• United States

Microsoft ‘improves quality of life’?

Feb 12, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Survey says using Windows Small Business Server contributes to happier workforce

Could an operating system product improve your Quality of Life? According to a recent Forbes white paper that discusses the business value of Windows Small Business Server 2000 (WinSBS), improved Quality of Life is just one of the benefits of Microsoft’s operating system for small to midsized enterprises.

Improved return on investment (ROI) was also identified as a major benefit cited by all the 25 companies surveyed by Forbes on their move to WinSBS.  The numbers are impressive – the companies reported between 57% and 268% ROI.

There were also other benefits, including:

* Almost immediate recoup of investment (within one accounting period for most organizations).

* Growth in revenue coupled with a decrease in expenses and resulting in a much better bottom line.

* Increased ability to compete on a local, regional, national and even an international level with companies of all sizes.

But the benefit that caught my eye was that increase in Quality of Life (QoL). It’s not an area that can be quantified – there are no QoL metrics – but the report states that, “many respondents cited the ability to do business from wherever they happened to be – at home or on the road – as perhaps the major benefit of using Windows 2000-based technology.”

Since one of aims of this newsletter is to help you improve your QoL by getting you out of the office and into a more relaxing evironment (beach, ski slope, cruise ship, whatever helps you relax) I always like to point out the QoL benefits of products. I hadn’t realized that SBS fits that category, but evidently the people using it did.

Now, SBS isn’t for everyone: a maximum of 50 computers can be attached to the network. You can add other servers, but only one Small Business Server since it automatically installs itself as a domain controller (DC), at the root of the Microsoft Active Directory forest.

Since it establishes itself as the root of the directory tree and since SBS cannot enter into trust relationships with other trees or forests, trying to install a second SBS system on the same wire will lead to unfortunate results (i.e., a license violation). The various components of SBS (Windows server, Exchange server, SQL server, ISA server, modem server, Internet Information Server, and more) must all be installed on a single hardware device – one server PC. But that shouldn’t be a problem for a 50-client (or fewer) network.

An enterprising value-added reseller could take Windows SBS and bundle it with a good server platform and a number of desktop, laptop, and palmtop platforms and sell “instant networking”. The package itself, which includes almost everything most small enterprises need, should be the big selling point. But just in case, take along a copy of the Forbes white paper and point out the QoL benefit.