Friday, October 14, 2005

Migration Doc Updated

Looks like we have version 2.0 of the Migration Document from SBS 2000/Windows 2000 to SBS 2003. Check it out.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Services Rebate Offer PR

Here's the official PR from Microsoft on the services subsidy for SBS and Office 2003. Again a great deal for those heading in that direction or perhaps if you're ready to make your decision.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

SBS and Office Rebates Announced

If you're on the edge of purchasing SBS or Office 2003 right now you might want to take a look at the newly announced Microsoft Office + Windows Small Business Server 2003 IT Consultant Services Promotion. It gives some serious rebates to those looking to buy Office 2003 or SBS for the next 6 months.

Here's an example:
If you have 27 PC's in your business and you buy:
1 Windows Small Business Server
27 Small Business Full Platform SKU which includes, Office Small Business Edition, SBS CAL, and XP License.

You'll receive $125 for partner services for all of the above items plus an extra $30 for each SBS CAL:
That equals $4310 in Partner Services for FREE! That's right for FREE. What does that mean? You take that much off of your initial tech investment. That's a lot of change.

Why is it significant? Because really for a good SBS Specialist that does fixed price installs, a 27 user install could be done for that $4310 service rebate. That's right, so for you it is nothing, nada, no dinero.

Ready to jump on board? Contact your local Small Business Specialist and the program starts October 17th and Ends March 31, 2006.

GMS vs Exchange

Over at Small Business Computing is an article about a new alternative to Exchange called GMS. It always kills me when these articles talk about Exchange as a stand alone product for Small Businesses.

Here's the breakdown with SBS. $599 gets you SBS Standard which includes Windows Server 2003 AND Exchange Server 2003 AND 5 CALS and is the better product for a small business of 25. Add the CALs in: $99 x 20 = 1980. Ok so the total is higher at $2579/25 or $103.16/client. That's almost $20 a client higher than just getting the email alternative. The problem? In their situation you'd still have to get either Windows or UNIX to run it on. Now you've blown the price target out of reach. Even if it were just as simple as $20 more a client in my opinion it would still be worth it.

Why is it worth it? Check out what you get in SBS that you don't elsewhere. Remote Web Workplace. The ability to work on your office desktop PC from anywhere in the world out of the box. That alone is worth $20 a client. Plus all the other wizards and add ins to SBS that truly make it worth the price of admission.

Our local Red Robin (hamburger joint) has a deal to get 2 meals and 2 movie tickets for $24.95. That's a deal. Maybe if I used the approach of the article above I'd buy 2 meals at Red Robin for $30 and then 2 movie tickets for $20. And I'd be happy about it....no way. I'd be peeved because I didn't know about the deal. Get the word out and let everyone know that SBS is definitely value based for the small business.

Tom Shinder continues down the SBS path

Recently I've had several calls from other consultants and users of SBS concerned about the installation and setup of ISA 2004. One great resource to help you in your quest is www.isaserver.org. Tom Shinder, author of several ISA books, actually uses SBS for his business. He's got a great series going on right now of how to install ISA the RIGHT way on SBS and what it does and doesn't mean as far as security from his standpoint. Check it out and subscribe to the RSS feed.

My take: ISA just plain rocks. Sure it may be a little finicky but the reports you get out of it truly are impressive. And the real time monitoring mechanism just plain rocks. In our monthly maintenance for our clients we give them a sample report from ISA Server and well let's just say that they are surprised from time to time at who is going where on the web. I'm always amazed at how many SBS consultants just plain shy away from ISA. Here is a $1000 piece of software that Microsoft is giving you with the Premium edition of SBS and you just let it sit on the CD on the shelf. What a wasted investment. If you haven't done it already, get the SP1 for SBS and use ISA 2004. You might just be pleasantly surprised at how it works!

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Official SBS Support Blog : First Episode of Inside SBS Podcast is Live!

Well the SBS support guys are doing some great things these days. The first of which is a podcast! Now you can take SBS problems with you on the go. :) OK maybe you don't live SBS but to hear the latest problems from the source of SBS is a great thing to make sure your installation is running the right way. Listen in and make sure to ask your questions to sbspod@microsoft.com.