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.

To find out more about my Windows Intune BOOK - Microsoft Windows Intune 2.0: Quickstart Administration click here

To find out more about my SBS 2008 BOOK - Small Business Server 2008, Installation, Migration and Configuration click here

Browse by Tags

David Overton's Blog

Buy my books

Windows Intune:Quickstart Administration


This is the RAW book (Read as Written).
Click here for more information
Buy or pre-order today

SBS 2008 - Installation, Migration and Configuration

Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration

Buy today in book or e-book form

Request a Review Copy

Twitter

Syndication

  • 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
  • Important Sneak Peak – UK Small Business Symposium coming

    I can't reveal all the details, although I am sure others will, however we are working on special event for SBSC members. This event design incorporates your feedback and suggestions as to what you want to hear about, share as a community as well as information Microsoft needs to share with you. Expect useful information, the opportunity to network with your peers, Microsoft and partners and the ability to socialise too J The timeframe for this event is February 2007, in Reading, Manchester (or Leeds) and Edinburgh, although more sessions will happen in the afternoon in Reading due to availability of speakers and rooms. The ROUGH agenda looks like this Morning: UK Exec who actually cares about Small Business (such as Natalie Ayres - Director of SMS&P*) talking about: What's the view from the top? Why does everything you've heard matter? What's the opportunity for partners? Aileen Hannah – responsible for SBSC programme in the UK, talking about: Highlights & lowlights of the program so far Latest resources & benefits for partners Reference partner success stories Steve Haddock – responsible for the Disty partners with some special news for SBSC partners talking about: Latest trend data Where Microsoft are investing What's the opportunity for partners? David Overton and Matt McSpirit from the PTS team and guest TAP** partner and customer talking about Vista & Office: Value for small businesses & partners TAP Partner preso with actual customers Challenges they faced & how to overcome Tim Kimber, David Overton, and others talking about new products: Office Live Antigen / Forefront AdCentre Afternoon: The afternoon will include Panel and Technology led sessions with many presenters from the SBSC community as well as Microsoft: Panel Sessions: Building a better business model How to market your business Partner Power, working with the community Working with your regional Small Business infrastructure (eg BusinessLink, RDA, Accountants, FSB) Technology & MS Sessions: How I use and sell CRM Licensing...
  • What do the Stone Roses, Chris Parkes and the Demo Showcase have in common? Apparently small business solutions that come in fours!!

    Chris, who I previously mentioned the other day, has been up to his old tricks. Not only does he think that the Demo Showcase is an amazing tool for everyone to be able to show and tell how a computer solution can solve real business problems, but he has done an amazing job of describing exactly what is in the kit for the small business partner. The small business demos cover a wide range of technologies, but everything is built using 1 SBS Virtual PC and one XP client VPC. This means that showing things like mobile devices and how they work is much easier than just showing 1 person a PDA or mobile phone. It also enables you to show accounting solutions, CRM etc and each one comes with an amazing script that you can change to suit your needs and they are even tailored to who you are talking to, be it the owner manager or the sales people, etc! For more info, pictures and the ability to leave comments, pop along to The Demo Showcase & Small Business & The Stone Roses ttfn David
  • What is the Demo Showcase and how do you use it?

    I have a mate at work, Chris, who has always been a good and clever egg the whole time I have known him. He is also very passionate about partners getting the right level of support as well as liking Stoke City, but something's just have to be forgiven. One thing he has got a bee in his bonnet about this year is the Demo Showcase, which we will be using for all our demos going forward for a while. If you have been to an ignite tour, that was based on an early version of the Showcase DVD set. Chris has been a prolific blogger on the subject - this is a great tool for you to use, so look at: Whoever heard of the Demo Showcase for the People Ready Business? The Demo Showcase Line Up What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (Physically)? What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (in Reality?) The Demo Showcase Team Tactics ttfn David
  • Microsoft releases campaign builder tool for partners - Non-marketing folks can use it (as well as the marketing ones) as a step by step process for delivering Microsoft aligned marketing campaigns to your customers

    Imagine the scene - Microsoft is running a marketing set of events and awareness to encourage customers to buy their technology. We tell customers that they need to work with SBSC specialists and point them to the bCentral web site. However, at the same time, you also get the materials you need from Microsoft to run your own campaign - be it post cards, handouts, telephone scripts, letters. And using a simple tool it will take you a few minutes to create the materials. Below is a walkthrough of how I built a campaign for SBS using 5 types of material (Telemarketing script, Postcard, Business Letter, e-Mail and Flyer) 1st off, you need to visit the Campaign Builder Web site and log in. This enabled you to choose the campaign that is right for you. You may notice it looked at the fact that I am a registered partner with the SBSC badge, so suggested the SBS Campaign (there are also campaigns for solutions that major in Office, Windows, CRM and so on). One I had selected the campaigns, it is simply a case of walking through the process. I ticked the boxes for all 5 templates offered and hit the next button. I then proceeded to fill in the details for each template, modifying them from the standard MS text where desired and inserting my logo etc. At any time I could stop - so after I had competed the two above, this is what the summary of the process showed: I then continued on in the same vane and completed the e-mail, flyer and call script. This then took me to the fulfilment screen - here I can choose to have these printed and potentially managed by Arvato, or I can take the materials and run. I opted to download the materials for myself. I then had the ability to download these materials - very simply really. While I would strongly recommend you do not use the materials I produced - you can see them here: Campaign Builder - Business Letter.pdf Business_Letter-Letter.mht Business_Letter-Envelope.mht Email.mht Flyer.pdf Flyer-Front.mht (zipped) Flyer-Back.mht Postcard.pdf Postcard-Front.mht Postcard-Back.mht Telemarketing_Script...
  • UK Research shows that small business owner managers are doing everything to avoid working at the weekend - is this good or bad news for IT suppliers?

    I came across this article which suggests that small business owner / managers are avoiding working at the weekend. The article is backed by research from Barclays Bank . There are a few facts that really sound out to me: The development and uptake of new technologies is having a positive impact on hours worked: - 46 per cent of businesses with internet access work a standard 5 day week, compared to just 35 per cent of those without. Owners of small and medium businesses in the UK work 24 hours longer each week than the rest of the UK workforce 43 per cent said they now will not work weekends compared to 36 per cent in 2003 and Sundays have become even more precious with only 29 per cent admitting to working on that day compared to 36 per cent in 2003. On average entrepreneurs are spending over 15 hours a week – equivalent to almost two full days for most workers – on administration. Six out of ten entrepreneurs feel that regulation is a barrier to doing business, particularly in larger SMEs, where owners highlighted the impact of employment regulation (PAYE and payroll, health and safety, pensions) and accounting regulation (tax and VAT). #1 is a real win for putting in IT and internet connectivity, could you ask your customer "would you like to reduce the hours you have to work? Research from Barclays suggests that you are 11% less likely to have to work longer than a standard 5 day week with Technology helping you" #2 and #3 show that these business owners do not want to work at the weekend - depending on your relationship with your customer and their requirements, this either means you no longer have to (so they want to see you work which means it will be a week day - hurray) or their "free down time" is the weekend. These points also provide the capability to talk about how going mobile with SBS and either Windows XP or Windows mobile could if not unleash them from the business, enable them to work from better locations. #4 is also a real winner - if administrivia really is such...
  • Updated Technology Assessment Toolkit – Understand your customers and deliver the right solution

    Hopefully you have all heard of the Technology Assessment Toolkit – if not, it is a great set of tools, whitepapers, presentations and other "stuff" to enable you to quickly take your customer through the thought process as to what technology can do for them and how you can deliver the value their business needs. One award submission to the Worldwide Partner Conference awards stated – "We make great use of the Small Business Technology Assessment Toolkit we received from Microsoft. This has proved to be an invaluable tool for us and our clients in outlining their business / IT requirements & defining the solutions. We provide an excellent service to our clients & they recognise this from the hard work we put in for every installation—from sales, design, installation & post-installation support—they know they are in good hands and we would never let them down." As to the actual contents of the toolkit: Ready-to-use "Business Assessment" guide Comprehensive "Technology Assessment" guide Microsoft Small Business Solution Selling guide Three-year planning template Sample proposal Customizable sales and marketing tools Datasheets, presentations, white papers and more Information on Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 and Microsoft products designed for small business, such as Office 2003 Small Business Edition, Windows XP Professional, Microsoft CRM 3.0, Windows Mobile, and more To learn more about this, go visit https://www.mssboffers.com/default.aspx . There is also the readiness centre to learn about best practices on using the toolkit to be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/global/40029617 Ttfn David
  • David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)

    Many people ask me what I do and sometimes they are amazed with the answer "I help Microsoft Partners build solutions that deliver value to their small business partners – for free". This is a great job and part of it is to engage with as many partners as possible to improve the quality and knowledge around the solutions that can be built upon Microsoft technology. This year my role has a slightly different focus, but the way I achieve it will have many similarities. It has becoming important for me to ensure that partners are not just technically capable, but also selling solutions, sometimes even offering their customers alternative licensing options to suit their business needs. Some may see this as me selling out in some way, but while I love technology, if it is not applied correctly and you and I can't make money out of it, then there is a limit to the business value of the technology. I will still be blogging, posting on both business and technical ideas, but also be discussing how to sell solutions, what the licensing options truly mean, what extras you can add to a sale to add value for you and the customer. I'll even be discussing how online services are an opportunity for you, but more on this later. On this note, is there more I should do to help you sell more, have more customers and make more money? If so, let me know what is needed, whether it is something from Microsoft or David. Comments are open on this one, so fire a comment onto the blog. Expect to see a post on the work we are doing with the Technet team to get you even more technical resources and the process for access to all those nice betas, hosted services and where they fit as part of a solution and the options on licensing to make it easier for your customer to understand the value of technology and even buy earlier. Ttfn David
  • Summary of Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) just before I leave

    so, I have about 5 mins to write this, so it will be short & sweet. From the Small Business pre-day: event was sold out people told us licensing was still not up to scratch, but Eric Ligman's lessthancoffee.com site was very useful Much of the information for people was how to run a small business as it 1) enables us all to understand what is going on in the minds of our customers and 2) since many SBSC members are small businesses, hopefully gives them some ideas on how to be more successful as a business The Sloan Brothers were the highlight for me in advice ( http://startupnation.com ) - they said Got for 10% of the Watermelon, not 90% of the grape - this basically meant get funding and help to grow your business - keeping ownership of your business is more than just the number of shares - it is being there, so even if other people own 90% of the equity, you are still in charge. Outsource non-core skills Hitch your wagon to a star - eg Microsoft, but also someone local who will recommend you - so you get business by the power of recommendation from someone your customers will trust Harness the eye of PR - basically, PR is whatever you do for it, but use it, write it yourself or outsource, but make it have impact Manage your burn rate - know at all times how much cash you have and balance needs vs this my favourite - Know thy end game - to help you make decisions about all of the above you need to know what you want to achieve - is it to sell the business, to chair, to work until you are 90.... what is it - know this and many decisions canbe done on does it help me achieve this or not. There were many other announcements at WPC, which can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/wwpc/materials.mspx One other key thing that James Akrigg said to me: "Why are we always talking to people about their pain points? We also need to find out about their aspirations. " This was a key thing for me. ttfn David
  • Off to Partner Conference in Boston - see you blogging from there

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I am due to fly today @ 11am to Boston for the Partner Conference - if you are going then I will see you there, if not, you can read about it here. ttfn David
  • UK Managing Director Leaves the UK bound for Microsoft Corp - welcome to Gordon Frazer from South Africa

    Today we had a bit of a kick of for FY07 (Financial Year 07 in Microsoft) and a review of FY 06. We had a healthy year with excellent growth (this is no way a prediction of the MS Company results) and we also did a bit of sweeping a few things out. It has been speculated for a little while that Alistair Baker would be moving on and today we had it confirmed. As of 31st July, the new MD of MS UK will be Gordon Frazer from the South African Sub. He did seem like a very positive and fired up person, so I think this will be nothing but goodness, as will having another Brit in the power halls at MS in the States. For the press release, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/press/content/presscentre/releases/2006/07/PR03662.mspx ttfn David
  • Bad links now fixed

    Sooo many of you clicked the links in the posts from the last two days, but got an OWA screen that I had to go back and edit about 16 posts. All fixed now - thanks to Rob for pointing it out. ttfn David
  • Draft release of my web log analyser tool (using IIS Log files)

    People have asked for my tools I use to produce my site statistics, so I have released a draft cut. It should all work. To get the best out of it you need a $20 subscription to http://www.maxmind.com/app/web_services_guide#city and MapPoint , but otherwise it works - without both these it is fully functional, but no maps. The source can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry735.aspx and the exes at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry736.aspx . ttfn David
  • The best event at Microsofts World Wide Partner Conference - about you and the community, presented by the community - Mark Taylor, Susanne Dansey and Tom Crosby

    This years World Wide Partner Conference should be a storming success - yes, I will be attending for the 1st time and presenting, but that is not why. Why, you ask, well probably one of the most important sessions for those who work in the Small Business market is going to be the sessons on the community. And one of the best will be presented by 3 fine community members in the UK. These people do not work for Microsoft and the community they represent is not owned by Microsoft, but we walk the same path helping eachother out because it has benefit to our business to do so, The short answer is to be there, at the Small Business Symposium on Monday 10th July. Look for the Community presentation by these three. You will learn what has powered the UK & Irish communities both in terms of their success and the individual partner success. They have broadened their relationships beyond just Microsoft and are having real impact with other vendors such as HP, CA etc. Finally, they will deliver a one-two on resources for you, but not necessarily the MS Partner program, but things like SMB Nation, blogs, community forums, events etc. If at the end of it you do not understand how the community can benefit you, your business and how to find the answers easier, then you have been sat in the wrong room!! I will post the room details closer to the time. ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Feel the force - See Star Wars Lego II - The Original Trilogy Game - AWESOME

    As some of you may know, I am a true Star Wars Geek. I love all 6 films - yes, even Jar Jar. I had heard about the 2nd game - me & Molly are loving the 1st game and then I saw this on MSN Video - amazing! Cool features - all the characters, the ability to go off piste with any vehicle and the ability to take characters apart and create new ones - just like you would with Lego Pieces :-) ttfn David
  • Giving money to good causes - Warren Buffet follows Bill and Melinda

    One of the reasons I picked Microsoft to work for was that I felt the company had a goal stronger than "to make money for the shareholders", but also to actually do some good in the world. Bill Gates has announced that he is planning to slowly transisition to a part time role in Microsoft over the next two years to dedicate his time to the Bill and Melinda Foundation who have already given away billions to help those in need. (See http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060615.htm for Bill's transition. For some astounding stats, look at http://www.gatesfoundation.com/MediaCenter/FactSheet/ - snipped from it: Number of employees: 241 Endowment: $29.2 billion Total grant commitments since inception: $10.5 billion Total 2005 grant payments: $1.36 billion Illustrative Grant Commitments United Negro College Fund , Gates Millennium Scholars Program - $1 billion The GAVI Alliance - $1.5 billion Malaria Vaccine Initiative - $258 million Save the Children , Saving Newborn Lives - $110 million United Way of King County , Seattle, WA, - $55 million Knowledgeworks Foundation - $20 million National Council of Culture & Arts , Mexico Library Project - $11.7 million Public Access Computing Hardware Upgrade Program , Multiple library systems - $5.3 million Now I read that Warren Buffet is to give away 85% of his 40B$ wealth to charity, with 5/6 going to the above fund. For more info, see http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060625.htm This is what I want to help others do, while Microsoft makes lots of donations, by making MS successful, I enable these people to continue to do this. I think Microsoft donates something like 7% of its cash each year to good causes - not many other companies can say they do that. When working recently with the SBS product team in the UK I discovered that we give away 4+ copies of SBS plus associated software to UK needy causes a month. That is just SBS, we also give away many other products too. I know that the nay sayers could say "why not give away...
  • Site look and feel updated

    I found some amazing site themes at http://japan.communityserver.info/ and have updated the default site with this. If you wish to change it back, click http://uksbsguy.com/user/EditProfile.aspx and select the site theme of "default for CS2.0". You might also notice the Posts on this site Zoom Cloud showing you a cloud of the keywords mentioned on the site. See the site in it's full glory at http://uksbsguy.com ttfn David
  • Off Topic - How not to retain customers - Someone wants to cancel their AOL subscription

    I just had tto post this. Microsoft sometimes gets a bit of a kicking about support, but things like the Official SBS podcast , changes to search on our http://support.microsoft.com site, people like me and even the huge SBS community have changed most peoples experience with our support. When I say this, you just have to laugh in amazement as to what was going through this guys mind? http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=5ff445af-bf5c-4c3c-9424-ff467ea97a87&f=rssimbot_us_default ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Raise money for NSPCC (UK Childrens charity) while searching the internet using clickscount.co.uk

    I know this is s a small one, but if you go to http://www.clickscount.co.uk to try your internet web searches, you will rasie money for the NSPCC each time you click. Underneath is the MSN Search engine, which has improved hand over fist over the last few months, but it has got to be worth a try, even if it is just for MS related information. ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Overton Family has another child - Lizzy May

    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that today Lizzy May was born into this world at 2:24am GMT. She is happy and health, as is her mum and the rest of us. She weighs 6lbs 15 1/2 ounces and was 54cms long. If you want to see some lovely pictures, go to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1018.aspx obviously this will slow down some of the posts over the next few days or weeks. ttfn David
  • Do you want to understand more about Small Biz and Microsoft, meet cool people, influence and discuss our strategy

    OK, so the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is coming. As with many things in the MS International world, we have some firsts coming up. The WPC is always a huge event for understanding and changing MS strategy and networking with both key MS people and also key people in the community. This is also the time to hear from industry experts about the external influences on the market and how to take advantage and prepare for them. You may think this all sounds a big "la-de-da", but a little while ago at WPC someone asked Steve B in an open session why MS people had great demos, but our partners did not. Within 6 months we had added the Technical Demonstration Toolkit for partners to our offerings. You can have this impact if you ask the right questions too. We have a day in the pre-conference dedicated to Small Business, with a fee for non-SBSC members, but SBSC people get entry for free. More information on the conference can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference/ and it is already being discussed on http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk at http://www.sbsbpi.co.uk/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=1708#1708 While I don't have all the final information (in fact it is very draft), below is what I can share. Now I do have a baby due in June, but all being well I may well be there with you. If you want more information, let me know. We understand that being a partner who sells to small businesses means working hard day in and day out to help your customers, leaving you little time to learn about new market opportunities, or network with other partners that sell to the small-business market segment. To help you continue to capitalise on this market opportunity, we are hosting an all-day event to help you get the download on industry trends and market insights. The Microsoft Small Business Symposium 2006 will be held July 10, 2006—the day before the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off—in the U.S. city of Boston, Massachusetts. · Hear the latest from industry experts. · Network...
  • How the IDC whitepapers can help you choose a new business area - or Turning presentations into information for those who were "not there"

    Hi, So the previous blog entry talked about the IDC information for all those at the Harry B event - Lets explain how they can help you change your business if you were not there. Have you ever wanted to know what people are doing to be successful in a particular area of business that you might want to expand into? I know that I always like to be early into a new segment, but not the 1 st . The IDC whitepapers give you this information on the following technologies and areas – have a look and tell me what you think: Delivering Server Solutions with SBS 2003 From 2005 through 2009, more than one million servers are expected to be installed in small businesses worldwide.* This market opportunity is unmatched by any other segment and is a key opportunity for Microsoft partners. Read this article to get specific guidelines, best practices, and tools for building a business around first-server deployments, entry-level installations, enhanced deployments, and migration projects. *Source: IDC Delivering Maintenance and Managed Services with SBS 2003 As more small businesses move toward client/server infrastructures, the need for trusted IT advisors grows. Learn how successful Microsoft partners have built maintenance and managed services into recurring and predictable sources of revenue. See maintenance and managed-services models, including fees, costs, efforts, and profits, as well as specific guidelines on designing contractual agreements and positioning your own business for long-term growth. Delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 SBE with SBS 2003 Learn how you may be able to add revenue by delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Small Business Edition (SBE) with SBS 2003. Get best practices, guidelines, and business models from Microsoft partners worldwide. Delivering Mobility and Remote Access Solutions with SBS 2003 The market for mobility and remote access in small businesses represents a growing opportunity for partners. According to IDC, the worldwide market for converged mobile devices is forecast to reach 107.6...

(c)David Overton 2006-13