1 Make IT work for you A 20-minute guide to technology for smaller companies STAY IN TOUCH Answer on the road, at home, anywhere TAME PAPERWORK Keep files and information securely in one place SAVE MONEY By sharing printers, faxes and internet connections
2 3 4-5 Introduction: helping businesses thrive What is a server? Business benefits 6-7 Improve productivity 8-9 Work anywhere Better sales and marketing Get online Contents Cut security stress Save time and money 3 Case studies Phoenix Exercise and Life Sportsframe Norwegian Coastal Voyage St. John Ambulance The information Inside Small Business Server How to get Small Business Server How to choose a supplier 31 Where next?
3 people saw the payroll, for example? 4 Colin, financial director 5 Introduction: helping businesses thrive Advances in technology have levelled the playing field for smaller businesses. The internet gives you an international presence. Advances in networking and computer hardware means that the latest kit is within the reach of virtually any company. Finally, of course, software gets more powerful and easier to use every year. However, to get the benefits you need to have the right kit and you need to make sure it all fits together properly and does the business. Out of date, unreliable or inappropriate technology is often worse than none at all. Moreover, no business should take chances in protecting its valuable data. For example, routine backups, virus protection and firewalls are a must. Get it right and the world s your oyster. Get it wrong and the world s your stinking fish head. The problem is that the world is full of people selling jargon not business solutions, features not benefits. It s no wonder that sorting out IT often slips down the agenda. That s why we ve produced this brass tacks guide. In it you ll see how effective use of technology, in particular Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 software, can solve everyday business problems. My sales executives need to have the most up-todate pricelists and sales collateral but occasionally some of them use the wrong version. It s really embarrassing if a client gets the wrong version. John, sales director I was working on a sales proposal. I accidentally deleted it and now I can t get the original text back. There goes my weekend. Tracy, marketing director I ve read about these viruses that attack computers that are connected to the internet. I m not computer geek. How can I be sure that I m protected? Sonia, financial controller How do I share files with my colleagues without letting everyone see them. It would be a disaster if Every time we hire a few more people, I have to buy another printer and another fax machine and get another phone line for their internet connection. It s getting ridiculous. Jung, office manager My assistant keeps a desk diary, says Jeremy the boss of a medium-sized firm of accountants, and I keep a pocket diary which she updates every morning. This is great until she makes an appointment while I m not there and I go and double-book myself. Kevin, director We compete with a lot of companies that are much larger than we are so it s a bit embarrassing to give a scrappy address instead of one that has our company name in it. Joanna, business owner It happens all the time. One of our sales guys lines up a great prospect; promises to send some information or call again but then goes on holiday. The opportunity falls through the cracks and next time we call, someone else got the business. Kate, sales manager. Solving Business Problems It may come as a surprise how useful a server could be in solving everyday business problems. For example Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 can help: Cut down on unnecessary paperwork Store electronic documents in an easy-toaccess digital filing cabinet Share printers, internet connections, fax machines and files Manage people s diaries electronically Keep track of staff holidays Reduce security risks from hackers and viruses Protect your data against disasters or accidental deletions Allow people to work away from the office or at home Pick up your on a Smartphone or PocketPC Get your business online with a professional address Keep track of customer information
4 Top tips for mobile working 1. You spend lots of time searching for files or copying them from one machine to another 2. You want to restrict access to confidential files you are worried that a nosey employee might find sensitive files on your network 3. You want to accommodate flexible or home-working for your staff your staff are asking to work from home but you don t know where to start 4. Your computers are already networked 6 What is a server? diagram in some way your machines are networked informally but the performance of those machines suffers everytime someone prints a large 7 document It may look like any other computer but a server is the Swiss army knife of business computing. It won t take stones out of a horse s shoe but it does cure many business headaches. 5. You would like to centralise key business data like diaries, customer records, accounts, orders etc. 6. You want to be more responsive to your customers you worry that your customers get a faster response from your competitors 7. You want your own address This guide explains how a computer running Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 software can solve everyday business problems and help growing businesses thrive. The software that controls a server computer, known as the operating system, is the thing that makes it all work. SBS 2003 combines Microsoft s latest server operating system with programs designed specifically for growing companies. What is a network? A network links computers together so that they can access shared resources like internet connections, files, faxes and printers. Network links are made using wires that are similar to phone cables but increasingly businesses use wireless networks which use radio links instead of physical connections. A server computer running a network operating system like Windows Small Business Server 2003, is used in the centre of this network and runs everything on the network. Sometimes businesses set up an ad-hoc network without a server, sometimes called a peer-to-peer network. This can work very well when there are only a couple of PCs to connect, but it does not offer the flexibility, ease of management, reliability or security of a server-based network. rather than one provided by an internet provider. 8. You keep buying printers, faxes and internet accounts as you add new people your IT costs seems to be spiralling out of control as your business grows 9. You have lots of IT hassle viruses, network problems etc. and it s starting to impact your productivity and ability to make money 10. You re suffering from paperwork overload there s just not enough space to store all your files
5 8 computer as you think? What happens like accessing any website. Of course, only A document library. You can store 9 when you want to share them with some authorised users are able to see the server anything but typical uses include colleagues, for example to pass on payroll so remote access is safe and secure. company policies, staff handbooks or information to a bookkeeper? This is sales collateral where SBS 2003 makes things more secure What is an intranet? as well as easier. Lists such as telephone extensions and staff directories Rob Burr and Jim Stubbs run Phoenix An electronic fax in-tray for incoming Exercise and Life, a personal training Suffering from paperwork overload? Can t find critical files when faxes which saves paper business in West London. They had four you need them? Typing in the same information more than once? computers in their office, all linked A picture gallery, including employee together using a simple network without photos Not sure if everyone has the latest pricelists and sales collateral? a server. While this worked well for A place for company announcements on occasional file sharing, it did not allow the home page them to control who had access to A holiday calendar so you know when With Small Business Server 2003, you the hassle of constantly having to you can access these documents when you 1 A typical intranet site using Microsoft SharePoint different files. For example, they wanted people are away can easily find and share information in physically move the large files. are out of the office as well. everyone to be able to update time sheets An intranet is a private internal website one centralised location. This makes it but they wanted to keep personnel A help desk where people can log Without a server, for example, you might that is only available to people who work easier to work together with your Share files records and financial information private. technical problems have a pricelist and a product brochure and at a specific company. Unlike a public colleagues so you save time and money Just as Sportsframe now stores all their This is where SBS 2003 comes in. different members of staff would take a copy Newsgroup-style discussion boards website on the internet, which is available and avoid unnecessary stress. photos on their new SBS 2003 server, of these files and store them on their own Files and folders stored using SBS 2003 You can create online staff surveys and to anyone, intranets have access control, other businesses use SBS 2003 to organise For example, take Sportsframe. Part of computers. That s fine until you need to have what is called access control. You analyse the results usually relying on passwords and user marketing materials, document templates, their business involves printing out update one of these documents. Then you can decide exactly who can see, open, pricelists or any of the thousands of Add your own custom web pages and names to stop unauthorised entry. Once sporting images and framing them. The need to distribute them again and, of course, edit or delete them and SBS 2003 strictly electronic files that businesses use these internet links inside, you access an intranet site just like scanner was connected to one PC and the if someone is using an out-of-date pricelist it enforces the rules. any other website by using a web browser days. printer to another, says Adam Gascoigne, could cost you real money. Having a single You can also use this technology to like Microsoft Internet Explorer. This we were constantly transferring images Once they are on the server, you can access copy of important documents that you only communicate with companies outside of Set up an internal company means that it is very easy and comfortable on memory sticks and disks from one PC files over the network just as if they were update once is clearly much more efficient. your business. By giving trusted partners website for people to use. They are a great way to to another. Installing a server running SBS on your own computer with the important secure access to your private intranet Having a central place to share company share information with staff and to If you have a laptop, you can copy files or 2003 let them store all the images difference that they are accessible from website you can collaborate more easily. information that combines the file sharing communicate between team members. whole folders from the server in such a way centrally and share the printer, avoiding other computers as well. It also means that For example, you might want to work on of SBS 2003 and the familiarity of the that they are automatically synchronised a brochure with a marketing agency, Business benefit 1: Improve productivity and kept up to date whenever you connect the laptop to the network (whether over the internet or whenever you bring it into the office). This way, you always take the latest price list with you when you go on a trip and you can make sure that any changes are transferred back to the server on your return. Control access There are files you might not want other people to see. Confidential personnel records or payroll information, for example. Are they as safe on your Worldwide Web makes for a great way to improve communication and efficiency. This is known as an intranet site a private, company-only website. SBS 2003 includes a dedicated intranet program called SharePoint (see sidebar: what is an intranet? ). Using SharePoint, you can create an intranet site for your business in minutes without any special skills. It s easy for people to use because they can access it using a web browser, just as if it were a regular internet site. It s an amazingly flexible tool for communicating with staff and has many uses, including: using an extranet both you and the agency can all have access to the same documents and can make changes to a single version. Remote Access Once all your files are on the server you can access them remotely. For example, if you are working from home and you need an important file, you can simply connect to the internet and log in to the server remotely, upload the file you need and you re done. The same is true for access to your company intranet site it s just
6 How remote access works Whatever hardware you have and however you want to connect, SBS 2003 has the technology built-in to make it easy. Top tips for mobile working 1. Mobile technology makes it easier for your staff to work flexibly in ways that allow them to do their best work Phoenix Coaching web browser. All you need is an internetequipped 3. Security is important: use strong PC and you can connect to the passwords and encrypt sensitive data Mobile working is fast becoming as much server in SBS 2003 wherever you are. 4. Respond quickly to your customers even 10 a part of the Phoenix culture as the bikes 11 Outlook Mobile Access lets PocketPCs, Smartphones and laptops synchronise diaries, contacts and s with the server in an efficient and secure way over when out of the office by accessing remotely 5. But just because you can answer s 24/7 doesn t mean you have to and endless crunches, curls and sprints. Some of my clients seem to do everything by , so if I can be more available to them I ll get more business. the internet, typically using a dial-up Rob Burr, Phoenix Coaching 6. Pick the right gadget for the job connection over a landline, a GPRS sometimes a PocketPC is a better choice See page 26 for the full story. connection using a mobile phone or than a laptop Wouldn t it be great if you and your staff could work anywhere: at wireless networking in an internet café or other hotspot. 7. Manage the impact of new technology home, on the train, in a café? Do you want to pick up your on company culture Remote Desktop gives you remote using a Smartphone or PocketPC any time you like? 8. Train staff to use new technology and control of your office PC over the internet give them time to enhance their skills from any PC with a browser. It s like you over time were sitting in the office. Would you like to share your diary with documents to read and edit anywhere. synchronising Outlook over a remote 9. Provide technical support yourself or via SharePoint lets you access your company your colleagues back in the office, updated Some PocketPCs have built-in Wireless or connection fast and easy. It also supports an IT provider intranet web site remotely. with any changes you make while you are Bluetooth connections that let you connect virtual private networks that let people 10. Set a good example by using the away? Microsoft Small Business Server to the internet and SBS 2003 remotely. connect to the entire office network Virtual Private Network is a way of securely technology yourself to become more 2003 can help keep you and your people securely. connecting a remote computer into the Using a Windows-powered Smartphone productive and efficient in touch, wherever you are. office network so you can access everything with a built-in computer, you can SBS 2003 helps you stay connected using As the name suggests, a PocketPC is a synchronise, read and reply to your any computer with an internet connection, as if you were in the office. This is useful, for small, highly portable computer. Instead of anywhere by connecting to the server using for example on a friend s PC or one in an example, when you need to access using a keyboard, PocketPCs recognise the built-in phone. Just like a PDA, it also internet café. Using any web browser you company databases or other specialist your handwriting and some even feature a lets you access your calendar, contacts and can securely check your , contacts applications while out of the office. small keyboard. Using SBS 2003, s, to-do list. All this in a phone-sized package. and calendar and you can access your calendar appointments, contact office computer by remote control. Using a dial-in connection or a wireless information and tasks can all be network on a regular laptop, you can use synchronised with the information you see Outlook 2003 to stay in touch while you in Outlook What s more you can are away from the office. SBS 2003 makes even download Microsoft Word and Excel Business benefit 2: Work anywhere Outlook Web Access gives you much of the rich functionality of Outlook , calendar, contacts and tasks in a 2. Remember to insure phones, PocketPCs and laptops against loss or theft and back-up data stored on them
7 Using shared contacts in Outlook or Adam Gascoigne, JOB TITLE, believes the Business Contact Manager tracks prospects, 12 information stored in Business Contact secret to success is working with an IT customers and sales opportunities. Each 13 Manager, you can easily create personalised partner who knows their stuff. We spend time you send an , post a letter or and targeted communications. less time now sorting out IT problems make a phone call to a customer it gets than we did before because it s been logged in the database for future reference Ten tips for Customer done properly, says Gasgoigne. so you can build up a complete picture of Relationship Management what s going on. This lets you focus your See page 20 for the full story. 1. Have a strategy for CRM think it attention on the most promising prospects through in advance and your best customers and helps ensures Do you sometimes forget to follow up on a promise to a client or that nothing falls through the cracks. 2. Make sure contact details are accurate and comprehensive prospective customer? When different employees deal with clients, Microsoft Business Contact Manager 3. Make sure contacts aren t duplicated does the left hand sometimes forget what the right hand has done? generates reports that help you keep track of your sales pipeline, account 4. Categorise your contacts: hot prospects, history, neglected contacts, opportunities regular clients, slow payers, etc Would you like to spend more time users, which is great for letting people Exchange Server, which is the post and most valuable customers. These 5. Use Business Contact Manager to keep following up a mail shot than you do send in orders while on the road. office built into SBS 2003, to share results will help you direct your efforts track of all your interactions with clients towards the best prospects. The results putting it together? Microsoft Small customer contact information, diaries and 6. If other people are going to use the can also be saved to Excel 2003 or Word Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003) has lots Share contacts, diaries and tasks. For example, you can put information system, train them 2003 for more detailed analysis. of tools that simplify and co-ordinate tasks about current and prospective clients into a 7. Save time and effort but storing your all sales and marketing. Using Microsoft Outlook 2003 you can shared Exchange folder that is accessible to your data together on a server and keep all your critical business information your colleagues. Whenever any of them entering it once and once only Shared information helps diary, , tasks and contacts in one make a change or add a new contact, teamwork place, synchronise with mobile devices like everyone else has access to the new 8. Pay attention to your existing customers At the most basic, you can use a shared PocketPCs and access it securely over the information. You can do the same thing for even while you seek new ones file, like a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet, to internet from home or on the road. That s tasks. For example you can use shared tasks 9. Find more marketing tips on keep track of your customers and their good if you re working alone. to track orders or a shared diary to orders. Storing this file on the server schedule follow-ups. However, if you work on sales and 10. Don t forget to comply with the Data means that everybody has access to the marketing with colleagues, you can use Protection Act if you re storing personal same data and information is only entered Outlook in combination with Microsoft 2 Microsoft Business Contact Manager information once. It can also be accessed by remote Business benefit 3: Better sales and marketing Microsoft Business Contact Manager Business Contact Manager (BCM) is an add-on to Outlook 2003 that adds a suite of customer relationship management functions within the same familiar interface as Outlook. Business Contact Manager comes with Office 2003 Small Business Edition Sales and marketing campaigns Because SBS can send faxes, s and share printers, it s very easy to run sales and marketing campaigns using different forms of communication. You can fax targeted customers with a special offer, send a mailmerged introductory letter to new prospects and follow-up on existing opportunities with an campaign. Sportsframe
8 14 15 connection Microsoft FrontPage 2003, which is Norwegian Coastal It isn t very economical to pay for multiple included in SBS 2003 Premium Edition, ISP accounts to let different employees will let you create and edit websites much get online when you can pay for a single like you edit documents in Microsoft broadband connection and use SBS 2003 Word. You can add custom pages to your to give everyone access to it. Think of it as intranet using SharePoint which is part of Does your address mark you out as a small business? Do you a kind of telephone switchboard for the SBS 2003 but you will need a third party internet. All your office computers to host a public website. They provide the connect to the server and it connects computer to run the web server and the Norwegian Coastal Voyage sales spend too much on multiple internet connections? them to the internet. Everyone can be internet connection that lets people executives were spending too much time online at the same time, but you only pay connect to your site, but you can take on the road and not enough time dealing for one connection. control of the look and feel of your own with their . Now they can stay in Not only that but the Standard Edition of site and update it as often as you like. touch wherever they are. Is your dial-up internet access too slow Either option is fine for private but SBS 2003 includes Exchange Server 2003 SBS 2003 includes an effective firewall to See page 22 for the full story. for business? Do you need to design your if you send out s for your business it which is the same high-powered mail protect all your users against virus own website? The internet is a powerful looks unprofessional and makes you look server used by multinational companies infections and hackers while the Premium business tool. Small Business Server 2003 like a small company. Much better to have all over the world. It will deal with your Edition includes Microsoft ISA Server can help you make the most of it. your business name as your address. incoming and outgoing mail. You can also 2004* which combines the functions of an install, for free, Microsoft s Intelligent The solution is to get your own internet enhanced firewall with tools to filter and Get your own address Message Filter which blocks out unwanted domain ( yourcompany.com ) and set up a manage users access to the internet and Most home users connect to the internet junk before it even reaches your mail server that will act like your own to cache frequently-used websites to using an internet service provider (ISP). employees. private post office. All outgoing increase performance. They use an address that is a will use the new domain name combination of their name and the name * Included as part of SBS 2003 SP1 just like a big company and the server of the ISP, for example will pick up incoming mail and route it Some people directly to your employees. use web-based systems like Hotmail. Business benefit 4: Get online Share a broadband internet Design your own website
9 chance that any unprotected computer programs and operating systems. These 6. Protect wireless networks against that is connected to the internet will be patches make them safer and more eavesdroppers and freeloaders infected with a virus within an hour. efficient so it is worth staying up-to-date 7. Backup all your critical files regularly with them. Using Software Update A firewall stops many viruses from even Services, SBS 2003 downloads patches and 8. Beware internet scams, hoaxes and reaching your computers. When you use deploys them over the network to your fraud use your common sense SBS 2003 to connect to the internet office computers. This saves each user 9. Ask the police or your insurance means, you can use its industrial-strength 16 having to download and deploy their own company for advice about physical firewall or (with the Premium Edition) 17 patches and ensures that everyone has the security Microsoft Internet and Security latest patches as soon as they are Accelerator 2004 (available as an upgrade 10. Take special care of laptops and other available. You can ask your local IT supplier to ISA 2000 as part of SBS 2003 Service portable equipment to help you plan and manage this process. Pack 1) which adds additional security features such as managing which web Password policies sites people can visit. Of course, you will St John Ambulance Passwords are often the weak link in also need anti-virus software, which is not One of the biggest problems facing small businesses security. Unfortunately, people often included but which is essential. choose weak passwords for example, is the hassle of dealing with security threats. using their user name as a password or File access control something obvious like password and You wouldn t leave confidential pay or they rarely change them. With SBS 2003 personnel records, cash flow forecasts or you can set optional password policies business plans lying around on your desk that enforce stronger passwords, typically This is because they are subject to the information and customer data to fire or Since by default all your employees My for anyone to read. However, storing I have to say we ve been very pleased with punctuation marks, capital letters same problems as bigger companies theft? Even businesses with insurance Documents folders are also stored on the digital versions of those files on your with what we ve got. A lot of and numbers in them, and make people viruses, junk , hardware failures etc. sometimes go bust after a major loss server, these are also included in the backup, computer or sharing them over an ad-hoc, organisations, and certainly other St. John change them periodically. This ensures a but they don t have the same because they don t have a reliable backup even if their machine breaks or gets lost. peer-to-peer network offers little control Ambulance organisations, are envious. consistent level of password security. resources to deal with them. Microsoft of their critical information. over who might have access to them. Jim Buckland, St John s Ambulance Small Business Server 2003 can help. Instant recall Keeping all your data on a central server SBS 2003 uses the same industrialstrength Windows Server software that 1. Keep out internet nasties with a firewall Ten business security tips SBS 2003 has a feature called Volume See page 24 for the full story. is the first step. This means that it is all in Back me up Shadow Copy. Files stored on the server are one place ready to be backed up. multinational companies and A surprising number of businesses believe automatically backed up twice a day so that 2. Every computer needs anti-virus that bad things only happen to other SBS 2003 includes backup software that you can revert to a previously saved version governments use. This means that it can software securely and safely control access to people. A bcentral poll revealed that a will make copies of your files onto tapes very easily. This means if you accidentally 3. Use to check sensitive files. However, it adds an easyto-use administration program which staggering 27% of respondents either don t or backup disks. An easy-to-use wizard delete or change an important file, you can for Microsoft security updates know what a backup is or never do it. takes you through setting up a backup: instantly restore a previous version. This is helps small businesses add and delete 4. Use strong passwords and control access what to save, how often to run and so on. almost like the undo feature in Microsoft This suicidal optimism can turn a drama users from the system and change their to confidential files By default, it backs up everything that is Word applied to every file. into a crisis. Imagine what would happen access privileges. needed to completely restore the server. if you lost, say, your stock records, payroll Business benefit 5: Cut security stress Internet protection Sophos, a company that makes anti-virus software, reckons that there is a 90% Update management Microsoft and other software companies regularly release software updates for their 5. Check for spyware using Microsoft AntiSpyware (beta downloadable free of charge)
10 Sharing printers and fax machines When you start out, it s easy: fax machine in the corner, dial-up internet account and a printer attached to your main computer. But as you grow, you hire new people and they want their own printers, internet access and suddenly there s a line at the fax machine. If everyone had a digital diary and they were all linked up, it would be easier to plan meetings because you could see when people were free. Not only that but once the meeting was booked, it would be clearly highlighted in everyone s diary and they would all get a proper reminder. You could also see if meeting rooms and other resources are available and book them. SBS cuts down the cost of additional Using Exchange Server and Microsoft 18 hardware when you hire new employees. Outlook 2003 (both part of SBS 2003), it s 19 For example, because it lets you share easy to arrange meetings by . Just printers, you don t need to buy one for select a time and date and invite people each new employee. You can also share to the meeting. They all receive an expensive devices like colour laser printers with the details and they can accept the and add a cheap inkjet printer for meeting or decline, so you know exactly invoices. who is coming. Outlook has a plan a meeting function that can automatically As your business grows so does Small Business Server Similarly, you can add a fax modem to an schedule a meeting for a group of people SBS server that lets you send faxes without It can also help you streamline your business: co-ordinating based on the free time in their diaries. scanning the documents in. Instead, you meetings and sharing information. just print to the fax modem in the same Sharing information way you d print a document to a regular Microsoft Outlook 2003 does more than printer. The server converts it into a fax and manage your . It contains a sends it for you. Incoming faxes can be Administration reports and have remote access to the access the network from a number of sophisticated calendar, address book and printed out or, to save paper, just routed to Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 (SBS system so that they can look after routine different devices, such as home and office to-do list. Combine it with Microsoft your inbox in digital format. 2003) makes it easier for companies to maintenance. computers. Exchange Server 2003 (included in Small expand. While it s best to have Business Server 2003) and you can share SBS 2003 includes five Client Access Efficient meetings professional help to set up a new server, Straightforward licensing all this information with colleagues. Licences to get you started and you can It s bad enough trying to schedule a you don t need to be a super-geek to SBS 2003 supports up to 75 users or purchase more up to a limit of 75. Once meeting with five busy people but it s manage it once it s up and running. You devices. A user is a named individual and you reach the upper limit of SBS 2003 (by even more annoying when one of them can add new users to the system or a device is typically a PC or laptop. Since definition, you won t be a small business shows up late or didn t know the perform other routine administrative tasks you have to buy a Client Access Licence anymore) you can protect your meeting was happening. thanks to step-by-step wizards to simplify. for each one, having the flexibility to investment with by upgrading SBS 2003 choose is a real benefit. For example, you reports and easy-to-use intranet to remove the restriction without losing can use a device licence if a computer is summaries give you instant feedback on the money you have already invested in shared between different users, such as problems and regular status reports. You Microsoft licenses. shift workers. On the other hand, a user can also arrange for third party experts, licence works well for employees who like your IT supplier, to receive status Business benefit 6: Save time and money
11 Case study 1: Sportsframe The system we ve got is going to allow us to grow and develop. Adam Gascoigne How Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 transformed Sportsframe s whole IT system Sportsframe specialises in frame sports memorabilia and pictures. If you need a rugby shirt mounted in a glass case or a cricket print or a presentation case for a medal, they are your guys. With three full-time staff working in the office and gallery in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire and another three staff working from home, they were struggling with a computer system held together with string and sticky tape. There was no server to co-ordinate everything and they were using a dial-up internet account which meant that only one person at a time could get online. What really annoyed Adam Gascoigne, Remote workers The first thing Gascoigne did was set up a system that allowed people to connect to the office from home. He uses it to pick up and check on business with his laptop in the evening but, more usefully, some of his staff are able to do all their work away from the office. It s literally like being in the office. You ve got all the benefits and all the access, says Gascoigne. For example, his nephew looks after their internet site, which allows customers to order bespoke framed pictures. Their webmaster can connect remotely, see what new pictures are available and update the site accordingly. broadband connection. Gascoigne also loves the way he and his colleagues can now share diaries. The biggest gain was due to the way that SBS 2003 shares printers. They have an office printer-photocopier-fax hooked up to the server that lets them print everyday correspondence and send faxes from their own computers. They ve also got a very high-end photo printer which they use to print images for framing. Before they got SBS 2003 they had to transfer each picture manually from one computer to another. Now they can print photos from any computer in the office, whether the picture is scanned in or arrives by . To deal with other orders, the master framer uses a shared task folder in Outlook 2003 (included with SBS 2003). Each new order becomes a task in the list and everybody can read, edit and mark them complete. This means that everyone in the office can see exactly what s going on all the time. It also means that data is only entered once. The secret to success He believes the secret to success is working with an IT partner who knows their stuff. He acknowledges that they struggled without any support for a couple of years but now there is someone at the end of the telephone if it goes wrong. The system we ve got is going to allow us to grow and develop, says Gascoigne. We spend less time now sorting out IT problems than we did before because it s been done properly. however, was the printer. They had to transfer picture files on CDs and memory sticks from one machine to another just to get them printed. The whole system felt like a bit of a black hole. Then, in February 2005, with help from a local IT supplier, they set up a new server running Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 and it started a transformation that has really improved the business. Efficiency gains There were big efficiency gains too. Before SBS 2003, Sportsframe used a number of dial-up internet accounts for and they had trouble finding old messages. Once they had SBS 2003, they were able to keep track of all their s in one place, including the all-important sales orders. Also, they have replaced the different dial-up accounts with a Better sales and marketing Bringing together their , their internet connection and their ability to share files easily has helped them process orders more efficiently. Their main customer is a mail order firm which has remote access to Sportsframe s server. As they take orders during the day they enter them onto a spreadsheet on the Sportsframe server. It s very good, says Gascoigne.
12 Case study 2: Norwegian Coastal Voyage Everybody these days is au fait with Windows technology. John Smith 22 Specialist cruise tour operator, Norwegian Coastal Voyage had a problem: their sales executives were spending too much time on the road and not enough time dealing with their . Thanks to Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, now they can stay in touch wherever they are 23 A couple of years ago we decided that we really needed to have a mobile solution for the company s senior management team and for sales executives who are on the road 95% of the time, explains John Smith, Head of Finance and IT at Norwegian Coastal Voyage. The company employs 30 people in Hammersmith, London with a turnover of 15m annually. A niche specialist, they focus on selling cruises on ships belonging to their Norwegian parent companies. Voyages to the fjords and Northern Lights are particularly popular. One of their ships leaves Bergen every day and has done for the last 110 years. Mobile workforce Our business used to be split 70 percent direct to the public and 30 percent through travel agents, says Smith. Over the past two or three years we ve invested heavily in the [travel agent] trade and now it s more 50:50. This means sales executives now spend more of their time on the road. As trade sales increased it became more and more important for sales executives to stay in touch. If a travel agent sends an but doesn t get a prompt reply, it can mean a lost sale. Smith also worried about the burden of coming back from a long trip only to have days worth of waiting at the end of the journey. Small Business Server to the rescue They installed SBS 2003 so they could take advantage of the built-in Exchange server and its Outlook Mobile Access feature. This would enable employees to read and reply to using laptop computers, pocket computers or even Smartphones. They equipped their sales force with a mixture of handheld PocketPCs and Smartphones. A Smartphone combines an reader and other functions with a phone so that it has everything it needs to dial in to SBS 2003 in one box. Those with PocketPCs used a connection to their Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone to make the connection. It works just as well but they need to carry both devices. Training wasn t a problem. Everybody these days is au fait with Windows technology, says Smith, so you can put these devices into people s hands and they re up and running immediately. The results: sales executives can use the dead time in the day to deal with s rather than waiting until they get back from a trip. Smith reckons that their productivity has increased by percent. More importantly, there s no risk of losing important business by not replying quickly enough to an . Competitive advantage SBS 2003 has given Norwegian Coastal Voyage an edge. To put it bluntly the travel industry, except the online players, really is backward in terms of embracing technology, says Smith. I like to think that as a smaller player we look to technology as a competitive advantage.
13 Case study 3: St. John Ambulance Running a county-wide operation and co-ordinating volunteers is a job for the Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 A lot of organisations, and certainly other St. John Ambulance organisations, are envious. Jim Buckland We try to keep ahead, says Jim Buckland, sessions or, worse, losing business because programs, lists of trainers, application everyone has been equipped with LCD flat County Executive Office for St. John they couldn t confirm a particular date. forms and so on. It s almost like a panel screens and they have a tape Ambulance in Lincolnshire. It s something of After all, they have people calling every message board, says Buckland. They even backup device and redundant hard disk an understatement. His operation uses the day, whether there s someone to take the put up photographs of events so that the system for security. latest server technology to connect twelve divisional headquarters in the county and to run the day-to-day operations at the head office with eight PCs. He has revolutionised the organisation s IT infrastructure in the nine years since he started working for the charity. When I first came, the computers were outdated you couldn t do graphics and they weren t networked. Now they run Microsoft Small Business Server and link their computers together using the very latest gigabit networking hardware and a broadband internet connection. Booking courses booking or not. They solved the problem using a feature in Exchange Server 2003 (part of SBS 2003) that allows them to share calendars. This means that everyone in the office can check when courses are booked: any of us can access it and put in a booking, says Buckland. The next time someone called to ask if a date was available, we can check immediately. This means we can give far better customer service. Intranet keeps everyone in touch They have also exploited the way that SharePoint (another part of SBS 2003) volunteers can see themselves in action. Because the intranet also allows members access to their SBS 2003-hosted accounts using a web based client called Outlook Web Access, all the volunteers are able to one another. When they are called on to provide first ad cover for a large event, it allows them to a wide range of members quickly and make sure that they can have enough volunteers for the event. It s an enormous county in terms of land mass but only about 600,000 [inhabitants]. Sometimes you have to travel considerable distances to take part in anything. Any way of communicating is very useful, explains Buckland. Digital filing Having a central server has also allowed them to digitise their filing system. They use a third-party commercial program to scan in their paperwork but it is stored on the SBS 2003 server so everyone can access it. It s like a digital filing cabinet. Buckland is very proud of the system: when you re a small organisation and you have limited office space what you don t want is to clutter up the place with information and bits of paper which could be filed electronically. It s just fantastic and we re able to do it because we ve got SBS. Overall, says Buckland, I have to say This has already paid dividends. Although it is a charity, they raise significant sums allows them to create private intranet web sites easily. They use this to co-ordinate First aid for the network we ve been very pleased with what we ve got. A lot of organisations, and certainly by selling first aid courses commercially. outlying volunteer divisions across the They work with their IT supplier who other St. John Ambulance organisations, But with only one part-time member of Lincolnshire. There is all sorts of provides a monthly computer health are envious. staff to look after the bookings, they often information on the site: announcements, check-up. Their IT supplier also keeps found themselves double-booking important documents such as the training them at the cutting edge of technology:
14 Case study 4: Phoenix Coaching goes mobile Trying to keep track of all my appointments used to be a real pain. Rob Burr A personal training company gets its computers into shape Rob Burr is managing director of Phoenix Coaching, a firm of personal trainers based in London. The New Zealander travels to his clients all over London and rarely gets time in the office. The company has five personal trainers, a masseuse, a swimming trainer and a nutritional therapist. From their office in Fulham, they go straight to customers on customised bikes, visiting them in their homes, offices or gyms. Mobile schedule We want to be an encouraging and knowledgeable exercise buddy rather than a drill sergeant, says Burr. Key to their success is personal service and attention to detail. This means fitting in with their busy clients schedules. Trying to keep track of all my appointments used to be a real pain, he says. My clients want to change appointments on the phone all the time and at the end of every session I like to book up the next one. Missing an appointment isn t just a case of lost revenue it damages the company s cherished reputation for service. It is after all a personal training company. To keep track of the schedules he uses a PocketPC a handheld computer. It combines a diary, an address book and a task list with other useful functions. Because his schedule is constantly changing, it is much easier to deal with a digital diary rather than constantly crossing things out in a paper diary. When he gets back to the office, he synchronises it with his computer so that he has a backup of his diary. This also lets his colleagues see what he is doing and, if necessary, they can make bookings for him. Mobile He is also experimenting with picking up his on the move. He already downloads his from his desktop computer every morning but using his mobile phone he is also able to pick up during breaks in his day: in the park, in a café, over lunch, while waiting for his clients to arrive. Some of my clients seem to do everything by , so if I can be more available to them I ll get more business, he adds. Takeaway Documents The company keeps a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for each of his clients to keep track of their training progress. What really won him over was the ability to download these spreadsheets and take them with him ready of his day s sessions. Any changes he makes are synchronised back onto the desktop computer when he returns. Mobile working is fast becoming as much a part of the Phoenix culture as the bikes and endless crunches, curls and sprints.
15 Inside Small Business Server 2003 Windows Small Business Server 2003 is a complete, affordable, reliable solution packed with functionality and is easy to install, deploy and maintain. Feature Windows Server 2003 Benefit Reliable network operating system and easy-to-use tools including system back up, fax, network security and firewall. Standard edition Premium edition Standard vs. Premium The Standard version of Small Business Server contains all the features most businesses need. The Premium version adds three extra programs which are useful in specific circumstances. The first is Windows vs. Linux You may have heard of Linux, an operating system that has been developed collaboratively in the public domain. In principle, it is free. However, most installations come in the form of paid-for SharePoint Services A company-only intranet web site for sharing information, SQL Server 2000, a database program. distributions which package together the 28 pictures, documents and calendars. The intranet also includes Some specialist business applications rely various elements of Linux and provide some Remote Web Workplace which gives users secure remote access Standard on a central database server running documentation and technical support. 29 second is FrontPage 2003, a program that from the office. bargain, but most small businesses find lets you design websites. SharePoint lets that the total cost of the software plus the you build an intranet without using Exchange Server 2003 This is the hub for your business , calendars, tasks and time and expertise required to install and FrontPage so you only need it if you want contacts. It helps people collaborate together efficiently. They can support Linux often exceeds the equivalent to design custom intranet pages or you also access securely over the internet, from laptops, total cost of running Small Business Server want to build or modify your own public PocketPCs and Smartphones In addition, most Linux distributions website. Lastly, ISA Server 2004 (included do not include the range of tools that are as part of SBS 2003 Service Pack 1) Microsoft Office A unified place to manage and organize messages, included in SBS provides sophisticated and customisable Outlook 2003 schedules, contacts, and other personal and team information. to documents, and the intranet site when working away Premium Structured Query Language (SQL). The Of course, nobody wants to pass up a security and performance enhancements The close integration of Windows Microsoft Shared Fax Fax directly from users own computers. Receive faxes through to protect your network from unwanted operating systems and familiar Microsoft Service SharePoint, , or your printer. internet traffic. Office applications means that business can preserve the value of their existing Routing and Remote Firewall technology to help secure your Internet connections. investment in software and training. Access Services (RRAS) SQL Server 2000 Professional database system supporting line-of-business applications. Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 Tools for sophisticated Web site development or the creation of customized solutions for Windows SharePoint Services. ISA Server 2004 (Included as part of SBS 2003 Service Pack 1 Network security and system performance tools.
16 How to get Small Business Server 2003 Okay, so you ve seen how SBS 2003 can help your business but how do you get it? What do you need to run it? To find out, read on. How to choose a supplier Finding the right technology partner to advise you can be hard work but it is important to get it right. A good supplier will help you make the most out of Small Business Server 2003 and can help with other IT challenges. How to get SBS There are four ways to buy Small Business Server 2003: Look for a server model rather than a desktop model Processor speed: at least 2 GHz Upgrades to the operating system on your other computers. You will need to run Windows P Professional or Windows 2000 Professional on each machine that connects to the server. Where do you start? Ask your colleagues, suppliers and peers who they use. Ask the local Chamber of Can they cope with your needs? Do they have the resources to meet your needs now? Can they commit to a Where next? Further information about Small Business Server 2003 Option 1: Buy with new hardware. This Memory: at least 1 GB. You can add Commerce for their input. There is a specific schedule and budget for a given can be particularly cost-effective. At the more memory later searchable directory of IT suppliers on project? Will they be able to do the work A broadband internet connection, such as time of writing, entry-level servers which Hard disks size: add up the data you Microsoft s small business portal: with their own staff or will they have to For information on technology options, ADSL. Choose a business connection and include a pre-installed copy of SBS 2003 store already and double it at least. You sub-contract? Will they have the change management and for guidance, get a fixed IP address to allow incoming costs as little as 700 including delivery can usually add more disks later. SBS resources to grow with you in the future? comment, explanation and in-depth remote access connections. and VAT itself needs at least 6 GB What are you looking for? analysis of the latest developments in What levels of support will they A web hosting service, if you plan to Option 2: By from a Microsoft Partner Hard disk modes: Except for small Evidence of experience is essential. You re technology and how they affect your design and host your own public-access provide? with a package of hardware and services. networks, prefer SATA or SCSI-type hard website. looking for someone to help you now but business: Look for a service level agreement that This is the most common route for many disks over ATA (these acronyms refer to 30 who can also be a long-term partner, so sets out how quickly they will respond to 31 small businesses who want some support how the disks talk to the computer) Domain name registration for remote look for evidence of the ability to grow in setting up and managing their IT access, incoming and web hosting. problems and the level of after-sales For information on starting and running a Consider using RAID technology. This and develop as you do. Use this checklist support they offer. investment. writes your data to two or more disks as A hub, switch or a wireless access point small business: to select the right company: Option 3: There are better deals if you are an insurance against one of the disks to connect your computers to the Ask about training. Can they provide it buy lots of Microsoft software in one go, failing. However, this increases the cost network and to your server. Do they understand your systems? or recommend reputable partners? for example multiple licences for Office To install SBS, you will need a CD-ROM A fax modem to allow the server to send Look for evidence that they can support Are the responsibilities clear? applications, server software and Windows or DVD-ROM drive and receive faxes. the hardware and software you use now Can they give a clear breakdown of what P. For more information see: A network adaptor to connect the server For certain Smartphones, you may need and that they have worked with similar they will (and will not) do? Can they explain to your network. You may need to buy a special digital certificate, called an SSL kit before. the step by step process by which they will Option 4: You can buy SBS 2003 and two, depending on how you connect to certificate that guarantees a secure, You can find advice about how to stay Do they understand your business? complete a given project? Is everyone clear install it on an existing computer. At the the internet encrypted connection for . safe and secure online from: Look for a supplier who has worked with on what you have to provide? time of writing, the Standard Edition SBS Anti-virus software for the server and the businesses of a similar size and, if 2003 costs around 435 including VAT. As Other things you may need What is their fee structure? other computers on your network. possible, the same industry so you can with any substantial purchase, it s worth There are some other things that you may Depending on the project, it is possible to shopping around. However, you need to need to purchase at the same time as you Limitations draw on their experience and get the agree a flat fee, an hourly or daily rate or For business software and productivity be sure that you have the technical skills buy your server and SBS 2003: There are a number of limitations with right IT solution for your needs. an ongoing retainer. Are they willing to solutions: to install it properly or that you have an IT Windows Small Business Server 2003 Unless you have the skills in-house to set Are they sufficiently well-qualified? break down their cost structure and supplier who can set it up for you. While (compared to Windows Server 2003, the up SBS 2003, it pays to find a suitably Check their credentials, references and allocate costs to different stages or operating SBS 2003 is easy enough once next step up) which mean that it may not qualified local IT supplier who can help. qualifications. activities? You want an accurate budget it is running, setting it up requires some be right for everybody: Visit to find a before any work is commissioned. specialist knowledge. Do they talk your language? For information on software and the law: local supplier. SBS 2003 must be the first server While it is important that they Is there appropriate documentation? Hardware requirements Additional Client Access Licences (CALs). installed on the network and must serve understand the technology, they need to They should supply you with a proposal for Here s a brief checklist of the recommended You need one CAL per computer or user as the main log-on server. Additional hardware (as opposed to the minimum that connects to SBS The software servers can be added later. be able to communicate it to you in the work, including a budget, timetable To get the latest software patches and everyday language and justify themselves and a reasonable specification. It should be updates: specification) you should look for: includes five CALs with the basic SBS 2003 only supports up to 75 users or package. Additional CALs can be devices. However, you can buy a in business terms. When you ask them a in plain English. If this is satisfactory, you Hardware that is Windows-compatible. purchased in 5- and 20-packs. transition pack to protect your question do you understand the answer? should have a written contract specifying Microsoft has a list on its website: A backup device, whether this is investment and transition to the next Do their proposals ring true? Do they all the details. Even if you do not have a removable disk storage, a tape drive or Windows Server product. understand the needs of growing formal contract drawn up by lawyers, catalog other medium. businesses? make sure that the details of the work are written down and agreed in some form.
17 i Windows vs. Linux: ii SBS Street Price: Amazon 475: and Dabs 433: ows%20small%20business%20server 2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Frontpage, Hotmail, Outlook, SharePoint and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
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