In-Depth

SBS 2000 Report Card: One Year Later


Small Business Best Practices Volume 1, Issue 6 (March, 2002)

A third-party newsletter featuring small business networking news on Microsoft Small Business Server, bCentral and Windows XP peer-to-peer solutions.

In this issue:

Headliners
- SBS VAP Of The Year
- Center For Computer Resources
- Gateway's SMB Strategy Paying Off
- Newsletter Back Issues Posted
- New SBS KBASE Articles
- ISA Server Service Pack #1 Released

SBSWatch
- New Microsoft Big Day Format Features SMB/SBS
- Microsoft SBS Development Team in February 2002 Chat
- SBS Speech To Be Delivered At NAPSA in Orlando, FL
- Book Reviews: Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices
- April 23rd SBS Chat on Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine
- RUMOR: New ISA Server book focused on SBS?

NewbieTip
- Additional Telephone Jack

GuruTip
- 802.11 Wireless

bCentral
- Two CPAs and a Pizza: Lease Versus Buy

Windows XP
- Bea Mulzer Joins Expetec Services, Inc. as CTO

Editorial
- SBS 2000 Report Card: One Year Later

NOTE: An HTML-version of this newsletter will be sent next week as a test. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

______Headliners____________________________________

SBS VAP Of The Year - Center For Computer Resources Join us in helping Curtis Hicks and Oak Park, MI-based Center for Computer Resources (www.ccr1.com) as it celebrates its final few months as the 2001 recipient of the Global Microsoft Small Business Solution of the Year Award. If you're a Microsoft Certified Partner and want to be considered for the same award in 2002, hop over to the following link: http://www.microsoft.com/Partner/Go/awards/default.asp. Click on the link titled "Get Started and Submit Your Solution". Finalist receive:

* Microsoft-generated press coverage announcing their finalist status
* A marketing kit allowing them to promote themselves as a finalist
* Peer recognition at our annual Partner conference, Fusion 2002 (July 12 - 15, 2002, in Los Angeles, California)
* An invitation to an exclusive VIP reception at Fusion 2002 with members of the press and top Microsoft executives.

The winners will receive a trophy at the Microsoft Certified Partner event of the year-Fusion, being held in Los Angeles on July 12. (Entrants need not attend Fusion to participate in the Certified Partner Awards program).

BEST PRACTICE: Last year Curtis and CCR won the award with a case study on a not-for-profit organization using SBS 2000. We recommend that you submit your own case study as part of your awards application and give Curtis a run for his money in 2002 - he'll enjoy the competition!

Payoff: Gateway's SMB Strategy
The bow of the Gateway ship is slowly turning and its SMB consulting strategy is finding a fit in the marketplace. Gateway, with over 250 stores, is positioning itself as the neighborhood IT consultancy for small and medium businesses. Gateway is also starting to sell boxes directly at the store-level. For more information on Gateway's SMB success, click on: http://www.gateway.com/about/news/news.shtml

Back Issues of "Small Business Best Practices" Newsletter By popular demand, back issues of this newsletter have been posted at the NetHealthMon Web site (www.nethealthmon.com). Enjoy.

BEST PRACTICE: Take a moment to glance back at the early issues of this newsletter. That exercise will provide you the proper context for where we're at today and why we do the things we do. Sounds like a country-and-western song, eh?

KBASE Watch
TechNet had a busy month on the SBS front. There are four new SBS-related KBASE articles: * How to Manually Uninstall the SBS 2000 Fax Server Component [Q315830]

* Event 201 from Microsoft Exchange in SBS 2000 [Q298160]
* Troubleshooting SBS Console Problems [Q222531]
* SBS 4.5 Exchange 5.5 Setup on SBS 2000 Fails w/ Err "Oxc002041d" [Q294881]

The March 2002 TechNet Technical Information Disc deleted the following older SBS articles:

* BackOffice Small Business Server 4.5 Service Pack Compatibility Information
* BackOffice Small Business Server Hardware Compatibility List Supplement

BEST PRACTICE: Refill the coffee, light another cigar (that's for a special Tampa Bay, FL SBS VAP!) and peruse the new KBASE articles.

ISA Server SP1 Is Here
Members of the Yahoo! SBS Listserv (sign up at www.sbsfaq.com) report no problems with the server-side installation of the Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 Service Pack #1. Calvin McLennan reports that you have to reinstall the Firewall Client on the workstations afterwards. Download ISA Server SP1 from http://www.microsoft.com/isaserver/downloads/sp1.asp

BEST PRACTICE: Proceed with downloading and applying this service pack.

______SBSWatch__________________________

New Day for Big Day
As of March 2002, Microsoft's popular Big Day program has been revamped and re-branded for the SMB market. We've participated in several of the events and noticed that the new format emphasizes business functions, including Great Plains Small Business Manager accounting. Some of the prior emphasis on desktop applications and end-users has been removed from the new format. The SBS presentation, while still short, now emphasizes the successful completion of meaningful and complex tasks, such as creating a Group Policy Object (GPO).

BEST PRACTICE: Consider attending this event as a vendor and sign-up for a free display table at the back of the room.

Microsoft SBS 2-27-02
Chat Leading program managers from the Microsoft SBS development team participated in a well received SBS chat in late February. You really owe it to yourself to review the transcript. Click on http://www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/default.asp?url=/technet/
itcommunity/chats/trans/Default.asp

BEST PRACTICE: This chat wasn't just marketing fluff but got down and dirty in the technical realm. Yee-haw!

NAPSA To Feature SBS in Orlando!
Mark your calendar and raid the grocery budget to attend the NaSTEC conference titled "Innovative Solutions from Data Center to Desktop" from October 6th - 10th, 2002 in Orlando at the Wyndham Orlando Resort. We'll be there presenting two SBS sessions. More information at: http://www.naspa.com/nastec.htm

BEST PRACTICE: Be sure to attend at least one professional conference per year. Give the NaSTEC conference your consideration.

BOOK: Small Business Server 2000 Best Practices reviews This book, now in its second printing, has been recently reviewed by two journals:

*SWYNK: http://www.swynk.com/friends/goodman/sbsbest.asp
*Kitsap Business Journal http://www.telebyte.com/wetapple/database/articles/2002-03-08-DTB-06.html

BEST PRACTICE: Read this and the seven+ reader reviews at Amazon (average score is 5-Stars) to determine if this book is suitable for you.

April SBS Chat
Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine will kick off its monthly SBS roundtable chats on April 23, 2002 at 4pm Pacific. Go to www.mcpmag.com for more information.

BEST PRACTICE: Don't be surprised if members of the Microsoft SBS development team stop in the chat room.

RUMOR: SBS book on ISA Server coming?!?!? There is a credible rumor circulating in the SBS community that Dr. Thomas Shinder MD MCSE will publish an SBS-oriented book on how to work with ISA Server (due early summer). Stay tuned for more updates on these newsletter pages. Shinder is the prolific author of ISA Server and MCSE books who enjoys sky-high Amazon reader review ratings.

______NewbieTip__________________________________

One thing I've learned the hard way with SBS is that the server isn't always near a telephone jack. Why you ask is this is important? Hasn't broadband made the modem obsolete? Not so fast. The problem centers on the Shared Fax Service. You'll need a telephone jack wired to the firm's fax telephone number in order to successfully deploy the Shared Fax Service in SBS.

So I've worked around this by deploying a "wireless" telephone jack. That allows you to place the server wherever you like irrespective of where the telephone jacks in the wall are located. I can confirm the "HP Modem Jack" (Part H930, $69.95) works very well and supports modem speeds up to 56K.

______GuruTip___________________________

Sticking with the wireless theme presented immediately above, I've now observed an SBS network based on the 802.11 wireless standard. It was very impressive that laptop users could walk around madly typing e-mails. Thus I'm able to confirm for you that an 802.11-based network will work with SBS and might be part of your deployment solution.

______bCentral__________________________________

Lease versus Buy
I sat in a Microsoft SMB meeting recently where various networking solutions were being discussed. The potential use of bCentral compared to a client/server solution such as SBS was discussed in the technical context of features, capabilities, etc. But in the business realm, there was a healthy discussion that a core issue is the old MBA lecture of "lease versus buy". When you engage an application server provider (ASP) such as bCentral, you're effectively leasing your technology in $29.95/month increments (this will increase depending on the services you select). When you purchase a server and install SBS, you are effectively buying the technology.

BEST PRACTICE: Consider using bCentral when you initially start in business. I liken this to two CPAs who leave a large international accounting firm on Friday and open up a boutique accounting practice the following Monday (hence the phrase "Two CPAs and a pizza"). Until these CPAs start enjoying operational cash flow, the low cost of bCentral is very appealing. Later, when the new firm grows, solutions like SBS will make more sense.

______Windows XP__________________________________

Beatrice Mulzer, MCSE and MCT, has joined Expetec Services, Inc. as Chief Technology Officer in Central Florida. Bea is widely recognized as a leading Windows XP peer-to-peer networking guru. Look for a guest column from Bea in a future newsletter.

______Editorial__________________________________

What a year it's been since SBS 2000 was launched. This month I'd thought I'd reflect on the life of SBS 2000 and make a prediction for its future.

#1: Stability. Perhaps this most significant milestone in SBS 2000 is its stability. This is clearly the breakout release for SBS (hint: it's the third generation of SBS). No long are frequent reboots necessary to reset a errant Microsoft Proxy Server 2.0 *.dll file. And it didn't hurt the underlying operating system is Windows 2000 Server. This is the SBS release that you can trust!

#2: Remote management and monitoring. With the use of Terminal Services in Remote Administration mode, managing a single site or a fleet of SBS servers is very easy. This capability is further compounded by the introduction of Health Monitor and an improved (and easily customizable Server Status Report tool.

#3: VAP Power. On the one hand, SBS VAPs are doing better work and enjoying higher customer satisfaction-levels, based in part on the first two points above. This a good trend that is allowing a single VAP to successfully serve more clients. On the other hand, VAPs seeing fewer billable hours from the setup and deployment (even troubleshooting) of SBS. These VAPs are having to think smart about adjusting their business models to meet revenue targets will still providing value to their clients. I've seen this addressed by VAPs becoming Great Plains resellers and deploying the new Great Plains Small Business Manager accounting solution.

BEST PRACTICE: On that last point, there is a great CNET article, recommended by Bill Jeansonne (author of the world's first SBS book for IDG in 1998) that further explores the career/marketing/management challenges VAPs and consultants face in this slowly recovering economy. Click on: http://news.com.com/2100-1017-865414.html?legacy=cnet&tag=pt.msn.cdf.hl.ne_9420098

See you next month.....harrybbbbbb

Harry Brelsford
Publisher and Editor, Small Business Best Practices
harryb@nethealthmon.com

SEND YOUR SBS NEWS and PRESS RELEASES to: harryb@nethealthmon.com

Copyright (c) 2002 NetHealthMon Inc. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of NetHealthMon Inc. is prohibited.

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