As a Microsoft partner (www.thefullcircle.com) who’s active in the partner community and a keen early adopter – we were one of two UK partners in the Essential Business Server TAP in 2008-09, and also were in the Windows Server 2008 R2 (Hyper-V) UK EAP) – we are always interested in an opportunity to get involved in a new product launch.
The next big thing in the smaller business space for Microsoft is the successor to Windows Small Business Server 2008 which we blogged about the rumoured SBS 2008 R2 release date back in the spring @ http://blog.thefullcircle.com/2010/05/03/sbs-2008-r2-release-date/.
Earlier this week we attended a major Microsoft Cloud event with the big man & boss Steve Ballmer (http://blog.thefullcircle.com/2010/10/05/ms-pbb-transitioning-to-the-cloud) and caught up with some great Microsoft supporters of ‘The Circle’ and general good blokes; Stuart Leddy (Core Infrastructure Marketing Lead, Server & Tools Business Group) and Gareth Hall (used to look after all things SBS & EBS for Microsoft UK and now heading off to a stint in Redmond – Good luck Gareth!). FYI we had previously worked closely with Stuart on the Hyper-V R2 EAP back in 2009.
Stuart told us about a program for the much rumoured successor to SBS 2008, hopefully with a release in early 2011 and would we be interested…? We still support and develop small business, indeed are one ourselves so jumped at the opportunity with a resounding Yes!
It didn’t take us long (like that day) to come up with three customer nominations who we think would be ideal, but at this stage we can’t reveal their names but can say they are:
1) A small but dominant South London Estate Agency who we supplied their existing HP SBS2003 server over 5-years ago and is still running strong!, but the customer acknowledges the need to upgrade to support the expansion of their business to 3-sites, from c.15 to c.20 staff.
The customer came to us through word-of-mouth / friends, has been a long term capability development from very low IT integration to now total – online, mobile, process & Line of Business
2) A fast growing, fun and funky UK based party & giftware designer & manufacturer who had an aging Dell SBS2003 server that we ‘rescued’ back in 2006 but had recently supplied a new HP server in anticipation of SBS7 (or rather SBS2008 R2) and is running Hyper-V Server. We are in progress with a P2V of their existing Dell SBS2003 server and also plan to virtualize the new server.
3) A London based but globally working drug discovery / life science company that we have provided managed IT services for since 2006 when we built a complete greenfield solution based on SBS2003 growing with heavy SharePoint use for their genuinely global workforce.
We put in a new HP server only a few weeks ago, again running Hyper-V to support P2V of existing HP ProLiant ML350 SBS2003 server which we originally supplied and upgraded along the way.
Anyway, we’ll keep you posted over the coming months on how we progress, and more importantly how we find the new server products in development – can’t wait to get those ISOs