I did a short presentation this morning about Windows Small Business Server 2008. Whenever I talk about the number of things that this system brings to the table, I get really excited for the small business owner with whom I'm potentially going to be working because it's so common to come across offices that have a lot of technology investments but aren't utilizing them to improve their business processes and boost their overall productivity. Instead, they (and often their employees) feel unproductive, and sometimes even "beaten" by their computers. They believe "this is just the way it is with computers".
SBS offers a lot of the features that large business have come to rely on, but puts them in the perspective of a small business (up to 75 employees), running on a single server. This makes it affordable as well as relatively easy to maintain. Having everything centralized may initially seem like "putting all of your eggs in one basket", but a server is designed to have hardware redundancy built in.
By keeping everything in one central location, you realize several benefits:
- Files are stored on the server and are protected from loss of an individual desktop or laptop
- Files can be secured according to the employees who need access (or don't)
- Email within the company is more secure, as it never has to pass through the internet
- All mailbox parts are accessible from multiple locations, including your mailbox and all of its folders (including sent and deleted items), contacts, calendar appointments, and task lists. And anything done to something in one location is automatically reflected in the others - make an appointment on your phone, and it's automatically on your Outlook at your office desktop - wirelessly if your phone supports it, which most "smart phones" do natively.
- Windows Updates can be controlled and monitored for the entire organization from a central dashboard, allowing a quick view of the security of the machines connected to the network
- Backups, backups, backups - All files in one place means that it is easier to ensure a complete backup of all of your important data and email. No more worrying about mail being inaccessible because a laptop was left at the airport, or was dropped, run over, or subjected to any other physical disaster
These are just a few of the benefits. If you are a business owner with 5 or more computers/employees or you know someone who is, please have them give me a call to talk about their options with Small Business Server or any other technology questions they may have.