David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • Must attend UK event - filling up fast - Wembley 7th October - Microsoft Partner Network

    [updated with correct URL] I saw this and thought I should pass it on. Microsoft Partner Network 2009 will explore strategies that enable you to continue to meet customers' needs and exploit new opportunities. Designed for Partner executives and sales leads, this event follows on from the Worldwide Partner Conference in July and provides more details of our UK execution plans. Join us for: - Insights from Microsoft executives as they share the Microsoft vision and strategies together with business growth opportunities and product innovation - A range of Partner-to-Partner online and offline networking opportunities, plus strategic and practical guidance on how to collaborate successfully with other Microsoft Partners - Market insights and guidance on developing customer opportunities - Useful resources to help you sell, market and deploy Microsoft technology, particularly when you find yourself in competitive technology situations - A glimpse into future industry trends and innovation, with exciting demonstrations - An introduction to the UK award winners from the Worldwide Partner Conference 2009. To register your place at this essential event, click the button below and enter invitation code 22BAF4 . You can also register by phone: call 0870 166 6670 . Check the Microsoft Partner Network 2009 website for more details about the event over the coming weeks. You can also sign up to our RSS service , or follow us on Twitter . We look forward to seeing you at Wembley Stadium on 7 October. Kind regards, Scott Dodds General Manager Small, Medium Enterprises & Partners Group - Microsoft UK ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Partners , MPN , MSPP , Event
  • Preparing for Windows 7 with ask the expert sessions for technical and sales success for sales people

    I saw this internally and thought I had better share via the blog - a number of ask the expert technical and sales events! Are you ready for Windows 7? The industry is preparing itself for one of the most exciting launches - Windows 7. The press is already buzzing with the launch of Windows 7 – are you ready? “ …it starts up relatively quickly, drivers already exist to make to make peripherals such as scanners and printers work with it, and it does clever things that XP, the version of Windows most people still use, just doesn’t ” The Daily Telegraph – 8 th January 2009 To ensure our partners have the opportunity to understand more about Windows 7 advantages, benefits and features, we have launched a monthly series of Windows 7 Live Meeting events. There will be two strands to this Ask the Expert (technical) and Sales Success for Windows 7 (sales). The Live Meeting sessions will focus on different topics during each session and will last 30 minutes and will contain 15 minutes on “how to” information and a question and answer session for you to pose your questions to our two Windows 7 experts – Jamie Burgess & Laurence Painell. To register your attendance on the Live Meetings then please click on the relevant link below. Ask the Expert · Technical focused 15 min session designed to tackle key technical issues that partners and customers may be experiencing with Windows 7 and these will be based on questions appearing in Windows 7 technical blogs and TechNet. These sessions are designed to be interactive, consumable and focused · Aimed at technical staff and consultants within resellers, system builders and system integrators · Hosted by Jamie Burgess – Partner Technology Specialist Date Time Ask The Expert Wednesday 15 th April 2009 16.00- 16.45 Getting Applications Compatible with Windows 7 Wednesday 20 th May 2009 16.00-16.45 Technical help for OEM & System Builders Wednesday 17 th June 2009 16.00-16.45 Technical training and...
  • Office Small Business 2007 – get up to 25% off in the UK

    I saw this at the Special Offers site from the Small Business team and thought I would share. Office Small Business 2007 – get up to 25% off Buy Office 2007 Small Business Edition before 17 January and you can get a discount of up to 25%. Enhance productivity in your workplace and manage tasks and your customers more efficiently with Microsoft Office Small Business 2007. Excel, Word, Publisher, Outlook and PowerPoint provide all the tools you need to give your business a professional edge. (Offer applies to FPP (Fully-Packaged Product) only, ie not via volume licensing or OEM etc.) Availability: UK Small Businesses Valid from: December 21 2008 Offer expires: January 17 2009 How to buy: Equanet: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Equanet: 2007 Version Upgrade Grey Matter: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MacWarehouse: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MacWarehouse: 2007 Version Upgrade Microwarehouse: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Microwarehouse: 2007 Version Upgrade PC World Business: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD PC World Business: 2007 Version Upgrade WStore: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD MS Store: Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business CD Hopefully it will make a nice present for the New Year. Have a Merry Christmas!! David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Office 2007 , Offer , Partners
  • Get a RSS feed from Microsoft about what is new for partners (UK at the moment)

    I saw this RSS Hub and decided it had to be shared. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/uk/partner/rss/default.aspx . [updated with fixed url - thanks for the comments] It enables the following segmentation: What roles are you interested in? Management Sales and Marketing Technical What areas are you interested in? Partnering Events Programme Information Public Sector Sales and Marketing Small Business Specialist Training West Midlands Type of Business Hosting Independent Software Vendors System Integrators Web Solutions Products and Solutions Dynamics AX Dynamics CRM Dynamics GP Dynamics NAV Dynamics RMS Licensing Microsoft Financing Software-plus-Services Enjoy!! Thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Sales , Marketing , Technical , Community , RSS , Partner Program
  • Virtualisation Adoption Survey - if you are using virtualisation (from anyone), tell Virtualisation.info

    A Quick note - there has been lots of comments recently on who's virtualisation has what share of the market. I've just installed Microsoft Hyper-V server up and running with 3 VMs inside it (HomeServer, SBS 2008 and Windows Server 2003) and I expect a couple of small desktops too before long. Anyway, rather than just guessing, why not fill in Virtualization.info's survey? It took me about 45 seconds to complete at virtualization.info's Virtualization Adoption Surveys . I'll post on how I got everything working after I've got the next chapter of the book done. Should be 4 chapters done by the end of this weekend, although I'm behind a few pictures :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Hyper-V , Virtualisation , Virtualization , SBS 2008 , Survey , virtualization.info
  • Nick King – Microsoft corp SBS God in the UK on 7th November!!

    Hopefully you have seen this elsewhere, but if not….. 7 th November 2008, Reading: TechNet Exclusive! Hear from the guy that brought you Microsoft’s enterprise computing to small and medium businesses An exclusive opportunity to meet Nicholas King, Technical Product Manager from Microsoft Corporation before the launch of the  Windows Essential server solutions offerings, Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 on November 12 th . Hear Nicholas and Jamie Burgess  advise on why these solutions have been created and why it is still important to invest in solution infrastructure in  economic uncertainty. With the assistance of Jamie they will go into some technical detail around the two products that make up Windows essential server Solutions. 1. Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is an all-in-one server solution designed to help you keep your data more secure and your company more productive. It provides many of the features used by larger companies, such as e-mail, Internet connectivity, internal Web sites, remote access, support for mobile devices, file and printer sharing, backup, and restore—all at one affordable price Premium version also provides advanced support for line-of-business applications. 2. Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 is an all-in-one integrated multi-server solution designed and priced specifically for midsize businesses. EBS provides the essential technology needed for a highly secure and reliable infrastructure. Powered by Windows Server 2008 technology, it combines software for management, messaging, and security features into one integrated server solution that is designed to dramatically reduce IT complexity and improve efficiency across the business, putting IT in control with a centrally-managed network platform.  Join us to get a technical overview of Windows EBS 2008, learn about the server requirements, and find out more about the integrated technologies and architecture.  Finally after covering the key ways to deploy and...
  • Perpetually Connecting = PC = latest US Bill Gates and Seinfeld Windows (Vista, Live, Mobile) Adverts

    I see the latest Windows advert is up on http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ .  These are the US adverts and the UK adverts are coming so I’m told.  It is nice Microsoft beginning to emphasize the value of it’s products … I just wish I could see the how the whole series will play out. The latest tag line is Perpetually Connecting which becomes PC. Talking about videos, the same site now has a stack of videos at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/possibilities/products/default.aspx .  Go have a look, you might just surprise yourself!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Vista , Live , Mobile , Windows , Adverts , Bill Gates , Seinfeld
  • Microsoft wants to know what you want for the UK SBS 2008 Launch? Time to stop saying you want it better and time to start saying what you actually want and would use!!

    One thing I have never been accused of is holding back my opinion and on the Yahoo Groups recently there has been some discussions around what Microsoft has done for partners. As part of the discussion this blog post from Sonal, the UK Product Manager for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, came up with a question around what do partners want to see in a UK launch. I thought people who read this blog might like to pop over to Sonal's blog and give a voice to their wants. I've seen suggestions from free beer, which was a Joke I was later told, to license pricing, features and benefits, how to up-sell/cross-sell. The problem with the later items is that they are simply personal to the business doing the selling - why have an upsell to mobile devices if your business can't facilitate it? What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? In May 2006 we had a server event for guys (and gals) who sell server - specifically Small Business Server. We split the event into two - the morning event was for those who were new to selling SBS and the afternoon track was for those who already have a great deal of experience in selling SBS. Both sessions went down a storm where we covered off all sorts from market analytics to Windows Mobile with SBS. With the learnings from that event and feedback from YOU, we're hoping to do it again - but better. So, while James tries to uncover how you want your content delivered, I'm keen to understand what exactly it is that you need from us. And it may seem obvious to you. But tell me anyway. As we plan the UK launch event for around the September/October timeframe, it would be really helpful to hear from you on what you need from us - either at the potential launch event, or before that via webcasts. <snipped - contact details on Sonal's blog> SBS stuff and then some... : What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , SBS 2008 , SBS , Small Business , Small Business Server 2008 , Marketing , Community , SBSC , Partners
  • Want to legally download Microsoft Software (Vista, Office, Works, Maths and Expression) - go to the www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk (UK & Germany for now)

    I would have put money on this not happening this year, but finally there is a legal place for people to download full copies of Microsoft products. Go to http://www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk and you can buy software and download it there and then. At the moment this is limited to the UK and Germany, but I would personally expect it to go broader like all Microsoft ventures! I suspect the list of products will also expand. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Windows Vista , Office 2007 , Works 9 , Expression , Buy , Download , Shop
  • Get a makeover for your Office Live Site as well as a Dell Laptop and cash too!

    I just saw this over at https://microsoft.eprize.net/officelivesaveoursiteuk/index.tbapp and thought I would share. We are offering a makeover, £540 in cash and a Dell Laptop. If you have a site, or know someone who does, then forward this on to them. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office Live , Small Business , Competition , Microsoft , Office Live Small Business
  • Dear Susan … It is 75 CALs, but recommended for 50 users … reply to "Tom"? We'll need you to dispel another myth. - The Official Blog of the SBS "Diva"

    Susan has raised a really good point and something that is often misunderstood about SBS – and this ties in to SBS 2003 AND SBS 2008. What is the problem … Here is what Susan put… is SBS designed for 50 or 75 CALs? "Tom"? We'll need you to dispell another myth. March 11, 2008 Windows Small Business Server 2008 – HOT! Prepare for New Server-Solutions Business < http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=8493173 > Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 is coming in the second half of 2008. The enhanced platform, part of the new Windows Essential Server Solutions family, is built on the Windows Server 2008 operating system and includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. With SBS 2008, you can deliver cost-effective, manageable, enterprise-class technologies to your small-business customers with up to 50 75 workstations or devices,and grow your server-solutions business. " Tom "? We're going to need you to dispell another myth that has already been started. It's not 50, it's 75. There's no change in cal count from SBS 2003. "Tom"? We'll need you to dispell another myth. - The Official Blog of the SBS "Diva" The answer is that SBS can run with up to 75 CALs, but the risk of hitting that limit is not good, so we recommend if someone is buying a new system for them to go with 50 CALs as a limit to give headroom. If they expect the server to last 3-6 years, the potential of hitting the top is there and the experience when they do is not great. Now I know that we have the transition pack for those that hit the limit, but this is about a simple positioning statement that people can understand. So, 75 CALs limit is still true, but the recommended (as it is for SBS 2003 today) is still 5-50. You will also notice that EBS has a recommended coverage of 25-250. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBS 2003 , SBS 2003 R2 , SBS 2008 , Licensing , Microsoft , SBSC , Community
  • Are you a “Wizard bigot”? So you think that SBS is a poor quality, cut down version of Windows Server? Do you think that SBS admins are small in capability?

    Unfortunately there are people who answer yes to the questions above, so lets get some things straight – if you think that: SBS is bad. There were dark days in the SBS 4.5 and 2000 time (to a small extent) when people thought SBS did not work, did not perform and was clobbered down with stuff that made people hate it. Now Days SBS 2003 is amazing and is built on top of Windows Server 2003 with lots of good stuff extra too. SBS is insecure . SBS is not only as secure as Windows Server 2003, but since most of the work of securing the system is done for you, it stops you missing silly and obvious things. SBS 2003 R2 even ships with WSUS enabled and a system for telling you if your systems are patched (yes, desktop and server). For a fun look, see Hack That! Wizards are for wimps . I don’t understand those people who insist on not using the wizards. Yes, SBS 2003 has all the tools of Windows Server 2003 underneath, but why why configure everything by hand when a wizard will do 1/2 hours work in 1 minutes. If you then need to tweak the settings (and that means tweak because it helps the business, not because you prefer everything to end in an even number), then you can still do so – all the of the product features are still there, including all the low level tools. SBS can’t do everything that Windows Server can do . Well, the answer is almost. It does have some restrictions on it, but they are really simple and nothing to do with application compatibility or ability to work inside a small business: 1 domain (as many other DCs and servers as you want – have a look at Ultimate Server Rave and ) 75 CALs, so no enterprise Only 1 SBS Server per organisation, but as with the domain question – you can have as many Windows Servers in the domain as you want. Also look at Tech-knowledgey I love SBS, but to help you convince others, why not have a look at a few places: For information on the Myths - Presentation: Dispelling Common Myths About Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Are you prepared to answer customer questions about...
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server 2008 , Mid-Market
  • Microsoft drops the price of retail versions of Vista significantly all over the world, but plenty in the UK

    I saw some people talking about this on the Yahoo groups and on the blogs, so thought I would do some investigating. The retail price has moved quite nicely in the UK .. in the following blog they talk about a drop of upto 40+% in the UK, while US prices only dropped 20% http://hackinthebox.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=25990 - Microsoft is cutting the retail price of its Windows Vista operating system by as much as 39% here in New Zealand. Prices in the US will drop 20% and in the UK and Europe, savings of up to 46% are available on some versions. On Friday, Microsoft announced sweeping price cuts to boxed copies of Vista, saying then that the cuts would range from as low as 3% in developed countries to nearly 50% for some editions sold in poorer nations. Prices just released by the local Microsoft office show that New Zealand has done pretty well with a drop of 39% for the top Vista Ultimate from $979 to $599, and a 24% drop for the Home Premium edition from $589 to $449. Home Basic also drops 24% from $499 to $379. A Home Premium upgrade drops 35% from $349 to $229 and an Ultimate upgrade drops 24% from $649 to $499. So having seen this, off I went to Amazon, especially since I had recorded the Amazon prices earlier in the discussions at The price of Vista in the UK - some really, really bad maths . How good / bad was it then? To get the latest prices from Amazon, click the links below for UK or US pricing as an example. (I do not think all the UK Amazon price changes have gone through yet though) For example Windows Ultimate has gone from £294 to £229 at Amazon in the UK and the new Home Premium price of just £79. It all looks good to me!! UK Pricing US Pricing It is nice to see real price drops for many of the packages in the UK too. thanks David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Windows Client , Vista , Service Pack 1 , Price drop
  • Small Business Server 2008 (formally known as Cougar) announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the SBS 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business Growth Windows Small Business Server 2008,previously known by the code name “Cougar,” is ideal for organizations with up to 50 PCs, helping them protect business data, expand business productivity and present a professional image to customers. The new version adds a range of features and capabilities to the current, award-winning Small Business Server 2003 R2 product, and is also an example of Microsoft’s “software plus services” vision. For small-business owners and employees, Small Business Server 2008 provides increased security and protection with one-year trial subscriptions to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and the new Windows Live OneCare for Server, and with dramatically simplified server and PC backup technologies. Small Business Server 2008 also integrates with Microsoft Office Live Small Business to simplify setup and management of professional Web sites and private online work spaces. Enhancements to Remote Web Workplace, integration of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and support for the latest Windows Mobile devices will help employees work remotely and collaborate effectively. For IT managers and technology consultants, Small Business Server 2008 deployment, setup and administration is greatly simplified and improved. A powerful administration console, new monitoring across servers...
  • Windows Essential Business Server announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the Essential Business Server 2008 section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . <snipped> Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for Midsize Companies Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is designed for the needs of midsize organizations with up to 250 desktops, helping IT professionals take control of their systems, reduce time spent “fighting fires” and focus more on strategic efforts to drive business growth. The solution includes built-in IT best practices and provides a unified console for management of key workloads and product licensing, which makes IT budgeting and purchase simpler and more predictable. Windows Essential Business Server combines the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, System Center Essentials 2007, the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server and, in the Premium Edition, SQL Server 2008 technology. The product will be demonstrated on IBM BladeCenter S and HP BladeSystem c-Class c3000 hardware at the “Heroes Happen Here” launch on Feb. 27 in Los Angeles, and is slated for availability in the second half of 2008. <snipped> More information about Windows Essential Server Solutions is available at http://www.microsoft.com/essential and http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/serversolutions . Now much of this is a repeat of what we already know, but I felt I should share it: Based on x64 technology Capable from 25-250 users, so does...
  • "Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products" announcement

    Today is the start of the Server 2008 PR ramp up. I can today tell you a bit more about Cougar, as was, or SBS 2008 as it will be, the new "family" that SBS is part of and a bit more on Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (aka Centro). Hopefully there will be a couple of surprises and also confirmation of some of the rumours around there. I've sliced the press release made today into 3 sections. This blog entry is based on the "family" section of which there is an extract below of some key points. The whole press release can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/feb08/02-20EBFamilyPR.mspx . To help small and midsize organizations improve business efficiency, increase productivity and drive growth, Microsoft Corp. introduced the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products, built on Windows Server 2008 and the newest Microsoft server technologies and services. The company also unveiled details about the newly named Windows Small Business Server 2008. The Windows Essential Server Solutions family includes Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for midsize companies. Microsoft conducted extensive research and gathered in-depth feedback worldwide to design the solutions, in order to meet the unique needs of small and midsize customers and partners. The products integrate the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and other Microsoft products and services into all-in-one solutions that are reliable, easy to manage and able to grow with customers. “There are 31.9 million small businesses and 1.2 million midsize companies worldwide in need of powerful IT solutions, * and they typically have very small IT staffs, or none at all,” said Bob Kelly, corporate vice president at Microsoft. “Windows Essential Server Solutions make the benefits of enterprise-class IT accessible, affordable and simpler for smaller organizations and their technology advisors.” Windows Small Business Server 2008 Multiplies Business...
  • Read between the lines of the recent Google/Yahoo/Microsoft announcements

    I saw this and had to share ... just a little too much truth in them I think :-) The Google Strategy Will Backfire We forget that Google is still a very young company. But they just reminded us ... Continue Parsing Yahoo!: What Makes You Think We're Desperate? Given its grim outlook as a stand-alone company, Yahoo! suppresses its glee as it steps into play ... Continue Parsing Google: Don't Trust the Old Bully, Just the New One Parsing Google: Only benevolent giants like us should be able to buys things ... Continue Parsing Microsoft, the New Champion of Choice Protecting the existence of alternatives to a dominant player used to seem like a bad idea in Redmond. Suddenly, Microsoft is using the language it has fought against for so many years ... Continue Spin Blog - Business Spin by Jack Flack - Portfolio.com ttfn David Technorati Tags: Google , Yahoo , Microsoft , Marketing , Spin
  • Register Now for the Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 UK Launch Event

    I saw this in the Technet newsletter and thought I would pass it on: The launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 is drawing near and we are pleased to announce the three main launch activities to help you learn more: 1) The main launch event on 19 March at the ICC Birmingham - register now 2) The TechNet and MSDN Roadshows in April and May - pre-register now 3) The Virtual Launch Experience also on 19 March - pre register now ttfn David Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch
  • What Bill Gates said he will be working on once he stops his full time role - from 2008 Partner Pre-launch event

    I had the pleasure of attending this event today. The last item was Q&A with Bill Gates and there were a number of questions that you will be able to watch and listen too in the future. However, the one that I thought was most interesting was this one: "What will Bill be doing in his part time capacity with Microsoft and what will the Bill and Melinda Foundation focus on?" His reply was roughly (I made a few scribbled notes, so I hopefully have the gist, if not the words): Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie will take care of the "one Microsoft and R&D function" Bill will focus on 3 areas: Search - still have lots to deliver from the various teams - we have just started to see the beginning of this - in both internet and enterprise areas Office - Bill has always had a keen interest in this area and it will continue. Things to be included are Modelling and declarative rules Natural User Interfaces - more voice, touch, gesture and general non-keyboard interaction with technology For the foundation: Healthcare systems - including disease management in poorer countries Malaria vaccine Use of mobile phones in disconnected regions to share skills, diagnosis and information Micro finance transactions to facilitate these operations Metrics to enable measure of success and targeting Would like to think that within 10 years had a big impact - reduce big diseases in poorer countries by having a vaccine / treatment for around 1/2 of the illnesses (could not say which ones as investing in many areas, but hoped for it to include Malaria) That was it - much more to follow (about the rest of the event) David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , 2008 Launch , Partners , Gates Foundation
  • Do you have a good story to tell about you, your customer and the use of Microsoft technology? If so, get your name up in lights (well, the web) and get Microsoft to tell everyone about it

    Microsoft is currently looking for Small Business case studies about how customers use Microsoft products. These case studies include the name of the partner used to install the solution and so are a great way of generating completely free publicity. Case studies are mainly targeted at a customer audience and will be used on our customer website's, in newsletters, in collateral and sometimes in the press. If you would like to nominate any of your customers please go to www.articulatemarketing.com/partner.html and fill in the short form with their details. After you have submitted their details no further work is required from you as we will contact the customer directly for a short interview. Both yourselves and the customer will then be able to review any case studies before they are used. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Case Studies
  • MSDN Evaluation Center for Office system, Biztalk, SQL Server 2005/2008 and Windows Server 2008

    I just found the MSDN Evaluation Center online today to give you evaluation resources that you might develop against. These include BizTalk Server, Office Communication Server, Office Enterprise , SharePoint Server, SharePoint Designer, SQL Server 2005, 2008, Express 2005 SP2, Windows Server 2008. I've pasted much of the content, but all the download links etc are country specific, so I have removed those. Click on the link above to get to download this stuff! MSDN Evaluation Centre Welcome to the MSDN Evaluation Centre, the central location for all Microsoft developer product trials and beta evaluations. Try a product before you buy it or test the latest beta to see what is in store for the next release. Start at the beginning of the evaluation process and follow the new products as they go through to the final releases. Remember to check back often as new products will be added as they become available. As you evaluate your software, we'll provide you with comprehensive and relevant insights and information delivered to your inbox. Resources like: Webcasts | Virtual Labs | Community insight | White papers| E-Learning | Events Featured Evaluations BizTalk Server BizTalk 2006 R2 Regardless of the size of your organization, you need best-in class infrastructure. BizTalk Server 2006 R2 delivers enterprise-class infrastructure that enables you to connect .NET applications and infrastructure with your non .NET applications and platforms, as well as those of your partners. Office system Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Microsoft’s unified communications platform enables developers to efficiently build secure, productivity enhancing applications on top of an extensible software foundation. Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 provides a comprehensive suite of applications that developers can extend to deliver solutions that make data and processes more accessible and relevant to users. With Office Enterprise 2007 you can build solutions that give users the power to collaborate...
  • Do you need a Windows server solution for people with 50-250 users? Have you heard of "Centro"? Well, Windows Server Centro is now the Windows Essential Business Server and you can now participate in the beta!

    From the http://blogs.technet.com/kevin_beares/archive/2007/11/07/windows-server-centro-is-officially-unveiled-and-has-a-new-name.aspx a small amount about Centro and the tech beta. This is produced by the same team who build SBS 2003 R2 and SBS Cougar. More on those next year. Windows® Essential Business Server is the new Microsoft server solution for small to medium businesses, with 50 to 250 client computers in their organizations. Windows®Essential Business Server offers a standardized server configuration that is designed to meet the needs of most midsize businesses. The configuration is optimized to meet the currently recommended practices for networking, security, collaboration, and remote access. The tightly integrated Windows Essential Business Server simplifies setup, migration, and licensing for Microsoft infrastructure server products that a midsize business uses most frequently. Most network services and resources are managed through a single Windows®Essential Business Server Administration Console, which is accessible from anywhere on the network or remotely over a virtual private network. Windows®Essential Business Server is installed on three physical servers. These are referred to by their primary roles in the network: Windows®Essential Business Server Management Server – Centralizes management of your Windows Server "Centro" network. Enables and manages worker collaboration and network services. Windows®Essential Business Server Security Server – Manages security, Internet access, and remote-worker connectivity. Windows®Essential Business Server Messaging Server – Provides messaging capabilities and manages network services. If you are interested in joining the Windows®Essential Business Server upcoming Beta 2 effort; Please go to http://connect.microsoft.com , Click on Invitations and sign in with your Windows Live ID (Passport ID). Enter the following invite ID: EBSE-VKDP-276Y . You will be asked to take a short survey. Once you complete the survey we will evaluate your application for...
  • An update from Vijay on the SBSC PALs Quarterly Conference Call and further evidence that Microsoft might sometimes be slow to react to feedback, but it does react and the results are often good

    I saw this post of Vijays ( » SBSC PALs Quarterly Conference Call ) and thought it was worth highlighting some of it: Michael Risse, VP of the Small and Midmarket Business Group has issued an open letter to SBSC Partners about the issues with Solution Finder. Demo Showcase 2007 will be available to all SBSC Partners, shipping this December. I clarified that it will be the Virtual Server Images and not just the canned simulations and Andrea said it will be the full versions. The Managed Newsgroups are now 24 hour in the UK and other selected countries from last week. Special Edition Toolkit will ship in December provided you are a SBSC Partner before 30 November. You will get Vista anytime upgrade to Ultimate from Business, eval of Forefront for Sharepoint/Exchange, Demo Showcase 2007, Brand Tools, Viral Videos, Licensing Guidance, printable Small Business Guide. Customer Campaigns around the following areas (hopefully call to action will be go to a SBSC Partner but depends upon how Microsoft UK implements them) Security and Reliability Business Productivity Customer Acquisition & Retention Business Solutions Also, Microsoft are asking where we would like support from Microsoft to build business in new areas such as CRM, Sharepoint, SCE, Security and/or vertical market segments. For all the requests, Vista Ultimate will be part of the offering to SBSC partners and the special recognition that SBSC partners continues to grow. It is also nice to see that the managed newsgroups are now manned 24hrs, so PLEASE use them to help diagnose problems. ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , SBSC PALs , Vista Ultimate , Managed Newsgroups
  • Small Business Building Blocks: Learn How To Create Magnificent Marketing Materials

    I always say that every contact you have with your customers is marketing and that marketing is not "hard", but does require some thought. Well I thought you might like this teleseminar. Learn How To Create Magnificent Marketing Materials John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing will be conducting a 3 part teleseminar that will teach you how to create marketing materials that educate and connect with your prospects. In this series, you will learn how to create a marketing kit, learn how to use stories in your marketing to connect on an emotional level, and learn how to develop and use case studies and testimonials in your marketing. Small Business Building Blocks: Learn How To Create Magnificent Marketing Materials ttfn David Technorati Tags: Marketing , Small Business
  • What's In A 'Small-Business' Label? - Forbes.com

    I saw this and thought I would share it. As small business partners we need to decide what the "Small Business" means and tell our partners and customers. It is not about sticking a label on something that fits everything, but actually customising it for the real small business customer. And I don't mean the less than 1,000 person business, but the sub 100, sub 50 and even sub 10. It is worth reading the rest of the article to see what is said about brand and laptops. What's In A 'Small-Business' Label? Lisa LaMotta , 09.12.07, 6:00 AM ET It's one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book: Make the same product, but sell it to a new audience. That's what large retailers and manufactures have been doing lately to tap the lucrative small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) segment. Last month, for example, Best Buy (nyse: BBY - news - people ) added a Professional Series label, which signifies products putatively geared for small businesses, though many have mass appeal as well. Dell Computer (nasdaq: DELL - news - people ) insists its new Vostro line of notebooks is perfect for small fries, while virtually all the options are available on other machines. And AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) sells the same telephone and cable connections under the SMB banner as they do for plain old consumers. Can you blame these guys? See-through as this strategy sounds, it's also very effective--and perfectly legal. As long as companies aren't making any false claims (after all, these products aren't not appropriate for small businesses), the Federal Trade Commission has no beef. <snip> To be fair, many products bearing the "small business" moniker work just fine. But it's a bit of a stretch to claim that many of them are specifically tailored for that segment. “A phone line is a phone line," admits John Reagan, vice president of business marketing for AT&T. Some so-called small-business products deserve the distinction more than others. Take Microsoft 's...
  • SBS rebates for partners - get up to $225 back per installation - and don't complain that we only do these in the USA - this is available in many countries, including the UK too

    I just know when a rebate offer goes up on the Microsoft web site that I will get an e-mail asking if it will be available in the UK. For this one the answer is most definitely YES. To prove that it is not a waste of time, I need you to USE the offer, i.e. sell SBS and claim back you money, CALs or D-Link wireless router. Below are the details from the UK web site, but if you go to http://www.sbsoffers.com you will be able to select your country. Since this is a limited time offer, the more you sell now, the more you make - you can make up to 50 claims under this offer!! Take advantage of these offers when you provide on-site, deployment services for Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2! Don’t miss this opportunity! From September 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007, the on-site services you may already provide to customers to deploy Microsoft ® Windows ® Small Business Server 2003 R2 could make you eligible to receive some great rewards. Provide on-site deployment services to your customer between September 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007. Submit your valid Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Certificate of Authenticity or Volume License Number and then upload, fax or mail your deployment services invoice Choose which offer you would like to receive! Server Rebate Offer - UK rebate site ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , SBS 2003 R2 , Rebate , SBSC , Partners , Microsoft
  • Microsoft, web services, new business models and small business

    In the IT market the term "change is the only constant" has been around for years (well, certainly since I left ICL where change was not constant, but that was due to the contract that dictated that everything did not change, so fell behind). Note, this post is purely the ramblings from my mind, not a statement from Microsoft in an Official or Unofficial capacity We've seen big iron, then smaller systems, the rise of SMP, the reduction in IT hardware and software costs for solutions, the rise of Microsoft servers, client server, 3-tier, clustered computing, multi-core and now internet enabled computing. There is much more, of course, to come, but how we deliver IT to customers has changed too. Of course, this is all generalised and some people have always been at one end or the other, but general acceptance is always shifting - remember the ASP business model of the late 90's - dead, yet here it is again with Software as / plus service. The pricing of some services even appears to be £0, yet you pay by clicking on adverts or by others buying adverts for you to see. Business Models Google and salesforce.com have once again shown that non-distributed computing means that a central failure grinds everything to a halt, just as Terminal based computing did before SAS was being considered. While you can architect to reduce these impacts, when they happen, hundreds to millions of people are impacted and if that is your business, it can be fatal. Once upon a time it was building PCs, then custom PCs, then servers, then core infrastructure, now ICT. However this is all the technical "stuff". We now deliver solutions more than just boxes (I know some always did) and the need to move beyond core infrastructure is a business necessity if you have not already moved this way. Excitement about a new "gizmo" (OS, application, gadget etc) is now tempered with "So what can it do to improve my business and is it worth it." One of the conversations I have had repeatedly with partners over...
  • Why should a small business use Office 2007

    Once again I thought I would put pen to e-paper on the top reasons I give people to move to Office 2007. I don't think there are many businesses out there that use a PC and don't use some form of office productivity suite and while most use Microsoft Office XX (where XX could be 97, 2000, XP or 2003), some use other products that in my opinion just don't compare for a business that wants to look great and work efficiently. With Office offering a massive choice of products and features, these are the headlines I use when talking to people. For those with a version of Microsoft Office, but not 2007 More Professional and Impressive documents and materials Use Microsoft Publisher 2007 to build sales and marketing materials that look agency made, but are actually in-house work The updated Microsoft Word 2007 has many features to ensure your documents have a professional, consistent look and feel throughout the whole document conforming to your brand goals (no matter how big or small they might be). The readability tests will also share with you how easy it is for someone to understand the document. Writing can be so unengaging, yet pictures are often very time consuming to get right. Using the new text features, features such as subtle shading or reflections or glowing words are a click away and can make text dazzle. For the words that can be better communicated in a picture the impressive Smart Art feature can take a simple list and turn it into a process diagram, or an organisation chart and all with any of the new professional style schemes to be sure to enhance the impact. Most people can recognise an "old" Excel charts - the colours are bland and the charts often quite flat. For this very reason the charts in Office 2007 have been given a significant facelift to ensure they look professional, while still conveying the information they are supposed to. While sending an Office document to someone is very common, sometimes you want to be able to send something they can't edit, such as a price...
  • How to use Office Outlook 2007 with any internet connection and how to access Outlook Web Access from any web browser - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use Outlook via a web browser and via an internet connection: Outlook Web Access with recent browser (IE5 or above) Outlook Web Access basic or lite edition for low speed internet connections Configure Outlook to use RPC over HTTP To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking as I went. When presenting to an audience it is easy to correct anything you do without anyone caring, however I tried to fix up the videos so this was not a problem. This has one drawback which is that the sound is not that good (one of those things I want to fix, but have not yet got round to) due to editing & cutting of the videos. I find it really hard to talk and move the mouse to the right place at the same time without a fluff in either my words or my mouse movements. Having captured the video is was simple to turn them into "Silverlight" Videos that were hosted on the Silverlight Streaming site for your pleasure - if you like them I can do more. Feel free to re-record the audio and play for your customers of make as a download for them. I have cut 10 videos to date and will release them over the next 2 weeks. The videos cover: For Vista - How to copy files to a DVD / CD, Use the recycle bin, Use previous versions for files and Use the built in Vista backup to check for Updates in Windows...
  • Why should a business get Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) to help their business

    I have been asked this many times and had promised to put these things down on paper (well e-paper), so now I am. This is my thoughts on why someone should buy SBS and also how I would sell it if I was selling it. Obviously there is much more that can be said and tailoring a solution to a customers needs is vital, but if presenting at an event or describing it on the radio, this is what I would say. Windows Small Business Server 2003 (SBS) is priced lower than other Microsoft servers to enable a small business to get the benefits of servers without any functionality compromise. We have even enhanced the product to put MORE in there than a standard Windows Server. To enable this price benefit Microsoft has put some limits (see below) on how SBS can be used which basically stops big businesses from using it, however you can cash in your investment in SBS and buy an Enterprise server should you ever need to and use the "cashed" in value to make the Enterprise server easier to afford too. Having said all that, the functionality limits rarely impact a small or smaller mid-market business and some of them are very technical. The Limits Only 1 SBS server in your business, but you can add as many other Windows Servers to your SBS network 75 or less licenses - a license can be a user or a device, but they cost the same so in 98% of cases user licenses would be the best Technical restrictions - SBS must be the "root" of the domain (rarely a problem in small businesses) and there can be "no server trusts" (again rarely a problem in small businesses) If you don't already have a server Share your files, printers, internet connection, fax and more without limits, while choosing who can read and modify information and who can't see it at all Enable strong security on PCs and Notebooks with a common password for each person on all machines, security updates automatically delivered all machines and all internet access protected by a server firewall Professional e-mail addresses for everyone in...
  • Want TechNet Direct for free - that is all out software for trial and 2 support calls - simply submit two assessments to the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit

    I have always like the Assess and win program along with the Technology Assessment Toolkit, although some say they have little to learn from it. It is one of those things where someone says "I need more stuff from Microsoft, but not anything to help me sell because I am great at that already." A partner who I respected told me that the format of the kit did not work for them, but they took the questions and used them as a checklist, added some of their own and now it works well. They also said that they don't run through the questions one after another, but have a conversation with their customer, and then fill in the blanks at the end. Anyway, the toolkit is a great way to understand more about your customer and their motivations and then plug some generic data into the engine inside Microsoft that tries to build solutions that match your customers needs. Technet Direct gives you DOWNLOAD access to almost all of Microsoft's software AND two free support calls - and you get this for FREE after submitting two entries into the Assess and Win tool. This is how the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit website describes the tool Assess the business and technology needs of your small and midsize business prospects using our step-by-step approach. By getting to know your customer’s business needs, you can recommend solutions that fit their long-term goals and that demonstrate real business value. You’ll be on your way to closing the deal and securing life-long customers. New assessments to evaluate your customers’ server, mobile, and desktop needs and to help you identify solutions based on Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 , Windows Mobile , the 2007 Microsoft Office system , and Windows Vista technologies. A customizable question bank that allows you to tailor assessments to your customers’ specific needs. A Windows-based platform that’s compatible with both Microsoft Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Download Toolkit * Need help getting started? Visit the toolkit...
  • Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - Small Business Symposium and more

    I'm not there, so can't tell you what they said, but I can point to others who have and point you to their blogs: WWPC PreDay Recap MAPS Training Requirement for MAPS WWPC Cougar WWPC Small Business Symposium WPC Small Biz Symposium Kicks Booty At the Small Business Symposium http://www.iqubed.biz/blog/2007/07/04/countdown-to-microsoft-wwpc-07/ ttfn David Technorati Tags: SBSC , WPC , Partner Conference
  • WPC Partner Conference in Denver - what is on and how to follow it even if you can't be there

    The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference is an amazing opportunity to understand what Microsoft is planning on doing for its partners over the next 12 months, what changes will be happening to our products, look Microsoft in the eye and ask your question and to build relationships with other partners and people inside Microsoft to benefit your business. Some of the speakers include UK Small Business partners, such as Susanne Dansey , Gareth Brown and Andy Trish . They represent two areas of the community and their own companies, Westcoast a Microsoft distributor aiming at the small business end of the partner market and thriving, now Gold Certified SBSC partners who two years ago were not on Microsoft's radar and have made being a SBSC partner a real benefit. In terms of what is on that is just for small business partners we had the Symposium yesterday. As to what was expected, here is the small business blog http://blogs.msdn.com/mssmallbiz/archive/2007/07/03/3677168.aspx Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference: We know many of you will also be participating in the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) beginning Tuesday, July 10. There are several special activities planned especially for small business partners that you will want to add to your Conference schedule: · Network with your peers before you arrive by joining the Small Business Discussion Group . This group is hosted on WPC Connect and is a great way for you to stay current, share ideas, and discuss what you have seen and heard at the conference. · Also check out the Small Business Specialist Community Blog on WPC Connect to get an early glimpse of what to expect at both the Small Business Symposium and the Worldwide Partner Conference. Visit the Small Business Partner "Yellow" Lounge . This lounge is a gathering place for connecting with people who care about small business as much as you do. The Lounge is located across from Lobby F, near the 14th Street entrance to the Convention Center. C ome chat with Microsoft about small business technologies...
  • Is Microsoft finally getting back a "cool" rap - Popfly, Silverlight, Home Server, Surface?

    Again, I saw this on the home Server blog and thought it was worth sharing. Not the information about Surface or Home Server - I have commented on those before, but the fact that people are finally saying these products are cool: Unless you've been hiding in a cave somewhere (or just maybe working really hard this week) you've probably caught some of the incredible buzz for Microsoft Surface , unveiled at the Wall Street Journal's D conference this week. USA Today tech columnist Andrew Kantor says Surface is the "second product in a row ( following Windows Home Server ) to 'just work,' a la Apple." Kantor wrote about Home Server last week, too: "Even if you only have a single computer in your home, dedicating an older machine as a WHS is a good idea simply for the protection against hard disk failure and the ability to pool your drives." ZDNet bloggers Dan Farber and and Larry Dignan also connect Home Server to Surface, saying the two could complement each other. What do you think? Windows Home Server Blog : Surface Other than the UI, there are a few cool features. One is the PopFly Explorer for Visual Studio. With it, you can share pats of your Visual Studio projects to PopFly and share them with people. So in some ways, PopFly can act as a group code repository, which if it works the way I think it does, could make for some informative mashups. Popfly (from an Adobe employee): http://blogs.zdnet.com/Stewart/?p=381 Nevertheless, all gadget lovers will salivate over this new piece of high-tech furniture gadgetry - including me. To quote Butthead, this is the coolest thing I have ever seen! http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keating/microsoft/microsoft-surface-cool.asp It would be nice to be thought of as cooler :-) ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Cool , Popfly , Surface , Silverlight , Home Server
  • Go to MSN today to see a great Office 2007 advert - interact with the web page using a Word 2007 ribbon - today only 12th June

    This is a quick one - hope along to http://uk.msn.com and today you will be greeted with the Office 2007 ribbon bar. You can change the formatting of the picture or the MSN section at the top using the live preview function of Office 2007. This will be 24 hours only I am told, so about 14 3/4 hours left! Image changes as you hover over the formats - available in Office 2007 and now MSN UK for the day!! We also have style changes on the headers. ttfn David Technorati Tags: MSN , Office 2007
  • What can Microsoft do to help your business as a Microsoft Partner

    It is rare that I copy a MS web page directly, but the information in here is amazing and worth spreading the news on. I found the Microsoft Partner Drive Your Business web site and not only does it have the information below. It also has references like " Read How a Partner Maintains 100% Growth Year After Year ". If you have seen one or two of them, don't fret - look at all six options and tell me if even one of them was a nice surprise for you. Are you looking for ways to strengthen your business performance? Find out how partners in the Microsoft Partner Programme are outperforming 12 out of 14 industry benchmarks through market differentiation. Find Out the Partner Pathway to Business Performance Is your company as profitable as it could be? Take a comprehensive assessment that measures your business performance across key indicators, including profit margins and revenue growth. Get Your Customised Business Report Increase your market visibility, generate sales leads, and promote your business to peers and customers - you can do all this by simply profiling your business solutions in Solution Profiler. Promote Your Business Create demand, increase sales and reach out to potential customers. A collection of tools and compelling information can help you engage clients and capitalise on revenue-generating business opportunities. Visit the Partner Marketing Centre Explore new markets, expand your services and strengthen your business propositions. Joining forces with other partners can help both of you grow your businesses and benefit from new opportunities. Get Connected with Partner Channel Builder Whether you're a Small Business, a growing ISV, a multinational or somewhere in between, the Microsoft Partner Programme offers a wealth of tools and resources to help you increase profitability. Discover How to Maximise Your Profitability ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , Microsoft , Partners , Sell , Market
  • Can customers find you on the Microsoft web site? Did you know that the "old" method for customers to find you is being turned off on June 14th? Have you added your solution Finder profile yet? If not, prepare to disappear

    Promote your business online The Microsoft Resource Directory, listing all Microsoft partners, will be retired on 14 June, when all traffic will be redirected to the increasingly popular Solution Finder tool. This is where existing and potential customers can search for partners who offer the specific business solutions they are looking for. To be included in this partner listing, and to help increase your sale leads at no additional cost, you need to ensure your business offerings are entered in our Solutions Profiler tool. This is a great opportunity to promote your business online and it takes just a few minutes to profile your solutions. I saw this and somehow figured that a few people might need a little prompting. I have written on how easy it is to add a solution using solution finder here . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Solution Finder , Partners [updated @ 2:20pm to fix access error]
  • Trial Software Kit for Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2

    I was recently asked how to get a trial of SBS. You can't download one, but as a customer you can order one here. Note that if you go to the international pages you might have to scroll around a bit to find the right bit of information. If you are a partner and wish to give them to use them with your customers then you only need one copy as you can re-use the key we provide you and you can get it from the Partner Marketplace For customers: Trial Software Kit for Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 North America – Order your CD package here. Other Locations – The SBS 2003 R2 Trial is not generally available outside North America. Please select your country from the SBS Worldwide page to determine whether the trial software is available in your location. For Partners: Partner MarketPlace - eg Market - Partners - Microsoft UK You searched for items of collateral related to the Small Business Server (SBS) group. To add items to your order, select a quantity from the drop down box. Description Type Audience Price Quantity Gear Up Sales Toolkit The Microsoft Gear Up Sales Toolkit is the licensing and sales 'product encyclopaedia' that will help you generate up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Marketing Kit Sales £0.00 Selling to Small Business Guide This guide explains Microsoft's approach to the Small Business market, and offers advice to Partners on how to maximise their sales and marketing efforts to this audience. Partner Guide Sales £0.00 Windows SBS 2003 R2 Integrated server solution for small businesses Evaluation Software All £0.00 ttfn David Technorati tags: Evaluation , SBS 2003
  • Want Microsoft to get you leads - this is how you do it

    One of the most commonly asked questions is "How do I get Microsoft to send me leads?" While we run campaigns that point people to the bCentral site and the find a small business IT advisor process some want more direct action. Well, using the Mr Busy campaign you can now get us to carry our a campaign on your behalf. Yes, that is right, we will carry out a campaign on your behalf to people you want to - either by e-mail (EM) or post (DM). The process is really simple - go here and read the instructions. For the Post Card campaign we know that using post cards effectively communicate with your customers and provide short and focused information. You can customise the postcard with your company details, your logo and a relevant web URL and phone number. We advise that the URL you supply has information about the IT healthcheck to increase the number of customers then contacting you. Your postcards will be sent directly to your customers in a neutral envelope within five business days of you submitting the contact list. The timing for a e-mail campaign are good as research has shown that more marketing messages are reach their targets via email than previously. A helpful and targeted communication, headed by a pertinent subject line is an excellent and fast way to contact your customers! Your emails will be sent within two calendar days and you will receive a full reporting, including emails sent, links clicked, bounced emails etc. With this report you will be able to identify the potential within your customer base. To see the output is may be worth putting yourself on the list of recipients :-) In each case it is a 3 stage process: Personalise the campaign Provide company logo It gets sent out Enjoy and tell me about your successes. ttfn David Technorati Tags: If you only read one post today , marketing , it healthcheck
  • Do you wish there was a good list of questions to understand a customers business and technical needs? Well you had better look at the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit FAQ (and win copies of SBS 2003 R2 to sell)

    I should have blogged on this ages and ages ago, but somehow I thought everyone knew about this already. It is a set of tools (pointers to documents, Q&A recording tool, customisation tool and general web based advice) to help you sell your services by understanding the needs of your customers and share this information easily around the business. The best place to start is the FAQ page ( Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit FAQ: Toolkit Updates ), which has loads of good links - below is just the start of the good information. Also, if you do a few assessements and submit the data to Microsoft, you could earn a free copy of SBS 2003 R2 for you to do with as you will - give to your partner at home, sell to a customer, mount on the wall as the only free thing Microsoft has ever given you :-) Find comprehensive answers to your questions about how to download, install and use the Microsoft Business and Technology Assessment Toolkit (English only). For further information about the Windows Small Business Server Assess and Win offer, the Assess and Win offer for Microsoft Small Business Specialists, or the localised toolkits, please review the Assess and Win FAQ . Toolkit and Assessment Overview Getting Started with the New Toolkit Installing and Uninstalling the Toolkit Toolkit Updates Assessment Templates Creating Custom Templates Saved Assessments Assess and Win: Earn a Free Copy of SBS 2003 R2 Microsoft Products Included in the Toolkit ttfn David Technorati tags: SBS 2003 R2 , Technology Assessment Toolkit , Selling
  • Win an XBOX 360 or 5 x Office and Vista while getting Microsoft to pay some or all of your Marketing Campaign Builder Expenses for Small Business PC, Branch Office solutions or Build Customer Connections Campaigns. Time limited - ends 30th April 2007

    Hopefully I have your attention, which is good. Microsoft UK are trying to encourage the use of our marketing tools and also gain some feedback. First of all, the prizes for the best feedback - an Xbox 360 system OR 5 x Vista Ultimate AND 5 x Office 2007 Pro. Next, the cash - we can offer a limited number of people £150 towards a marketing campaign - if that covers the whole of the campaign, then so be it and it has cost you nothing! This money is to be used at the UK Partner Campaign Builder portal. OK, so now for the pitch! As many of you know we like to help our partners in many ways here at Microsoft and one area that small business partners have asked for help is in the marketing area. Campaign Builder is a one stop shop to either produce materials and run the campaign yourself, or use the agency to run the campaign for you (or at least print the materials). Well, we have a limited number of discount vouchers to make this a £150 easier process. The idea is simple to do, simply do the following this April (2007 for the pedants) Visit the Business Efficiency/ Small Business PC Campaign page to learn more about the campaigns Visit Partner Campaign Builder and get up to £150* towards your first Business Efficiency/ Small Business PC Campaign with Partner Campaign Builder You then need to enter the promotional codes as below Send an e-mail to Doverton@microsoft.com with the subject “I used campaign builder and it worked for me” with the details of how you used the campaign and what it has done to help your business and if necessary what it should do better. Send the e-mail by the end of May and we will read them and pick out a winner for either 5 x Office 2007 and 5 x Windows Vista Ultimate OR a Xbox 360 core edition for the 3 rd week of June (you choose which prize you want). (we will notify you of you success via a return mail to your e-mail address and will publish the winning reason on the blog site). We may also ask to discuss the benefits of Campaign Builder with you further to improve the service or ask to...
  • Channel Expo Show presentations - Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Windows Server (SBS, Naked, Home Server and Longhorn) sales slides

    If you visited the Channel Expo show this year then you probably saw one or two Microsoft presentations on desktop and server solutions. James Akrigg and Matt McSpirit provided the desktop entertainment while I covered off what servers we have out there and what is coming in the near future. We promised the slides and here they are: Desktop (Windows Vista and Office 2007)- Office 2007 PowerPoint Desktop (Windows Vista and Office 2007)- PDF Server (SBS, Windows Server 2003 R2, Longhorn and Home Server) - Office 2007 PowerPoint Server (SBS, Windows Server 2003 R2, Longhorn and Home Server) - PDF James has an amazing blog (Out of Office) at http://blogs.technet.com/outofoffice Matt touches many aspects of desktop technology including that for small business at http://blogs.technet.com/mattmcspirit Have a look at the blogs and enjoy the presentations. ttfn David Technorati tags: Channel Expo , Vista , Office 2007 , SBS 2003 , Nakes Servers , Home Server , Longhorn
  • I love the press - saying that organisations are "banning" Vista when they are doing normal testing - and then writing another story when they get it wrong!!

    I read with interest the previosu stories about large oganisations banning Vista deployments, wondering if this was anything but normal policy. Then this story broke where NIST in the US "were irked" at suggestions that the ban was in anyway but normal practice until they finish testing Explaining a Vista ban The National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a moratorium on using Windows Vista, but that's business as usual, says agency's CIO. newsmaker The prestigious National Institute of Standards and Technology has put a ban on Windows Vista, but that's standard procedure, according to NIST's chief information officer. NIST, which does research and sets standards for things like cryptography for government use , is among several federal agencies that have put a moratorium on the use of Vista . The agencies are taking some time to make sure that the new Microsoft operating system meets their needs. It is not unusual that large organizations aren't rushing to install major software updates. These organizations tend to do a lot of testing before upgrading. The same happened when Microsoft released Windows XP, and again with Service Pack 2 for Windows XP . Microsoft widely released Vista in late January . Simon Szykman, chief information officer at NIST , was slightly irked by some of the media reports on his agency's move, which painted the ban as a major slap in Microsoft's face. In fact, Szykman said, this is business as usual. Ultimately, NIST expects many of its PCs will run Vista. Still, Microsoft has predicted a swift adoption of Vista by businesses . Source: Explaining a Vista ban | Newsmakers | CNET News.com ttfn David Technorati tags: Vista , Windows Vista , Testing
  • The Small Business Summit is coming - 19th - 23rd March - watch online

    [updated 29th March 2007] Now the event has happened you need to go to http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/small-business-summit/FY07/SummitVideo/Watch.aspx to watch the various sessions. The Microsoft Small Business Summit is just around the corner: March 19-23. It's free, it's online, and we don't want you to miss it. To help you get the best value and training for your business, we've identified the top webcasts from the Small Business Summit. With links below, we've also simplified the process of adding your chosen webcasts as appointments on your Outlook calendar. On the date and time of your preferred webcasts, you have two easy options for viewing the live webcasts : Click the linked webcast title below. -Or- Click the linked webcast title in the Outlook appointment text. Note: To view the webcasts, you must have Windows Media Player installed. March 19, Day one (9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Pacific Time) 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM - Keynote: Solutions for Small Business Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft Learn about new products designed to address the needs of your small business and to make a positive impact on your bottom line. Add this webcast to your calendar 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM - The Importance of Branding Julie Clark, Founder of Baby Einstein Hear from the woman who started a business in her basement and within five years built a brand with annual sales of more than $25 million. Add this webcast to your calendar 11:00 AM - Noon - The Art of Innovation Guy Kawasaki, Author and Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures Learn strategic steps for creating new products and services. Renew your commitment to innovation. Add this webcast to your calendar Noon - 1:00 PM - The Economy and the Small Business Owner Wayne Best, Chief Economist, Visa USA Hear this top business analyst explain how economic trends can affect your small business. Add this webcast to your calendar 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM - Small Biz Success Stories Moderated by Cindy Bates, General Manager, Microsoft Get tips and inspiration from battle...
  • Vista, by itself, and business value - what can you get

    I was a little horrified to see a small business group posting that said " In my opinion, there is nothing in Vista that warrants an upgrade at this time for businesses." Oh my golly gosh thought me. Has this person actually looked at the stuff we have to better explain what the benefits are? (I don't know, but if they have then Microsoft needs to do a better job, if not, then Microsoft needs to do a better job telling everyone). 1st off though, just as many people have commented - I expect many people to buy Vista with a new PC, but I also believe that the decision to buy a new PC will in part be driven by Vista as opposed to just hardware needs. OK, where does Vista add value to businesses (this is where I use it) over Windows XP out the box today and even more so over Windows 2000: Work More Efficiently Searching for documents, e-mails, contacts Preview files without opening them via thumbnails and preview pane Shrink to fit for IE printing Finding open programs, items on start menu, control panel items Enhance performance with ReadyBoost Glancable information with Gadgets Staying Connected "File" file sharing Ad-hoc wireless networking Wireless security manager Windows Mobile Device Center Data protection and integrity Automatic PC backups Previous versions of files, even when out the office Anti-phishing technologies Anti-spyware tools UAC and protected mode in IE File and disk encryption Image based backup and restore Systems Management Reliability Monitor Enhanced Event Viewer Memory Checker Problem History Enhanced Remote Desktop Recovery tools Sales and Marketing Fax and Scan tools Photo Editing tools XPS Support Faster response when opening the lid Dual use - home and business use Parential controls Media Center DVD Playback and burning Many many more It is worth looking at the version comparison document on http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/products/wowpc/CompareWindows.aspx and the Vista comparison guide that can be downloaded at http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/5/E/E5E1A4B0-124F-4A6E-A152...
  • Sales tools, campaigns, downloads and brochures for Selling the Small Business PC (running Vista and Office 2007)

    Kerry in the Small Business team sent me this mail, so I thought I would forward it on. It is worth knowing that items from the stock shop are often free, including P&P. I’m getting lots of questions about what is available to partners to use to support the small business PC campaign. Details have been included in the campaign updates – but I understand the volume of email we all receive, so hopefully this will be more specific to your needs. We have the following produced and available: Item Details Where to get it! Campaign Builder This campaign promotes our latest product releases specifically for small businesses, Windows Vista™ Business and Microsoft® Office Small Business 2007 promoting how it’s going to transform the way they do business. Aimed at the small business owner/manager, it highlights how Windows Vista™ Business and Microsoft® Office Small Business 2007 introduces powerful new technologies that empower them and their employees to do so much more with their PC. Ultimately, helping them collaborate and communicate more effectively, increase sales, improve security and lower business costs. View Details Marketing Elements: Postcard , Business Letter , Email , Flyer Top 10 reasons sheet Printed and soft copy docuemnt outlining the top ten reasons why a small business would want a PC running Vista and Office Available in partner market M1486 – Top 10 WOW Small Business PC factsheet and Office 20076 and Vista Top 10 Reasons download Small Business PC brochure Printed and soft copy Available in partner market M1485 – Small Business WOW Brochure and as a download WOW Brochure Small Business WOW poster Printed and soft copy Available in partner market M1487 – WOW poster – small business Banners to go on website Various sizes (attached) Attached below. To be loaded on partner website Online demo See bCentral to see what this demo looks like www.bcentral.co.uk/vistaoffice Partners can potentially host this - total site is 46MB - contact me if you want to host yourself SBPC event in a box Part of EVO kit...
  • Easy way to learn Vista, while also learning how to demo it

    Many of you have Windows Vista, but now need to understand what you can do with it. Rather than reading one of the nice big books, you could go look at the www.windowsvistamagazine.co.uk and read all the great info there. You could also go and look at the training available on the Microsoft Partner site. Finally, you could go and get all the tools you need to build a demo system, including the "scripts" for home and business use and then work through them - it will not take more than an hour to work through them, but by the end of it you will know most of the interesting features of both products. Windows Vista for Partners - Your DRT - the site includes: Step 1. Before getting started, learn what it takes to create your own DRT. Download and review the Windows Vista Demo Setup Guide . Step 2. Gain access to the latest tools for DRT development. Download the zip file , which contains Sample documents Demo files Sample applications Management shortcuts Step 3. Need a little direction on how to set up your demo? Download a demo script. ( Consumer and Business demo scripts are available.) Step 4. Showcase your solutions with Windows Vista through your new demo account. Links to check out: Find Windows Internet Explorer 7 demos . Find the Healthcare Prototype , a sample Gadget for Windows Sidebar. Technorati tags: Windows Vista , Vista , Vista Demo
  • Why the blue badge will not help you find prospects, but might help you turn them into customers

    I'm going to start with a contentious statement "The Blue Badge is the best scheme in the world for IT partners serving the small business sector". The second thing is that it is not a sales campaign to get people to buy from you. It is a quality assurance and community system. We have been having a bit of a discussion internally today about the "blue badge" - you know, the SBSC logo. This discussion is a little UK focused as some of the features and benefits are UK focused. The discussion was triggered by the questioning blog by Tim Long who wants to see the community do more to promote the benefits of the blue badge. We know this can work - in the US some members put together a radio show and those of you who know Harry Brelsford will remember that he played the commercial they did at many of the events. The simple truth that SBSC is a flag for partners to rally around and build communities, not a flag for prospects to rally around. The people in SBSC have something that sets them apart from the pack, but does not completely separate them from it. They need to find and sell to their prospects as they always have done and the blue badge should be one of the tools they have. However, there is also fair criticism that the blue badge is not plastered over more places to drive awareness. Unfortunately this is not about to change, so while not desirable, we need to move on and see how it can be leveraged with the limited coverage we have (bCentral, Small Business Campaigns, Press Releases around small business, work with RDAs and Business Links) which is still quite good versus not having the badge. There is something I heard recently at the SBSC Small Business Symposium (yes, one of the benefits of being SBSC) and I think this is key. Gareth from Sytec Systems and Technology Ltd said (I am paraphrasing) “ Not all our prospects have heard of "Certified Partner" or "SBSC". It was not important to them. It is our job to make it important to them ”. The key here is that we don’t need to tell the world – just the prospect...
  • I'm sorry - I am not perfect and nor is Microsoft. Sometimes it is our fault

    I can be abrasive sometimes and whether it "is my fault" or not, I don't always understand others' point of views. To this I would like to say "It is my fault". Now, if you have got up off the floor, let me give you a few examples. I say "contact our customer support" and you say "I don't have time". Before I rant - OK, I understand this, if you could share the bug at some time, we will try to fix it. We haven't been able to identify it yet, so need your help I say "There is no OEM media, get over it" and you say "I need OEM media to do my installs". OK, I can't fix this one. I do understand where you are coming from. If I were to share the fact that in the UK, which is a low piracy country, our tests so far have shown between 10-15% of all copies of Windows are pirated and many come from Action Packs and other OEM keys, does that help understand why this is such an issue? I do wish I could give you back OEM media, but I've been told it is just not possible. While Microsoft did publish the changes coming, I now get the impression that many did not realise that this was linked to the change in qualifying an upgrade, making the process different to Windows XP The list goes on, however why did I even start this? Well a man I respect lots is Joel. I started reading his latest filing: "Now I was fuming. Squiggly lines were coming up out of my head. I was a half hour late to work and had to go to the locksmith for a third time. I was tempted just to give up on him. But I decided to give this loser one more chance." "Seven steps to remarkable customer service http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/customerservice.html It then carries on: I stomped into the store, ready to unleash my fury. “It still doesn’t work?” he asked. “Let me see.” He looked at it. I was sputtering, trying to figure out how best to express my rage at being forced to spend the morning going back and forth. “Ah. It’s my fault,” he said. And suddenly, I wasn’t mad at all. Mysteriously, the words “it’s my fault” completely defused me. That was all it took...
  • Demo Showcase and Action Pack shipments

    [Please also read the Action Pack FAQ on this blog at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/02/13/windows-vista-windows-xp-office-2003-and-office-2007-action-pack-update-my-faq.aspx ] Ok, so we failed to hit the January shipment, which is not something I am proud of, but everyone knows that we missed the shipment and my feelings already :-) If you are wanting to Demo Vista and Office then there are a few things you can do: Load it yourself and tell people how you use it Read the case study information on the bCentral web site and tell people about UK small businesses that are benefiting from the products already Portfolio Communications goes green Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 system help PR company A portrait of a small business Photography company snaps up Windows Vista and Office 2007 Accountancy firm profits from Microsoft investment Windows Vista and Office 2007 lift Aggarwal and Co. Load one of your Action Pack instances onto a PC. If you want to upgrade to Ultimate then do so, or run a demo copy (don't put in the product key) and choose the edition you want. Download one of our demo scripts & tools and do it yourself Office 2007 - https://partner.microsoft.com/UK/40034400?PS=95000131 How to build a Vista Demo system - Create your own DRT on the latest release of Windows Vista Vista Demo Script - Windows Vista Demo Script ttfn David Technorati tags: SBSC , Office 2007 , Windows Vista , Vista , Demo , Small Business , Case Studies
  • Vista related Wow or Launch Sites

    http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/01/10/the-wow-starts-now.aspx talks about a number of Vista related web sites, so I thought I would start to find them all for you to look at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/default.mspx - the official Windows Vista site - make sure you look at the 100 reasons to get Vista ;-) Geesh, only 100!! http://showUsYourWow.com - great site to showcase your "WoW" http://www.vanishingpointgame.com/ - like puzzles, you'll love this - with the final prize being anything from PC & XBox goodies to a trip into almost space :-) http://www.microsoft.co.uk/evosupremo/ - test your knowledge and get some great some more great prizes http://www.clearification.com/ - strange and wacky site, but could be just right for your mind
  • Partner TV and how you can do your own marketing and sell more using Captain Campaign

    I've mentioned Captain Campaign before and now Lorrayne Gilbert talks on Partner-TV about marketing with him. This episode of Partner-TV can be found here . After watching this you will be better equipped to do your own marketing, even if it is to just 5 new customers. What is more, you will probably be better at it if you use the tools :-) ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13