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.

image

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.
video

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.
video

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.

video

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. :)

video

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.

video

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
video

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)