Whats not hot with SBS 2003 – harryb’s view [Advanced Windows Small Business Server 2003 Best PRactices book excerpt]

Gday folks – here is the daily virtual book reading from the above SBS book that I co-wrote and published. Enjoy!

What’s Not Working

Hindsight is always twenty-twenty, or so the saying goes. Given the chance to redo certain things, of course you and I and even the short-order cook at the local eatery would probably do so! I preface the following discussion with that dose of reality because, while SBS 2003 is doing very well in the marketplace, there have been and continue to be areas for possible improvement.

• What Wasn’t Working but Is Now. You might recall that, upon prod­uct release, the client access licenses (CALs) for SBS 2003 were very difficult to obtain. There was apparently a distribution snafu that con­tinued into early 2004, but this has since been resolved. Not only is it

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possible to purchase all the CALs you need—you can also read all about them in Chapter 3 of this book.

·                     Extensive Usage of Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services (WSS). No, I’m not talking turkey here (a passing reference to the WSS dynamic-link library malady of late November 2003, which is described and resolved in my introductory SBS 2003 book). Rather, I’m speak­ing about the lack of WSS excitement and acceptance as we approach the one year birthday of SBS 2003. WSS is a great component, so why aren’t more SBSers truly using it? Hopefully Chapter 7 of this book will get you fired up and turned on about WSS!

·                     BizTalk Bump in the Road. Microsoft introduced BizTalk Server 2004, an electronic data interchange (EDI) product, into SBS 2003 premium edition (see the CRN article at www.crn.com/showArticle.jhtml ?articleID=18842296&flatPage=true for details), but it seems that some­one forgot to tell the SBS community. Very few SBSers are using BizTalk.



·                     Microsoft Office Small Business Edition (SBE) 2003 and SBS. On paper, it looked simple: sell one SBS server machine, and that in turn will sell several workstations with Windows XP Professional and Office SBE 2003. Unfortunately, what works on the whiteboard doesn’t always work in the real world. Office SBE 2003 has not experienced the SBS 2003 sales boost that was anticipated. Oh sure, attempts have been made to jump-start this relationship, and I was even retained by a Microsoft vendor to create the SBS 2003 and Office SBE 2003 hands- on lab that was delivered at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Confer­ence (WWPC) in Toronto in July 2004 (the hands-on lab was well-attended, by the way!). But much more work remains to get folks excited about Office SBE 2003. Stay tuned.

·                     Customer Demand Generation. While the accountants at Microsoft are reasonably satisfied due to the success of SBS 2003, some SBSers would, quite frankly, like more clients to serve. Microsoft’s channel- focused strategy assumes that SBS consultants will serve as a virtual SBS sales force for Microsoft. Microsoft itself does little customer

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advertising that truly generates a demand for SBS consultants; many of you reading this book already know this. But let me point you to a fascinating study from Yankee Group, released in July 2004, which calls Microsoft to task for NOT DOING ENOUGH to generate demand for SBS 2003. A portion of the study is displayed in Figure 1-2.

Figure 1-2

While applauding SBS 2003 success, study author Laura DiDio from Yankee Group strongly asserts that Microsoft’s SBS demand generation efforts could be improved. The white paper also does a great job of introducing SBS 2003 from a business viewpoint.




BEST PRACTICE: Download the Yankee Group study from www.smbnation.com using the SBS and SMB Consulting Working Papers link. Read it!

Right before the publication of this book, there is an important update to share regrading customer demand generation. Microsoft Ireland and Microsoft Germany are planning to engage in customer-facing demand generation in 2005. These subsidiaries will run radio ads and print ads. Here is to being hopeful this demand generation strategy will work!


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Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (www.smbnation.com)

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

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!




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