Written by Stuart Crawford, SBSC Community in Alberta

Microsoft announces Foundation Server. Small Businesses with less than 15 employees are wondering what the right server technology fit for business is now.

Business owners have enjoyed the abundance of server technology options available to assist them in reaching their business goals, communication requirements and safeguard of critical data. The crop is definitely right for harvest. The latest server announcement from Microsoft this past week of Windows Foundation Server rounds off Microsoft’s Server Family for small business.

This choice can be an extremely stressful time for even the savvy and technically knowledgeable business owner. Leaving them thinking, what is the correct fit for my small business?

It starts with a Trusted Business Advisor

What is the right fit your business? First, it starts with the right technology professional to guide you. Numerous IT Professionals are extremely talented and technically can help your business. The first question that you must ask around your boardroom table is, do you need a great technical person or a business advisor who understands how technology solutions will affect your business?

The right technology advisor who understands how your business operates, what financial systems are used, how you communicate or what line of business solutions your team relies on is critical to your overall success. The reality is, many small businesses have the wrong technology advisor either which in turn recommends the incorrect network systems or in some instances not enough server horsepower to run their business.

With the right people comes the right technology

With the introduction of a new server product, Microsoft now offers small businesses with a complete and well-rounded offering of server products to meet the demands of all businesses today. The following recommendations outline the server offerings available to business today and how Microsoft technologies are the right fit for your needs.

Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server is a product designed for use in any home. WHS provides a centralized storage solution, which allows for the safe storage of letters, spreadsheets, home videos and your family photos. These files can easily be shared with family and friends over the Internet. WHS provides a solution for the safe backup of your home systems that will keep your information safe, secure and keep those cherished memories protected. WHS is designed from home use and can become a good fit for a micro-business who requires a very basic storage solution.

Windows Foundation Server

The latest in Microsoft’s small business server solutions is designed for small businesses up to 15 employees. Foundation Server offers a centralized security database, which controls access to files, server resources, remote access using Microsoft’s Active Directory. WFS also provides a small business with a remote access solution leveraging Terminal Services. Small business may also require a server for their line of business applications such as Quickbooks, Simply Accounting or any industry specific programs. Windows Foundation Server is the perfect small business server solution for a small business with basic server needs or looking at combining local storage and business applications with online services such as Hosted Exchange or SharePoint Services.

Windows Small Business Server

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server offers an enterprise server solution to those small business who need business solutions including shared calendaring, data storage, company intranet, remote access plus many of those solutions that we once reserved for larger organizations. Small Business can now enjoy the same business systems and productivity tools as many of their larger competitors or peers. SBS offers Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Remote Web Workplace plus many core products to increase the productivity of your team and drive results to the bottom line. There are two main SBS product lines, each come with many features and benefits to assist the small business who has requirements to do more with less. SBS supports up to 75 employees.

Windows Essential Business Server

EBS is the next step for the growing small business. When your small business hits a critical junction of 75 employees or perhaps the growing demands of your business require more computing solutions, Windows Essential Business Server is the next logical step. EBS supports up to four different Microsoft Server solutions for the larger small business or small Mid-market Corporation with up to 250 employees. EBS provides complete management capabilities, security solutions leveraging Microsoft Forefront, Messaging through Microsoft Exchange and data storage with Microsoft SQL Server.

Take that first critical step

There are many server choices for your small business. Which solution fits the needs of your business is a conversation that you must have with your Trusted Business Advisor? A Trusted Business Advisor who understands how the right technology solution will have positive affects in your business. Where do your turn to find the right technology professional to fit your business? The Microsoft Small Business website is a great place to start, visit http://www.microsoft.ca/smallbusiness.

Stuart Crawford invests much of his time working for small businesses in Calgary and Red Deer, AB. Stuart has been awarded the Top 40 under 40 (2007) in Calgary, is a recognized Business Leader of Tomorrow (Business in Calgary). His current role is the Vice President of Business Development with Bulletproof InfoTech. Stuart’s can be contacted through his blog at http://blog.itsuccessmentor.com or at 403.206.2233.

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