The Old House and SBS 2003 [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Happy Monday everyone – Harrybbbb here – this publisher of the above title. I like to hold daily virtual book readings by posting up a passage. Today’s it’s the section titled “This Old House” and you will like it!

This Old House

The client’s office is located in an older building that is two stories tall (see Figure 4.1), and the way the staff communicated was by either picking up the intercom or yelling up the stairs. Needless to say, clients did find his bellowing, “Hey you!” very unprofessional.


Figure 4-1

The real-world client used in this example. Be sure to treasure your real-world experiences as one study method to pass the 70-282 exams.

We installed server hardware, a real Internet connection (abandoning dial-up), and immediately started using the simple messenger application. The client and staff loved the company folder on everyone’s desktop and proceeded to stick every thinkable document, application, picture, and who knows what in it. Even though we had the fax module, the client didn’t trust it and continued to use the old fax machine. Such was life for that customer in the SBS 2000 days. But stand by, as things change for the better.

IMPORTANT: Let’s talk about modularity. Microsoft Learning uses some time-tested education models that are very sound. Modularity is a key methodology used by Microsoft Learning. It means:

a.     A student could take a MOC course, assuming all prerequisites have been met.

b.     The student would be able to complete the exercises.


Chapter 4Designing a Business Technology Solution for a
Small- or Medium-Sized Business

 

4-3

c. The exercises would be self-contained (e.g., all keystroke procedures start with a logon command and end with a logoff command).

So, in the spirit of modularity, you do not need to have working knowledge of SBS 2000 (the prior SBS release) to pass the 70-282 exam. The 70-282 exam uses SBS 2003 as its baseline and makes no assumptions and has no expectations about your SBS 2000 legacy wisdom. This is an important tip to help keep you focused on passing 70-282. Please see the other IMPORTANT item at the end of the chapter (right before the questions).

SBS 2003 to the Rescue

With the introduction of SBS 2003, we finally made the big step and fully integrated all the features available in SBS. The client was ready to elevate and better exploit the technology prowess of the SBS 2003 bundle. The following sections show how the client utilized the communication capabilities of SBS 2003.

 

 

 

Fax

Faxes are now being delivered to two employees’ Outlook clients as well as a shared folder on the network. With the ability to remote in to the desktop via Remote Web Workplace and check e-mail through Outlook Web Access when needed (and view the faxes), the owner finally understood the value of the integrated fax module and gave up the old fax machine, which is now seldom used. To fax out material, we are discussing the addition of a high-speed scanner, which could be used to also route documents to fax, but that is another discussion. Note you can also store inbound faxes in Windows SharePoint Services.

Real-Time Communications

Messenger is still the number one inter-office communication tool and the way you instant message in SBS 2003. The receptionist now quietly IMs the owner and two other employees from the first to the second floor and there is no longer a need to yell up the stairs in front of the customers. It’s worth mentioning that some customers in the real world are questioning whether instant messaging is used strictly for business purposes.


IMPORTANT: SBS 2003 removed Exchange-based instant messaging functionality.

Exchange Server 2003

Exchange-based e-mail and other services have been implemented and we finally got rid of the POP3 accounts at the ISP. The customer was so amazed at how fast his e-mail was working—we could almost consider it real-time communication. I won’t forget the big smile on his face when he told me that he was conversing with another accountant on the other side of the USA and it was just as fast as using IM. I guess the best part, with them being tax people and all, and having to work very hard during the first four months of the year, was implementing RPC over HTTP where they could receive their e-mail at home without having to use a VPN connection. Almost all communications with their clients takes place via e-mail now, and Exchange has become a pivotal point in productivity.

Windows SharePoint Services

And what do you think happened to the Company Shared Folder? It went away. Why? Because Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) is being positioned, whether it likes it or not, as the document and data store of choice. Back at the customer site, we finally got things organized and set up document libraries in WSS. We very much have a business focus and restrict uploading to business documents. Even though the client is using a proprietary accounting solution for the bulk of the transactions, WSS has taken on the important role of catchall for everything that doesn’t fit into the accounting software. It also serves as a discussion and transaction history tool, keeping track of goings-on with client files that need to be documented and retained for future use. One of the great productivity features is the ability to set “Alerts”—an advisory to a user that there has been a change made to a document without anybody needing to pick up the phone or send an e-mail. Everyone is on the same page on all projects, and all information is kept neatly in one place. WSS is discussed further in Chapter 7 of this book.


4-5

Chapter 4Designing a Business Technology Solution for a
Small- or Medium-Sized Business

Shared Resources

The default shared folder on an SBS 2003 network is called “Users Shared Folders” with the share name USERS. The company folder no longer exists, because the SBS development team received feedback that customers were confused in the SBS 2000 time frame when there were both Users and Company Shared Folders. There are no shared folders on any of the workstations by default, and all data is kept on the server. (In Chapter 7 you will learn there is a My Document redirection setting that moves all of the workstation data to the Users Shared Folders on the network—an administrator’s dream!)

Recently a high-speed color laser printer was purchased, which is shared on the network and available for everyone to print to. This addition is already saving money for the company by eliminating the need for individual color printers, ink, and maintenance.

IMPORTANT: For this part of the 70-282 exam, you need to have your design thinking intact and view yourself as an architect. In that paradigm, kindly consider the following bit of history. In the earli­est days of the local area network (LAN), when disciples kissed the Token Ring and surfed ArcNet (two legacy networking standards), traction was gained because a LAN offered great cost efficiencies in a business via shared resources. The early printers cost a great deal of money, so clearly a small business couldn’t afford to place a dot matrix or a laser printer on each worker’s desk. However, a LAN allowed a small business to have everyone share one printer. Brilliant! So when designing a small business network and taking the 70-282 exam, you’ll never go wrong by returning to your roots: shared resources being the driver for many small business network implementations.

Notes:

 

cheers…harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com

Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP

PS – did u know I host a technology conference in the New York City area each spring? Save the date for March 6-8, 2009 and watch “voice meet data” in the SMB space!

PPS – my SBS 2008 book will be out in mid-November 2008!

PPPS – my Microsoft Response Point Primer book is here NOW!

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