Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Midmarket IT Pros more familiar with EBS 2008 than Hyper-V in a recent study

Midmarket IT Pros are more familiar with EBS 2008 than Hyper-V in the U.S. and China.  These midmarket IT Pros were interviewed as part of a Microsoft Dynamics study published internal to Microsoft in December 2008.  These findings are decent, considering EBS's time in market, marketing budget & resources (Where are EBS robot ads?) and interest in virtualization.  Since more than 1/3 of the IT Pros interviewed were outside of EBS's total addressable market, EBS would have surpassed Hyper-V and other Microsoft products in more geographies if IT Pros interviewed were limited to EBS's addressable market.  While IT Pros may be familiar, this study did not measure IT Pros' perception of EBS, e.g. unique business value, Administration Console, lower total cost of ownership, increased productivity (IT Pro and end-user), 300-pages of best practices, etc.

image Low budget EBS v1 of IT 24-7

imageEBS v1 mod 1 IT 24-7 with a tattoo

Messaging Guidance and Analysis

If you are a Microsoft employee, I posted valuable EBS messaging information on my internal blog.  A recent study in the U.S., U.K. and Germany verifies IT Pro pain points, but also includes an unexpected takeaway.

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MS Partners may find some of this information valuable for business development, so if you are interested, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary.  They should be able to provide you relevant, releasable information.   If there is enough interest, I may provide worldwide partner information.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Windows Server 2008 in EBS. "Windows Server 2008 is everything that IT buyers asked for"

 

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Windows Server 2008: Windows also rises

While Vista crashed and burned, Microsoft's new server OS became the upgrade Windows shops can't refuse

By Doug Dineley

December 26, 2008

"The advances beyond Windows Server 2003 seem too numerous to count."

Friday, December 26, 2008

IT investment in productivity lagging reductions in capital costs

In response to the economic indicators and/or loss of revenue, some companies first started cutting capital expenses, then operating expenses including employees.  While budgets are reviewed constantly, budgets are typically reallocated upon reducing operating expenses to maintain productivity and revenue with reduced resources.  Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) can assist businesses in both reducing capital costs by reducing server count, reducing operating expense (IT MRO), and increasing productivity of the IT staff and more importantly end-users.  Trends in IT sales will be interesting over the next couple of months to see if there is an upsurge in investment following the unfortunate recent lay-offs.  Hopefully, the market reads about our business value, including our customer evidence from around the world, and at least evaluates Windows EBS when reducing costs and increasing productivity.  Microsoft subsidiaries around the world are gathering additional local evidence.

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I have internally posted a presentation with relevant evidence that discuss how EBS can help your business significantly lower costs and increase productivity.  This presentation speaks directly to the measurable business benefits of EBS, no fluff.  If you are a Partner, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary for the presentation.  If not, please contact your local partner and request the presentation.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

I will be working throughout this holiday season, taking a couple of days off here and there.  Wishing you a safe and peaceful holiday season.image

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Case Study released on 15DEC08

I understand many markets desire local case studies, but I suspect you can translate a majority of the business value across the world.  The challenge for any market and business is to decide on the ROI for their specific market, their segment and individual business; however, the reduced costs and increase productivity should translate to any market.  Microsoft subsidiaries are working on local case studies around the world.

Touchstone Behavioral Health is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of youth behavioral health services, including anger management, crisis intervention, psychiatric evaluations, support groups, and parenting classes. The Glendale, Arizona–based organization has six sites throughout Arizona and employs 180 people.

EBS provided the following benefits to Touchstone Behavioral Health:

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  • Core business value
    • Up to 5,000 More Client Hours Annually
    • New End-user Services

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  • Lower TCO
    • IT Work Reduction of 30 Hours Weekly
    • Lower Licensing and Energy Costs (Green IT)
    • Enhanced Reliability and Security
    • IT Infrastructure Supporting Growth

Read the details of the case study here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Upgrade from SBS, Windows Server 2008 and Exchange 2007

Solutions Pathway provides additional discounts/credits for current SBS, Windows Server 2008 and Exchange 2007.  If you are looking to lower your Total Cost of Ownership with EBS and/or expecting to outgrow the 75 limit user limit for SBS, check out the additional discounts you may qualify for.  The site has a lot of information, possibly too much, so please contact your Microsoft partner with questions.   Microsoft Partners have a different portal.

Possible Mobility Paths 

On a side note, some people want all EBS information available on the EBS site, I mean ALL, while others want an easy to read overview that provides them enough information to decide to investigate further with a Microsoft Partner.  What do you think?  Not enough information on www.microsoft.com/ebs?  Too much?  There is a survey to the right.

TCO & Productivity

I use to work at General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems modeling information systems reliability and lifecycle costs, hence TCO.  The government recognizes from historical data and modeling that greater than 60% of the cost of systems (TCO) occurs following initial acquisition and deployment.

image While lowering costs, most businesses want to ensure they maintain, or even increase, their competitive edge.  This is a rough Venn diagram of customer quotes that include measurable, relevant results.  The purple text are as a result of both lower TCO and increased productivity.  Complete customer case studies are available here.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Is EBS on your holiday wish list?

Although this is my personal blog, I can't legally guarantee that EBS will save your company money and increase your company's productivity, so you will need to rely on the documented results of our EBS customers.  Plus you wouldn't believe me anyway.  Real-world results are far more convincing.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

SBS on the CBS Early Show moved to 20DEC08

SBS will now be on the CBS Early Show on December 20th, instead of tomorrow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SBS on CBS's Saturday Early Show this Saturday

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SBS will be demonstrated on CBS's Saturday edition of the Early Show this Saturday as part of a "green initiative" story.  EBS is delivers much greener ROI, more significant server consolidation and greater impact on mobile workers, i.e. working on the road or from home.  EBS has stronger green customer evidence posted in this blog and could have used the coverage as a brand new product.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

EBS is a Solution with Technologies, Features and Business Value Only Found in EBS

While speaking to a Microsoft MVP, Gold Certified Partner yesterday at a meeting, I was hoping to gain his insight into the value EBS brings to his business and his customers. Instead he proceeded to talk about EBS as a bundled solution, and how he hasn't heard about the value EBS brings to him and his customers.

There was an interesting interview, The 'Buyology' Behind The Way We Shop, yesterday on Talk of the Nation, a NPR show. While the story referenced consumer products, Walter from Kansas City, one of the callers, was "overall offended by marketing", called marketing "legal lying", referred to marketing as manipulation, and mentioned regulation.

My goal is not so evil. I need to raise awareness of the Windows Essential Business Server and communicate its unique value, i.e. product differentiation, to midsize businesses and to the partners serving those businesses. Yes, EBS contains a bunch of Microsoft technology and products you can purchase separately, but it also contains technologies, features and measurable business value you cannot find outside of EBS:

  1. Unified Administration Console
  2. Server consolidation
  3. Over 300 pages of best practices out-of-the-box
  4. Simplified licensing for multiple technologies
  5. Competitively priced

I suspect the misperception that EBS is a discounted, bundled solution is due to market testing some EBS technologies and a price point a couple of years ago. As I have discussed with my peers in the past and studied in many business cases, you can have a great product, but if nobody is aware about the product and/or its value, then market adoption will be weak. Help me get the word out there.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Green IT & Lower Total Cost of Ownership

IBM's latest commercial on Green IT hits the mark on addressing both environmental and total cost of ownership.  Whether you are concerned about the environment and energy dependence, lowering maintenance, repair & operations (MRO) costs, or all of the above, you want Green IT.   Don't be fooled by Greenwashing though.

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BusinessWeek discusses Green IT in this article.  eWeek.com discusses 5 Steps to Green IT for infrastructure, including power consumption.

EBS 2008 helps you consolidate servers.  Less servers, less energy to power the servers and cool your server room.  EBS 2008 is not just hype on consolidation and Green IT.

“We were consuming about 12,000 to 14,000 BTUs [basic transmission unit] per hour in our data center, and we’ve reduced that to about 7,000 BTUs per hour by reducing our physical server count from 16 to 7. We’ve cut our power consumption in half.”

Tim Dreyling, Information Systems Manager, WASSER Studios

Read more about Five Ways to Reduce Data Center Server Power Consumption and how to make an impact, calculate your carbon footprint.

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You need to start somewhere.  EBS 2008 helps lower TCO throughout the product lifecycle.

While I can one conventional car from 1999, I drive a Prius and motorcycle.  Unfortunately, the Prius doesn't have a lower TCO, but my past and present motorcycles have significantly lower TCO.  I could be greener, but it's a start. 

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Financing EBS with Microsoft Finance Promotion

Are feeling the squeeze of the credit crunch?  Are you looking to finance EBS, hardware, partner services and other Microsoft software, e.g. Dynamics CRM? 

CURRENCY.JPG

Microsoft is offering a SmartPay promotion.  This promo provides no payments for the first 6 months of the term of the loan.  Please read all the details and legal stuff here.

Microsoft Finance and this promotion are valid in:

  • North America: US, Canada
  • EMEA: UK, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and Netherlands
  • APAC: Korea, Australia, and New Zealand
  • LATAM: Brazil

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Remote monitoring, management and reporting for EBS

An excerpt from the Level Platforms press release:

Level Platforms announces immediate delivery of comprehensive best practices monitoring and management for the next wave of Microsoft products for small and midsize businesses.

Level Platforms Partners can now deploy comprehensive remote monitoring, management and reporting for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 in minutes by downloading and applying the new integrated suite of Policy Modules.  These powerful new Solution Kits are available for both On Premise as well as Hosted versions of the award-winning Managed Workplace software.

Read the entire press release from Level Platforms

Happy Thanksgiving

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Planning and Preparation Tool is FREE

The Preparation Wizard scans the existing network environment for any potential health issues to assure a proper and valid setup of Windows Essential Business Server. The tool runs about 100 environment checks and provides data and documentation links to address the issues found.

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The Windows Essential Business Server Preparation and Planning Wizards are FREE!  While I hope you will want to install EBS for all of the value I blogged about and knowing that more than just these best practices are included with EBS, you can download the wizards and check your environment even if you do not install EBS.  Our latest TAP customer had a very robust system with the latest Microsoft technologies, e.g., System Center Essentials, Dynamics AX 2009, Windows Server 2008, etc., supported by a partner.  The preparation wizard identified issues carried forward from their Windows NT days.  The customer always wondered why some email accounts took a bit longer to process email and discovered some Active Directory issues which were not obvious.  The preparation wizards not only identifies issues, but identifies the Microsoft Knowledge Based Article for that issue.

  • Preparation Wizard   Run the Preparation Wizard to scan your network environment and identify issues that you need to correct to be able to deploy Windows EBS.
  • Planning Wizard   After you complete the Preparation Wizard, run the Planning Wizard to collect information about the network settings that you will need to install Windows EBS.

The Preparation Wizard scans and verifies the following:

  1. Configuration of sites in Active Directory
  2. Configuration of subnets in Active Directory
  3. Replication of Active Directory
  4. Replication of the file system and administration of the SYSVOL shared folders
  5. Name resolution by DNS
  6. Configuration of the network adapters of all servers in the network
  7. Health of the domain controllers
  8. Configuration of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) for all domain controllers
  9. Configuration of Exchange Server
  10. Configuration of the network
  11. Entries in the Event Log that could indicate installation issues
  12. Readiness of the environment to install Windows EBS 

                The Windows Essential Business Server Preparation and Planning Wizards is on the download center.  It may be access from the Product Documentation page under Technical Resources on microsoft.com/ebs.  Just click TechNet TechCenter: Windows Essential Business Server 2008 then under Featured Resources click on Download and run the Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Planning and Preparation Tool.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Independent Software Vendors supporting EBS

Links updated

  1. Trend Micro Inc. Latest Version of Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Protects Windows Essential Server Solutions
  2. SonicWALL Announces Security Solutions for Windows Essential Business Server and Windows Small Business Server
  3. Mimosa Systems Gears Up for Big Opportunities With Windows Essential Business Server 2008
  4. N-able Technologies Announces Leading Edge Microsoft Server System Support, Adds Essential Business Server 2008 Integration with N-central 6.7
  5. Objectworld Announces Support for Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008
  6. CA ARCserve Backup Delivers Day One Support for Microsoft's Windows Essential Business Server 2008 EBS
  7. Calyptix Eliminates Security Complexities with Windows Small Business Server and Essential Business Server 2008
  8. ScriptLogic Delivers Support for SMB-Focused Windows Essential Server Solutions
  9. FullArmor Adds Support for Windows Essential Business Server and Windows Small Business Server

Microsoft Dynamics Add-in for EBS released at Convergence

Availability of the Microsoft Dynamics Administration Console Add-in for Windows Essential Business Server was announced last week at Convergence EMEA. Proactively monitor and manage Microsoft Dynamics from the unified Administration Console can help lower TCO and increase uptime for Dynamics:
  • Displays server information, user information, and batch information.
  • Tasks launch to specific Microsoft Dynamics AX user interface


Download at AX Customer Source & Partner Source.
https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/downloads/servicepacks/AX_EBS_AdminConsole.htm
https://mbs.microsoft.com/partnersource/support/selfsupport/productreleases/AX_EBS_AdminConsole.htm

All languages RTM'd

The final four languages were released to manufacturing (RTM) this past Friday:

  1. Chinese (Traditional)
  2. Chinese (Simplified)
  3. Korean
  4. Brazilian (Portuguese)

Two weeks prior, the following languages RTM'd:

  1. German
  2. Italian
  3. French
  4. Japanese
  5. Russian (STD only)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Heading back home from Convergence EMEA

I am currently heading back home from Convergence EMEA. I will respond quicker to your inquiries next week once I am home. John Elmer from Rodgers & Hammerstein can definitely speak well about the value of EBS, and the value of EBS + Dynamics.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The value of EBS promoted during Partner Day and Customer Keynote at Convergence EMEA

The EBS was promoted in Kirill Tatarinov's Partner keynote and Customer at Convergence EMEA 2008. Kirill Tatarinov is the corporate vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) at Microsoft Corp. and oversees the MBS business, with responsibility for sales and marketing, R&D and operations.
EBS was also promoted in the Dynamics AX keynote to partners.

EBS + Dynamics at Convergence EMEA

John Elmer from Rodgers and Hammerstein (R&H) will be presenting with me at Convergence EMEA on Thursday at 3:30 in Auditorium 11. R&H installed the RTM version of EBS along with the Microsoft Dynamics AX Add-in for EBS. John will be discussing the instant business value of EBS and the value of the Dynamics Add-in. In his role as the VP of Finance and Information Systems, John is both the Business Decision Maker (BDM) and Technical Decision Maker (TDM), so he recognizes both the value of EBS to the IT Professional and the business value, e.g. TCO, productivity, etc., to the the BDM.

R&H still consolidated seven servers down to three servers with EBS without virtualization, although EBS supports virtualization scenarios. R&H also elimnated switches and a third-party firewall, resulting in significant cost savings. The annual cost savings from maintaining the switches and firewall were more than the cost of EBS with hardware.


Whether you are a partner, IT Professional, TDM or BDM, join us on Thursday to ask John about the benefits of EBS and the Dyanmics Add-in.

Friday, November 14, 2008

NETWORLD article

NETWORLD article discussing SBS and EBS. When reading the article, please remember that EBS is a solution, not a bundle. EBS includes features and functionality exclusive to EBS, hence unique value.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Launch+1

Wow, launch day was very busy. We received much higher than expected launch day attendance of the Virtual Tradeshow. While the booths will not be staffed by live people, I believe you can still chat with other attendees, asking quesitons and networking, so if you fond the Virtual Tradeshow useful, please spread the word.
I will be presenting the Business Value of EBS along with the value of EBS + Microsoft Dynamics at Convergence EMEA in Copenhagen. The session, "Microsoft Dynamics & Microsoft Windows Essential Business Server: A High Value Solution for Mid-Sized Businesses" (APP03), will be on November 20th from 3:30 until 4:30 PM in Auditorium 11. See you there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I interviewed David Fabritius, Technical Product Manager for EBS and SBS

I asked David about booth attendance, attendee questions and his webcast during the virtual tradeshow.
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EBS Team answering Questions at the Virtual Tradeshow

How often can you chat live and directly to the EBS product team? Visit the WESS booth at the virtual tradeshow by 4pm PST today to speak with us live.
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468 attendees currently at the Virtual Tradeshow

There are 468 attendees, not staff, at the virtual tradeshow. This is a great opportunity to chat with Microsoft product teams, partners and other attendees.

Behind the scenes just prior to the live webcast

Nick and Chris behind the scenes prior to the live webcast.

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Value of EBS with Microsoft Dynamics

●Predictable infrastructure platform
●Lower infrastructure TCO
●Reallocate budget toward services and line of business (LOB) applications, such as Microsoft Dynamics
●Focus on core business application strategy
●Increased productivity with add-in to Administrative Console


“The combination of Windows Essential Business Server and the new Microsoft Dynamics Administration Console Add-In for Windows Essential Business Server enables our clients’ infrastructure to grow without constraint so they can focus on their business.”

- Ryan Risley, Chief Technology Officer, Brittenford Systems

Microsoft Gold Certified Partner

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Launch day has arrived!!!

This is my first video for the blog, definitely not rehearsed. My videos can only get better, I promise. :)

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Follow EBS_2008 on twitter.com

Follow EBS_2008 on twitter.com, especially on launch day.

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 trial software is available

The Windows Essential Business Server 2008 trial software is available for download here in the following languages:
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Lower your IT infrastructure TCO


Free up your IT Professional to support the core business functions. What would you do if you could lower your IT infrastructure total cost of ownership?

“Our administrative workload is one-tenth of what it was before. This is the largest step forward, in terms of our ability to focus on real business needs, that we have ever seen.” - Sumeeth Evans, Director of IT, Collegiate Housing Services


Monday, November 10, 2008

EBS and Windows Mobile Offers

Stay tuned for EBS promotions through Windows Mobile. We will be releasing a variety of offers with various mobile phone OEMs and service providers.

Get immersed with the launch of EBS at the Windows Essential Server Solutions Virtual Tradeshow that includes both Webcasts and Exhibits

In conjunction with The Dream Server virtual launch on November 12th, Microsoft and its partners are sponsoring a virtual tradeshow that includes both webcasts and exhibits. Please register here early and help promote this broadly!

On November 12th, Microsoft and its premier partners are launching Windows Essential Server Solutions, a new family of integrated server solutions that address the unique needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs). During times of stationary or shrinking budgets and economic uncertainty, minimizing the redundancies and optimizing parts in your IT infrastructure can help control costs and raise productivity. With the unique challenges firms face upgrading and maintaining their IT infrastructure, smart organizations are re-evaluating their plans and expenditures and investing wisely.

This one-day event is the official launch for Windows Essential Server Solutions, which includes Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and other Microsoft executives will introduce these new products and will be joined by Mark Minasi, an independent expert and best-selling author.

Mr. Minasi, along with Microsoft executives and partners, will review the new features, functions and strategies which will help you get the most value from your existing and future technology investments. Major announcements, plus the ability to interact with Microsoft and its partners, make this a must-attend event for SMB technology and business managers as well as IT consultants and partners.

Server Consolidation, hence Green IT, with EBS

One of the many benefits of EBS is server consolidation. Fewer servers typically results in lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by lowering the following costs: server acquisition, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) and lower carbon footprint. View a video here of Tim Dreylin and Trevor Coop from WASSER Studios discuss their server consolidation experience with EBS .

Do you have any environmental concerns or a Green IT initiative?

“We were consuming about 12,000 to 14,000 BTUs [basic transmission unit] per hour in our data center, and we’ve reduced that to about 7,000 BTUs per hour by reducing our physical server count from 16 to 7. We’ve cut our power consumption in half.” - Tim Dreyling, Information Systems Manager, WASSER Studios

First wave of languages were Released To Manufacturing

The following languages RTM'd last Friday and will be available to download on TechNet on November 12th with English:
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Russian (Standard edition only)

Please note the link should auto-direct to the locale setting in your IE.

Lee Company has experience with various economic conditions and stages of growth over its 64-year history

This video discuss the business value of Windows EBS, including end user benefits. The President of Lee Company, Bill Lee, discusses the value of EBS along with his Human Resources Manager and a Project Manager. Bill Lee is the grandson of the founder of this family-owned business. L. Leon Lee Company began as a one-man residentail air conditioner services business and grew into a regional 550-employee midsize business in the construction services industry, serving residential and commercial customers.

Bill Lee will be interviewed during the live webcast for the Windows Essential Server Solutions Launch Event. He will speak about the challenges of small and midsize businesses in today's economy. His company has experience with various economic conditions and stages of growth over its 64-year history.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

How can you extend the value of EBS to line of business applications that are core to your business operations?

Today's economics uncertainty is causing many buiness to examine the total costs with a microscope, including the fixed cost from IT, and make tough decisions on remaining competitive. Business are also continuing evaluate how can increase productivity while reducing costs.

Help lower the total cost of ownership of both your infrastruture and line of business applications with Add-ins to the Administration Console. Add-ins from Microsoft and independent software vendors extend the unified view in the Administration Console, hence the opportunity to extend lowering TCO and increase productivity.

“Windows Essential Business Server enables us to integrate our line-of-business applications—our accounting system, revenue management system, and help desk system. This integration will result in significant cost savings and efficiency gains.” - Paul Champane, IT Manager, Air Botswana

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Windows Mobile and Remote Web Workplace

Can your business leverage Windows Mobile and Remote Web Workplace (RWW) to increase productivity and help gain a competitive edge?

“Windows Essential Business Server has enabled us to go from 15 percent of our workforce with mobile devices to 100 percent.” - Sumeeth Evans, Director of IT, Collegiate Housing Services

“As a very conservative estimate, I would say 75 remote employees, each saving 15 minutes per week, at $35 per hour—that’s $30,000 per year saved.” - Tom Goddard, Director of Information Technology, Lee Company

This post is a continues my series of posts discussing the business value of Windows EBS. We understand that business decision makers and IT Professionals need measurable business value in addition to the unique product features included in EBS.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Construction Firm Improves Productivity, Capability with EBS

Lee Company

  • Heating, cooling, plumbing, construction, and facilities maintenance services to businesses and homeowners
  • Family owned since 1944
  • HQ in Franklin, Tennessee
  • 550 Employees with 225 devices
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL customer
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Results and Benefits:
  • Foundation for new business capabilities
  • Higher staff productivity
  • Enhanced competitiveness
  • Lower costs from reducing 12 servers to 4 and saving U.S.$15,000 in software licensing

Monday, November 3, 2008

Windows EBS Competitively Priced

EBS is competitively priced for midsiaze businesses and provides simpler CAL purchasing and management.

“Just the upfront cost savings from Windows Essential Business Server are significant. The combined licenses will help us reduce our license cost by 30 percent – down from $40,000 to $28,000.” - Paul Champane, IT Manager, Air Botswana (160 users)

Friday, October 31, 2008

EBS Team Blog

If you are looking for a more technical content on EBS, please visit the EBS Team blog where EBS program managers and developers post more technical updates and news to EBS.

Administration Console effecting your bottom line

The Administration Console provides the IT Professional a unified view of the network and its status to more efficiently manage the IT infrastructure and focus on core business activities, e.g. such as line of business applications (ERP/CRM/etc.).

“We do a lot less logging into systems and client-side visits. We’ve reduced this effort by 70 percent, which is a huge savings. Instead of three people covering this, we’ve reduced it to two people.” - Sumeeth Evans, Director of IT, Collegiate Housing Services

“Our administrative workload is one-tenth of what it was before. This is the largest step forward, in terms of our ability to focus on real business needs, that we have ever seen.” - Sumeeth Evans, Director of IT, Collegiate Housing Services

Thursday, October 30, 2008

EBS business value in today's economic times

In today's economic times, investing in your IT infrastructure can help you keep your competitive edge, increase productivity, and reduce total cost of ownwership of your IT infrastructure, hence decrease your fixed costs. Yesterday I kicked off publishing business value evidence from Windows EBS customers. I will be publishing more business value posts and evidence as the official EBS launch on November 12th approaches.

“Just the upfront cost savings from Windows Essential Business Server are significant. The combined licenses will help us reduce our license cost by 30 percent – down from $40,000 to $28,000.”
- Paul Champane, IT Manager, Air Botswana

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Streamlined Deployment

“Deploying Windows Essential Business Server not only results in an infrastructure that has best practices built in, but also an infrastructure that is very well documented.”
Paul Champane, IT Manager, Air Botswana

Air Botswana is the national airline with 160 users.

“Windows Essential Business Server is the best solution to our problems, and it fits a business of our size well.”
– Paul Champane, IT Manager, Air Botswana

Lee Company is a US midsize business with 550 emplyees using 225 devices. Lee Company is also a Microsoft Dynamics SL customer.

“We couldn’t have tackled these new projects without first freeing our IT staff and implementing a more sophisticated, easily managed technology infrastructure.”
- Tom Goddard, Director of Information Technology, Lee Company

“We knew we needed to upgrade out messaging infrastructure, our server operating system, our connectivity, and our remote services. Windows Essential Business Server not only brings all of that together in one efficient package, but it allowed us to accomplish our infrastructure upgrade at least three months faster than if we had to upgrade all the components individually.”
- Tom Goddard, Director of Information Technology, Lee Company

Monday, October 27, 2008

Virtualize EBS with the free Hyper-V stand alone version

Microsoft offers free Hyper-V stand-alone version

Virtualize EBS with the FREE Hyper-V stand-alone version.
Now that Microsoft Hyper-V Server has been released and is freely available on the web, let’s remove the DRM and recap exactly what Microsoft Hyper-V Server is. There is still some confusion out there so let’s recap.

Don’t be confused, Microsoft Hyper-V Server and Windows Server 2008 w/ Hyper-V are separate products. The final version of Hyper-V as part of Windows Server 2008 was released a few months back. However, Microsoft Hyper-V Server was just released to web yesterday.

The following is a consolidated overview of Microsoft Hyper-V Server that was originally included in a series of announcements.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server Overview
Microsoft Hyper-V Server is a bare metal virtualization platform that includes the same Hyper-V virtualization Technology that is included in Windows Server 2008. However, Microsoft Hyper-V Server is not branded Windows. It’s official name is Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
Though Microsoft Hyper-V Server is not a Windows product, it does share some things in common with Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V role enabled including a common kernel, Windows drivers, and the Windows update mechanism.

Winwdows EBS Deisgned for Midsize Businesses



Designed for midsize businesses
Windows Essential Business Server 2008 takes the guesswork
out of selecting software for your network. EBS 2008
brings together the Microsoft product technologies that
midsized businesses need most into a single solution with
additional features and capabilities unique to EBS 2008.
These technologies are integrated into one product making
EBS 2008 easy for you to install and manage.
Designed with best practices and industry standards,
Windows Essential Business Server 2008 simplifies your
IT environment and reduces the complexity of implementing
and managing disparate software applications.

Can you relate to this common midsize business IT infrastructure?

“We knew we needed to upgrade out messaging infrastructure, our server operating system, our connectivity, and our remote services.”
Tom Goddard, Director of Information Technology, Lee Company

Different Components:
●Email Servers
●Exchange 2000, 2003, 2007
●SMTP Servers
●Name Servers
●DNS
●AD 2000, 2003, 2008
●Firewalls
●ISA 2003, 2006
●Cisco PIX, Sonicwall
●OS, Print & Share
●Windows Server® 2000, 2003, 2008
●Others

Today’s Challenge
●Rolling out Microsoft Dynamics CRM or ERP to your organization requires modifications to your existing infrastructure
●Existing environment has different versions of IT component prerequisites
●Achieving interoperability between new IT components require integration and time
●Deployment costs increase due to the requirements of new IT components and their licenses

In today's ecomonic challenges, businesses need to remain competitive, differentitate from their competition and reduce total costs. Investing in line of businees (LOB) solutions such as CRM, BI and ERP (Microsoft Dynamics) can result in increased to gain a competitive edge and support future growth. Midsize businesses need to reduce their total cost of ownership of their IT infrastructure to re-allocate that budget to LOB sollutions, services or just simply reduce the fixed costs such as IT.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Security subscriptions for EBS

http://www.microsoft.com/ebs/en/us/subscription.aspx

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 includes one-year trial subscriptions for Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Threat Management Gateway, Medium Business Edition.
As these trials end, find out how you can renew your subscriptions.

Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server
Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server includes multiple scan engines from industry-leading security firms integrated into a single solution to help businesses protect their Exchange Server messaging environments from viruses, worms, and spam.
Estimated price per subscription*
US$15.00 per user, per year
Customers can license Forefront Security for Exchange Server as part of the following Microsoft licensing programs:
Open Value
Open Value Subscriptions

Forefront Threat Management Gateway, Medium Business Edition
Forefront Threat Management Gateway Medium Business Edition, a critical security component of Windows Essential Business Server, is a comprehensive and integrated Edge security gateway that provides protection from multiple Internet-based threats, secure connectivity, and simplified management for small to medium-size organizations.
Estimated price per subscription*
US$8.00 per user, per year
To renew, contact your Microsoft Partner or Microsoft Small Business Specialist.
Customers can license Forefront Threat Management Gateway, Medium Business Edition as part of the following Microsoft licensing programs:
Open Value
Open Value Subscriptions

To renew, contact your Microsoft Partner or Microsoft Small Business Specialist.

* All prices reflect estimated retail pricing for license purchases within the United States and are in U.S. dollars. Pricing and licensing information is provided here for planning purposes only, and is subject to change. Reseller is responsible for setting prices.

Security in EBS

Not only does EBS include Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server and edge security (firewall) with Threat Management Gateway, Medium Business Edition, but EBS includes the security from Windows Server 2008 technologies.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Windows EBS Experts from HQ will be at Tech-Ed IT Pro in Barcelona

EBS experts from Microsoft Headquarters will be at Tech-Ed IT Pro in Barcelona, 3-7NOV08.

The following HQ representatives will be there:
Gary Purchase, EBS Dev Lead
Nick King, SBS & EBS Technical Product Manager
Chris Grillone (me), EBS Product Manager

There are two EBS sessions:
  1. Windows Essential Server Solutions
    Windows Essential Server Solutions is a new product family created to develop targeted solutions for Small and Midsize businesses. Come and hear several scenarios explained in this interactive session. We'll be covering topics from Virtualization to Branch Office deployments as well as migration techniques.
  2. Windows Essential Business Server 2008 deep-dive
    An in-depth look at the new Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Designed for Mid-size organizations of under 300 seats. We'll look at the new three and four server set-up in the Standard and Premium editions, go deep into the management console and demonstrate how to migrate to EBS 2008 from existing networks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) with EBS

Lower your TCO with Hyper-V, a Windows Server 2008 Technology, which is included in EBS 2008. Our TAP customer to be featured during our upcoming launch virtualized EBS. We will be releasing a written case study and a video which will both include virtualization.

Please learn more about how you can help the environment, while lowering your TCO with Windows Server 2008.
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White Paper

Microsoft's Environmental site.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Live Webcast and Virtual Launch Event


Register here to view the live webcast and enter a virtual launch event for the launch of Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) at 8:00 AM PST (Los Angeles Time Zone) on November 12, 2008. Give yourself a few minutes to register.

The live webcast will feature a midsize EBS customer and the following Microsoft Executives:
  1. Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft Corp.

  2. Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate VP, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division

  3. Michael Risse, VP, Worldwide Small and Midmarket Business Group

  4. Steven VanRoekel, Sr. Director, Windows Server Solutions Group
The virtual launch event will also include:
  1. Mark Minasi, Best-selling author, MVP, and self-proclaimed alpha-geek will present "7 Tips that IT can use During the Economic Downturn.”

  2. Business and Technical Sessions

  3. Channel Partner Session

  4. Exihibt hall with the following companies: AMD, CA, Citrix Systems, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, SUN Microsystems, Inc., Symantec, Trend Micro, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Microsoft Windows Essential Server Solutions, and Microsoft Dynamics

You can view the live webcast at http://www.thedreamserver.com/ without registering, but you will not be able to enter the virtual launch event.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Win a free server solution (EBS or SBS)

EBS is part of the Windows Essential Server Solutions launch on November 12, 2008.

Learn how integrated server solutions are helping small and midsize business come out ahead in tough economic conditions. Attend the Windows Essential Server Solutions “Dream Server” launch webcast on November 12th. And, when you visit http://www.thedreamserver.com/ and enter your business dream, you become eligible to win either a Windows Small Business Server 2008 or Windows Essential Business Server 2008.