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Archive for January, 2014

SBS: We’ll Miss You, But it’s Time to Move on

SBS quietly left us on December 31st 2013. We will remember SBS as a hard-working, dedicated piece of technology in the small business environment.

As a Microsoft partner, I LOVED SBS. As with most partners, initially I wasn’t thrilled with losing SBS, but after working with the options offered with Windows Server 2012 R2, I have come to appreciate the opportunities that arose when the SBS “windows” closed.

As a recap, SBS provided Exchange for email, and SharePoint for document management. Typically everything was installed on one server. Now with Server 2012, Exchange and SharePoint are not included. Microsoft has provided other alternatives to the software, such as Office 365, Exchange On-Premise, or hosted Exchange.

All three are great solutions and it’s just a matter of finding the right solution for your small business or your small business client. Let’s look at each option here.

1. Office 365 – If you read my blog you know I am a big fan of Office 365. For a small business who is already using some type of hosted email, moving to Office 365 is a no-brainer. They get awesome email, plus Lync and SharePoint for a similar cost to what they are already paying. Essentials can be configured to connect to Office 365, and you can easily add both local and Office 365 email accounts, via a single pane of glass. To see how easy it is to connect the two services see article:

2. Exchange On-Premise – Some companies will insist on continuing to host email internally, and for these clients we can easily add an Exchange Server to the infrasture. Essentials will easily tie into this server and you will be able to manage both servers and accounts from a single pane of glass. I will do a post on how to connect these two options in the future. Personally, I’m not an Exchange expert and it would be a good experience for me to play with the new version of Exchange.

3. Hosted Exchange – If your client does not want to use Office 365, or manage an On-Premise Exchange server, a hosted Exchange service is also supported.

There is no stopping the steady progression to the cloud, and for the small business, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials can provide all the big business tools at an affordable cost. While SBS focused on keeping everything on-site, Essentials seamlessly allows the small business to take advantage of cloud technologies; if an On-Premise Exchange server is required, we can easily manage this server just as easily.

As we start the New Year, let’s make a resolution to embrace Server Essentials and not grieve SBS. SBS would have wanted us to move on and continue to serve our small business clients with the best of the technologies.

The Rollercoaster That Was 2013

I feel I owe you, dear reader, an explanation for my absence lately. 2013 was a big year….with so many ups and downs it was hard to know if I was coming or going. 2013 was the year of change. The rollercoaster ride started in the Spring, for every professional up, and there were lots, there was also a private low. And as the ups got bigger, such as joining the Microsoft team, the lows got lower. I could’ve let the lows drag me down, but instead I took every high and rode it higher, and in doing so I discovered a strength in myself that I forgot I had.

The Leviathon

Here are some of my professional accomplishments of 2013:

  • Nominated and awarded the BizTech 50 Must-Read IT Blogs of 2013 professionally
  • Joined Microsoft via an agency (I have to put that in there) and absolutely loving my position. Stay tuned for all the awesome stuff that is coming your way.
  • Nominated for an MVP award
  • Guest blog post on CanIT Pro blog had an awesome reach
  • My blog view soared like never before
  • Made and rediscovered some great new friends

And for every one of these highlights, there was a personal low that followed. As the year closed, so did the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride.

2014 started on a major high, I was awarded the Microsoft Valuable Professional award, but as has become the pattern, this has to be followed by a low, and there is one more low to come. By the end of January, I expect the rollercoaster ride to level itself out a bit more.

2014 is going to be a great year, it’s going to be my year…and if you have stayed with me so far, thank you, and I looked forward to having you join me on as I soar to new heights.

Categories: Thanks Tags: , ,
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