Friday 15 August 2008

SBS - Quoting Apples to Apples

When in a competitive situation for a new SBS install, here is one of the outlines we provide our prospect with:
  • Small Business Server 2003 Premium R2 standard components installed, configured and updated properly.
    • There are many post installation tweaks required not necessarily documented in the SBS files.
  • Small Business Server 2003 Premium Technologies:
    • ISA 2004 with SP3 must be installed and configured properly.
      • Secures the local email server, Remote Web Workplace functionality, etc.
      • Secures and directs only appropriately formatted Web requests to your IIS6 server behind SBS/ISA. (second Win2K3/8 IIS server)
    • SQL 2005 setup and prepared for line of business or robust SharePoint installation.
  • Small Business Server 2003 R2 Technologies
    • Installed and configured correctly as well as updated.
  • Remote Web Workplace is setup to allow secure access to email, SharePoint, and company desktops.
  • The SBS Wizards are used to properly configure the domain.
  • The SBS Wizards are used to properly configure users and the user’s computers on the domain.
  • The A/V solution is properly integrated.
  • Backup solution is configured and TESTED for recovery. We put the RECOVERED server into production so that you can be assured that we know what we are doing if things go sideways.
  • All client data is organized and restructured according to the SBS setup ... and all user profiles are migrated appropriately.
  • My Documents are redirected to the server for data retention and backup purposes.
  • More ...
It is one thing to say, "I can do it cheaper and faster than the other guy". But, it is another thing altogether to actually provide a properly configured SBS Premium installation with all of its nuances and tweaks in that time.

When quoting time, we use a paraphrase of some of my favourite Star Trek Engineer's philosophy: Quote 2 hours and get it done in 1.

To put it another way: Under promise and over deliver.

A stipulation in our proposal states:

A deposit is required on our invoice to initiate the project. We will bill for the actual amount of time taken on the project up to and including the maximum time quoted.

Any unforeseen circumstances that will have a direct impact on the amount of time quoted will be discussed once discovered. If additional time will be required, an approval in writing must be obtained in order to proceed.

In addition to the above brief list, we provide a pretty detailed breakdown of all of the stages from start to finish required to bring the project online.

Unforeseen circumstances are those that fall outside of that very detailed list. And, our prospect, or now client understands that.

Another aspect to providing these lists: The prospect will see in plain detail that we know our stuff. Our lists are broken down in such a way that they can see the flow of events right down to the SBS install phases.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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