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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  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509.html . Ok, so that is the picture out the way, now lets talk about the question. Which question you ask… well, this one: Will any of your customers be running in the “S+S or hosted” marketplace in 5+ years time? Now while that is a good question, I expect most of you will say … some, definitely not all, but some. How many customers can you afford to lose to a S+S provider? Now this leads to an even bigger question …. What will you have done to ensure they are still your customers, as opposed to someone who is skilled in S+S? Personally I find this question much more concerning as many people can’t articulate any plans they have to capture these customers!! So what do I suggest … If you are a services partner I recommend you start to look at SaaS services like Office Live that are slowly moving towards S+S or S+S services like CRM online and start to plan how you could add value to them and make money in the future. If you are an ISV, then now is the time to start to look at services like the Sync Framework...
  • Office Live beta in the UK and how it works & competes with SBS 2003

    I have been behind on my blogging (have you noticed)? I was at the Bristol SBS group Christmas dinner (did I say thanks yet to Richard and Mark?) and we got to discussing Office Live. So first off, as to what Live is, why not go and have a look at Eileen Browns blog on it and then lets get down to the discussion points. They were: Who really wants this type of solution? Does Live compete with SBS? Can I make money out of Live If someone has Live, can I sell them SBS too? If someone has Live, can I "upgrade" them from this to SBS? So lets answer these is order: Who really wants this type of solution? Well, there are loads of small businesses out there that want a web site, some more professional e-mail addresses than simply "davidovertonatsomecompany@hotmail.com" (don't try mailing this address, if it exists, then they won't like it, but more likely it will not). Office Live will give them a website of http://www.somecompany.com e-mail addresses that at "@somecompany.com" and a simple way to build the site - for free. They can then upgrade to get a bunch of other things too, but especially if they are small - this is an amazing solution. If they are larger, then they might not use all the facilities, but they will use some of them - especially the features of the paid for services, which every time I present are seen as amazing value for money. Does Live compete with SBS? No, Yes, well sometimes. If you look at the services offered, some of them could be provided on SBS, but bearing in mind that SBS does so much more and something's that Live offers you could do on SBS, but probably would not, lets look at what is what. You could host e-mail, calendar, contacts, web sites, WSS sites etc on SBS, but would you really do website's and WSS sites on SBS - sometimes, but not always - it depends where people are located vs the network and whether they are internal or external to the local LAN - internal - SBS, external - possibly Live. With the Live services of mail, calendar and contacts - this is like a baby version of...
  • James Akrigg is in the house and Out of Office... one of my best mentors FINALLY starts blogging

    This day has been a long time coming. James is someone who I always contact when I want to think out the box and apply creative solutions to problems. He is very technology savvy, but hides it much, much, much more than most people I speak to, when speaking to the business suit type of people. His skills cover almost anything from the Office System - old and new, Developer and OS (including Vista) and even has a good deal of search and online technology inside his head. Finally, he is a no BS type of guy. I would strongly recommend looking at his blog over at James Akrigg .:. Out of Office ttfn David
  • How to get content filtering (anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware), archival services, DR / Continuity and Encryption services for your SBS box at a great price

    As many of you know, I have always argued that MS online services only serve to complement our other solutions. One classic example of this is the Hosted Exchange Services - now before you run around with your fingers in your ears shouting "LALALA", have a look to see what they are. These services work with an existing Exchange server - ala SBS, so there is no threat to the SBS system at all. We then offer 4 services which includes those listed below, but the nice thing is the price. On the How to buy page is lists the prices - these are per user and you can start at 5 users - oh, and this is real per user, so if you have 20 aliases for 5 users (eg sales, support etc) - that is 5 users: Estimated Pricing All prices below are based on estimated retail pricing (per user, per month licensing). This pricing would apply to a small business with as few as 5 users. Services Prices Comments Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering $1.75 US Exchange Hosted Filtering is a fully managed service that employs multiple technologies to help prevent spam, viruses, and phishing scams from reaching corporate networks and to help enforce corporate email-use policies. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Encryption $1.90 US Exchange Hosted Encryption is a policy-based email encryption service that uses customizable policies based on users, keywords, character patterns, attachment types, and more to identify messages that require encryption. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Continuity $2.50 US Exchange Hosted Continuity is an email continuity service that is always on, providing your user community with access to the last 30 days of email and the ability to send and receive email in real time, even when the primary email system is unavailable. Microsoft Exchange Hosted Archive $17.25 US Exchange Hosted Archive is a managed service that captures and archives external and internal mail, IM and Bloomberg mail according to your contracted retention period. When the retention period is met, messages are automatically destroyed. Hosted Archive includes...

(c)David Overton 2006-13