you can use the TMobile phone as a modem for your Pocket PC or Laptop and have Internet just about anywhere.

Now that's cool stuff.

Got Pirated Software?

You know not much bothers me personally but as a Microsoft partner when I go into a place to do business don't ask me to install pirated software. This is an interesting article at smallbizpipeline it shows that over a third of all software is pirated.
Now the problem is that most small businesses don't know what pirated means. I hate looking like a dope but I always do (or at least it feels like it) when I go into a prospective client and ask do you have Office or whatever software and they say, "Sure we've got Office" and they hand me a Office 97 CD and say that we put that on every PC we get.

Well sorry but that's not legal. I have to break the news and then just about break the account when I tell them how much it would be to upgrade to Office 2003. Sure I try to tell the client the benefits but its always about the bottom line.

The BSA in the article says that the loss is nearly $29 billion. Well I'm sure no one has pity for big old Microsoft but it's not just Microsoft that loses out. My company loses out as well. Every pirated copy that is used without going through a Microsoft partner represents lost revenue for every partner out there as well. And in today's tight economy that's hard to swallow.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

SMB's drive the CRM road

Here's a SMB report from Yahoo that shows that CRM is a big concern for SMB's. Why? Because it produces money. There are way too many forgotten clients out there that really don't mind spending the money as long as your company gives them great value and remembers them when they need you most.

I totally agree. In fact next Thursday we're hosting a seminar (more info here) that focuses on how SBS 2003 and Microsoft CRM 1.2 can get more sales for the average SMB.

If you haven't looked at a CRM package you probably want to start thinking about it. The only problem is that the initial outlay of money appears high but if a sales or two can be justified from the purchase then the ROI is more than made up for.

Also, the buzz out of Redmond is that SBS 2005 (codename: Cougar) will contain a 5 user copy of CRM out of the box. Better get used to it now!

Monday, July 05, 2004

New Update for Windows Small Business Server 2003

Well that's what I get for going away for a holiday weekend. I come back and a new KB for SBS 2003 releases a new patch to correct some post SP1 items. See the KB and release here. The good news is that nothing is security related.

If you follow the newsgroups and Yahoo groups for SBS you'll see that these items were picked up on pretty quickly. Great feedback from all of you using SBS 2003 has continued to make this a great product.