Terminal Services Plus Open Office Equals

Money in your small business person’s pocket!

I often have the opportunity to take advantage of my Microsoft Partner status when evaluating solutions for clients. I’ve been a Gates fan since he stole DOS from IBM. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer company, back then. How things have changed. I’m also an IBM partner, having fallen head over heals with the RS6000 and IBM server hardware in general.

I’ve just completed a proof of concept project for a client that could potentially save close to over $10000 in upfront Microsoft licensing costs. I was stunned, because I didn’t intend to go in that direction. These days, $10000 is a sizable chunk of change for a small business owner.

As a Microsoft Partner, I own MAPS, not the kind that you find your way around town with, but the software version. MAPS allows me to have legit copies of all of Microsoft’s software offerings. Consequently, I maintain intimate knowledge of Microsoft’s desktop and server products. And, I am a particular fan of Server 2008 Terminal Services. If Microsoft ever got anything right, they got Server 2008 right.

My proof of concept project consisted of creating a 2008 Terminal Server with desktop access to QuickBooks Enterprise and Microsoft Office for 30 users. Just as I was to complete the install of Microsoft Office, I discovered that I did not have the correct volume license keys to make the software work! My deadline was 24 hours away, over a weekend (that spells Monday morning), without any ability to get the keys on time.

After I stopped shaking, I remembered the requirements for the project were QuickBooks, Word Processing and Spreadsheet capability. I stopped thinking Microsoft Office and started thinking Open Office. Within the hour, I had completed my proof of concept project.

Open Office version 3 is as good an office suite as money can buy. The best part is that it is free! “That means you are free to download it, free to install it on as many PCs as you like, free to pass copies to as many people as you like. You may use OpenOffice.org 3 for any purpose without restriction: private, educational, public administration, commercial… Free, really free.” And, it’s really well done!

Thirty Terminal Server licensed users equals thirty Microsoft Office licenses needed, times $400 plus per license, equals, well, you get the picture. Contact me, I could use the work!

Wrote The Book On It

I’ve used Peachtree and QuickBooks for many years. Although, I profess not to be any type of a competent accountant, I certainly know how to make both Peachtree and QuickBooks perform very well in a multi user environment. As a matter of fact, I can now say that I wrote the book on it!

At the end of 2008, I published two technical manuals addressing the confusing subject of servers, specifically servers designed to run QuickBooks and Peachtree. Each manual is a steal for under twenty bucks. If your business runs Peachtree or QuickBooks multi user, you need to take a look at your flavor of technical manual.

I’ve laid out step by step directions for making a dedicated server. I even have a tip in each manual telling you how to build a server for under $150, quite a feat in itself. Each manual is designed for the semi technical typical business person to completely understand. Why would you need a dedicated server?

A dedicated production server, a “hidden” computer with no keyboard, mouse or monitor, hosts the production company files in a safe, secure and robust fashion, preventing any damage that a compromised desktop computer or computer user can do to your company files. It can perform automated tasks such as automated nightly offsite backups or automated order downloads from your website and can automatically keep each of your computers updated to the latest software version.

I don’t plan to get rich selling these technical manuals; however, I hope to help struggling small business people configure their accounting software correctly. I hate to see people loose and un synchronize their data. And, I also met a goal to publish several technical manuals by the end of 2008.

You can get a copy of “Build Your Own QuickBooks Production Server” at painlessquickbooks.com.  “Build Your Own Peachtree Production Server” is no longer available. Contact me for a free copy.

The Blind Linking The Blind

What’s in a phrase?

For years, I’ve been thinking about creating a word, combination of words or a phrase that I might call my own, in the context of the Internet world and Internet marketing. I’ve finally found one. I’ve used my phrase in all of the search engines and discovered “no hits”.

So why am I consumed by this seemingly trivial exercise? Next to a key word rich domain name, a key word rich tag line or phrase rapidly becomes the strongest tool in your Internet marketing toolbox.

“The Blind Linking the Blind” is my next experiment in Internet marketing. Lets see how fast we can push this phrase into distribution as a tool to understand SEO, Social Networking and Blogging.

Today, no hits, tomorrow, the World!

UPDATE: Jan 19 Google indexed “The Blind Linking the Blind” From zero to one results and its mine!