REDMOND, Wash. — July 7, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a new Windows Server System™ promotion that will provide core technology components designed to help midsize businesses deploy and maintain a more-secure, well-managed infrastructure. The server solution is Microsoft’s first step in addressing the sophisticated IT demands of midsize business customers whose IT staff is frequently overworked, underresourced and budget constrained.
The Windows Server System offering — composed of Windows Server™ 2003, Standard Edition; Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition; and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 Workgroup Edition — is an easy-to-deploy solution that will provide midsize business IT professionals with simplified infrastructure management, reduced costs and complexity, and improved security. The offering, which also includes 50 new combination promotional Client Access Licenses (CALs) for Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003, also eases budget planning by providing predictable licensing.
“Midsize businesses tend to characterize themselves by the industry they are in — not by the technologies they need and use,” said Steven VanRoekel, director of Mid-Market Solutions in the Windows Server Group at Microsoft. “By marrying our small-business expertise with our enterprise products, Microsoft is showing midsize business customers that we understand their unique technology needs. The Windows Server System promotion gives midsize businesses the confidence that their systems are stable and finally allows them to view IT as a strategic investment.”
Midsize Businesses Have Unique Technology Challenges and Requirements
The technology demands of a midsize business can be as sophisticated as the largest enterprise, but IT management is significantly limited by modest staff and budget resources. Most midsize businesses, viewed by Microsoft as those with 25 to 500 PCs, have just a few IT people on staff to keep all aspects of the business running. These IT professionals perform a wide range of simultaneous functions that primarily fall into three categories:
Server. Updating operating system and applications with patches and service packs
Desktop. Providing nonautomated end-user support
E-mail. Maintaining security technologies to help guard against spam and viruses
Microsoft customer Ubiquity Brands Inc. is an international snack-food business headquartered in Chicago. The company was created when its founders acquired Jays Foods Inc and Lincoln Snacks Co. in 2004. Jays is known throughout the Midwest as the premier salty snack brand, and its Krunchers!® potato chips are a leading kettle chip nationwide. Lincoln’s national and international products include Poppycock®, Fiddle Faddle® and Just the Nuts™.
“Sixteen months ago our business consisted of five employees working off a POP3
e-mail system,” said William Schumacher, CFO and COO of Ubiquity Brands. “Since then, we’ve acquired two companies and grown to 800 employees, so our needs have quickly become larger and more complex. We replaced aging servers in the companies we acquired, and standardized on the Windows Server System to enable us to better communicate, collaborate and run the financial aspects of these businesses. By putting this new infrastructure in place, it’s really providing us greater capabilities in the future as we make additional acquisitions.”
Transforming the IT Landscape for Midmarket
The Windows Server System promotion enables IT managers to easily create a more secure and well-managed infrastructure while reducing operational costs and complexity. To ensure that IT professionals are able to maximize their environment, Microsoft is providing the following guidance and tools to ensure successful identification and deployment of the best possible solutions:
Midsized Business IT Center is a new Web site within Microsoft TechNet that provides technical information and resources to IT professionals and consultants who work with midsize businesses to effectively deploy and manage Microsoft servers, operating systems, and security technologies and applications.
“Windows Server System Deployment Guide for Midsized Businesses” is a new book title from Microsoft Press® that provides prescriptive guidance written specifically for companies of that size that want to deploy Windows Server System technologies.
Microsoft Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) is designed to help customers with fewer than 1,000 employees assess security vulnerabilities within their IT environment. MSAT will identify processes, resources and technologies that will promote good security planning and risk mitigation within the organization.
Microsoft TCO Assessment Tool provides a detailed financial analysis that examines operational spending over three years in various IT scenarios and computes key investment metrics, including discounted return on investment (ROI), when upgrading to Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003.
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) 2.0 is an easy-to-use tool that helps small and midsize businesses determine their security state in accordance with Microsoft security recommendations and offers specific remediation guidance.
Microsoft Software Inventory Analyzer enables customers to generate a software inventory assessment of core Microsoft products installed on their local computer or throughout a network.
Microsoft customer Realityworks Inc. is a Wisconsin-based company focused on providing a simulation of life skills designed to help individuals make decisions that will have a positive impact on their lives. Realityworks focuses its efforts on the life skills market and has products in three key areas: parenting education, substance abuse education and consumer education.
“As a small IT department, we were challenged with barely keeping our sales force up and running,” said Buzz (John) Burce, network administrator with Realityworks. “With the addition of Windows Server 2003, Active Directory®, MOM 2005 Workgroup Edition, Exchange Server 2003 and other key Microsoft solutions, we’ve regained the trust of this core group of information workers, who are now able to better do their jobs. Our technology partners at Inacom Information Systems really helped us understand how to address our core business issues through Microsoft solutions.”
Working With Partners to Deliver Continuous Value to Customers
With the Windows Server System midsize business promotion, partners have an extended opportunity to help customers realize great return on their technology investments by delivering enterprise-class technology without pricing designed for large firms. By delivering a valuable platform to midsize businesses, Microsoft’s ultimate vision is to work with the partner community to help more customers adopt customized technology solutions as a strategic business advantage. Using Microsoft technology as a way to help generate demand for partners is top of mind.
Partners can build applications and solutions on top of the Windows Server System platform.
With the Windows Server System promotion, partners now have the right products in a compelling package for midsize customers to help them maximize their IT budget.
With customers on an up-to-date platform, partners can help manage the environment in a more resource-effective way using remotely managed services for monitoring and reporting, or more sophisticated patch and upgrade management services that will also help create new types of service revenue for the partner.
With an integrated platform, a set of Microsoft Partner Program competencies that allow partners to specialize by solution, and an increasing focus on vertical specialization, the broad channel is well prepared to take advantage of the opportunities in midsize businesses.
“Microsoft provides unparalleled pre- and post-sale tools that help Peters & Associates remain competitive in serving small and midsize businesses,” said Richard Opal, vice president of Peters & Associates Inc. “Nothing comes remotely close to Microsoft’s Partner Program in our ability to further grow our business by serving customers with valuable solutions. The Windows Server System midsize business promotion is a great first step in delivering enterprise- class solutions to our midsize customers who are conscious of cash flow but have the most to gain from having a security-enhanced, well-managed infrastructure.”
Pricing and Licensing
The Windows Server System promotion for midsize businesses includes three Standard Editions of Windows Server 2003; one Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition; one Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 Workgroup Edition; and 50 CALs for Windows Server and Exchange. The promotion, offered at approximately 20 percent off Microsoft Open License program prices, will be available in the U.S. and Europe beginning in August, and in Asia starting in September. Additional promotional CALs for Windows Server and Exchange combined, which are offered in both user and device types, will also be available up to a maximum of a further 200 for the offering.
About Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference
Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference.
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