Microsoft Announces General Availability of Small Business Server 2000

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 21, 2001 — In the business of pre-employment and tenant screening, rapid response and reliability is essential. So when Barbara Tucci, president of Sound Screening Services, Inc. in Tacoma, Wash., found her peer-to-peer network crashing twice a day due to the demands she and her staff were putting on it, she knew she had to make a change to a faster, more reliable and more accurate system. She chose Microsoft Small Business Server.

“Once we converted from the peer-to-peer network to Small Business Server, we havent had to shut down — ever,”
she said.
“Since we completed the conversion, our production has increased by about 50 percent, and were now in the position of being able to expand our client base to potentially double the number of applicants we process daily.”

Today, Microsoft announced the availability of Small Business Server 2000, the third-generation version of its networking solution for businesses like Tuccis. Based on extensive input from small-business customers and technology providers, Small Business Server offers tools that deliver a predictable, integrated setup, allowing businesses to take advantage of the Internet, strengthen customer relationships and improve employee productivity. Specifically designed for businesses with no more than 50 PCs, Small Business Server 2000 includes Windows 2000 Server and the Windows 2000 generation of .NET Server solutions for email, fax, databases and secure, shared Internet access.

“Small Business Server 2000 allows small-business owners to license a single product that addresses their networking, communication, collaboration, mobility and Internet needs at a price that represents a tremendous value,”
said Katy Hunter, Microsoft group product manager in the Windows .NET Server Division.
“This product gives business owners the tools they need to harness the power of the Internet so that they can better serve their customers.”

Tucci uses Small Business Server in a variety of ways at her business. As the primary place for storing files on applicants that include their names and basic information, their rental references and their employment references, the network server provides a secure central location and ensures that all data is backed up. Tucci also captures and imports public records and information from state, city, federal and county resources. Inter-office communication is facilitated with Outlook.

The upgrade was quick and painless.
“We did it over a weekend,”
Tucci said.
“Although I kept anticipating problems, it all went very smoothly. My employees thought it was great — since there was virtually no change to the front end of the system, they sat down on Monday and got right to work on a system that was clearly more stable and much faster.”

In the future, Tucci plans to expand her offerings to include interactive screening on the Web, enabling her clients to process applications themselves via the Internet.
“Small Business Server will allow us to make certain databases available to our customers without being concerned with security issues or the integrity of the data,”
she said.

According to Hunter, the third release of Small Business Server reflects Microsofts desire to build a Windows server created exclusively for small businesses, to help them take advantage of email communication, Internet connectivity, database technology, mobile computing and many other benefits for little additional investment. The integration of these powerful applications into an integrated suite enables a single, unified setup and centralized management across all of the component applications.

In early 1999, Jennifer Hankins, president of The Total Office, a San Diego-area property management firm, faced organizational and competitive challenges. With separate office locations, Hankins needed a way to centralize billing and record-keeping so that her tenants, who lease office space as well as phones, Internet access, furniture and even staff, could make payments, sign contracts and get essential information conveniently. In addition, Hankins staff needed computers that were networked and had email as well as Internet capabilities.

Hankins turned to Small Business Server to link her offices and to address current and future business needs. Within a few months of the installation of Small Business Server, The Total Office was benefiting in ways that Hankins had not even imagined.
“I have definitely increased my clientele,”
Hankins said.
“Small Business Server has made my company more efficient and more profitable.”

Small-business owners like Hankins realize that Internet connectivity is critical for them to remain competitive in the marketplace. Access Media International, Inc. reports that in just one year between the first quarter of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000, there was a 27 percent growth in Internet access to a total of 71 percent of small businesses that have Internet access. Secure and reliable Internet access helps small business owners manage and build their customer relationships. Communicating with customers via email and the Internet translates into more efficient use of time and more effective management of customer contacts. Employee productivity is enhanced as well — employees can spend time working remotely in real-time instead of waiting until they are physically in the office to do their work.

Hankins used Small Business Server to create and host a Web site to market The Total Office.
“I had one person rent an office completely sight-unseen through the Internet,”
Hankins said.
“It was through the functions of the Small Business Server that I was able to do that — I even sent him his lease via email.”

With a constantly changing workforce, Hankins is also pleased with the flexibility of Small Business Server.
“We add and subtract users all of the time as employees come and go,”
Hankins said.
“The system is absolutely and amazingly reliable.”
Additionally, Hankins staff can print statements and even checks from any location. By eliminating delivery and copying costs, Hankins saves money and time.
“I look back on how we used to do things, and I cant believe the progress weve made,”
she said.

Both Tucci and Hankins are interested in upgrading their current systems to Small Business Server 2000 now that it is available to the general public.
For us, it was not just a matter of saving money — it was saving the business. And Small Business Server has more than saved the business. It has created huge opportunities for us,

Tucci said.

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