This client is a small electronic engineering firm with 12 employees. They had a variety of computers, desktops and laptops, running Windows 2000, XP and Vista. They ran a peer-to-peer network where some of the machines were sharing the drive, and each computer had its own printer.
Some individuals applied the updates coming from Microsoft; others denied the updates or cancelled the notifications all together.
Security was limited, and everyone had access to the files being shared. Because the information was scattered on multiple computers, it took time to search for files and there were multiple copies of the same documents, making it hard to find what they needed.
Printing was easy, but the cost of supplies for 12 printers was high, and they wished they could share some of these printers among all the users.
The accounting was installed on one workstation and they wanted to have access to the reports from two others. It would be a nice feature if their CPA could access the system remotely, instead of having to come on site. Having access to the accounting system remotely would allow the sales team to create estimates at the client site and speed up their work
The new environment:
Network: centralized file & print and application sharing
Files are now organized on the server so all users can access them at all times. The firm takes advantage of the ‘Previous Version’ feature to instantly recover lost files and keep track of multiple documents version. QuickBooks is on the server for multiple users to concurrently enter transactions and run reports. Multiple printers are shared from the server allowing users print according to their type, volume and quality needed.
Email: Microsoft Exchange
The office is now running Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Outlook. Users can access their Email from any location and on their Windows Mobile devices.
Remote Access: VPN & telecommuting
The new network allows employees to work from their home offices, freeing up resources and expanding the workforce. The accountant reviews the books in a fraction of the time needed and the sales team runs estimates on location.
Security: multiple levels of access
Every important document has been secured based on department and different levels of access, using authentication and authorization built in to Microsoft Small Business Server using password protection and folder structure.
Backup: protection and disaster recovery
The server has multiple levels of data protection: multiple drives (RAID storage), external backup devices, and processes put in place to quickly recover the server in case of a disaster. Since the documents are all centrally stored on the server, everything is backed up every night with the option to restore data at a remote location.
Virtual IT department: SandiaSystems
We maintain the entire network. We monitor the status of the server, maintain updates on the workstations, provide daily reports, and support and maintain every single device on the network.