Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




Banana?
4855 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

# 142988 31-Mar-2014 10:06
Send private message

Hi All,

It has been a while since I have had to spec out a setup for a small business.

I have been asked to help out a friend, whose business is struggling with their IT provider (or lack thereof). They have pretty simple needs, and they are getting the impression that they are being oversold a solution, or that the provider does not really care about them because they are too small.

They are a transport company, with 3 depots in the North Island.

Their drivers do not need email access

They have probably 5-6 users who will need email access, and have access to PCs, most in their central location, 2 in satellite offices. All have a DSL connection.

They currently have their own domain name hosted for email somewhere (they are not sure where - on my to-do list to find out).
At present they are POPing email into their computers. It is getting confused, and people are deleting emails before they are read, or getting confused when an email they have already dealt with comes in on another computer (as happens with POP email).


My thoughts:

Tidy up current PCs - bring them up to standard if needed, ensure they all have Office (pretty sure they do).

If Office is missing or outdated - Look into Office365 SB Premium.

Move email domain to a cloud based email provider - I like Office365 Small Business (or Premium), This will give them exchange, and access to email on mobile devices.

** Is there something better/cheaper - they have Outlook currently on their machines. I personally have my own domain transferred over to Windows Live, and it works perfectly - any reason we cannot do that with a business email address? It is free.

Setup OneDrive for simple sharing/syncing of files - create a folder in the SkyDrive for each user, point the MyDocs on their PCs to it. Bonus that it gives them mobile access to them if needed.

Document and leave some sort of way for me to get in and fix up any small niggles.

Be happy :)



Can you think of anything else, or any other avenues I should be looking down.

The key will be simplicity of administering (remotely probably) and ease of use.

Create new topic

gjm

754 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1015854 31-Mar-2014 10:23
One person supports this post
Send private message

looks good to me although I'd be a bit wary of using skydrive / onedrive as Ive seen it do some strange things with losing files and sync problems. If they dont need cloudy access to files then I would prob keep them local...maybe on a NAS or something similar and then make sure that was backed up. Exchange Online is def way to go. 




[Amstrad CPC 6128: 128k Memory: 3 inch floppy drive: Colour Screen]

2633 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

# 1015855 31-Mar-2014 10:34
Send private message

First thoughts:

Office365 for email is fine.  We make extensive use of it, and it is well supported.  You can go for the email only plans which are cheaper - $9ish if I remember correctly.  Getting GMail to work is possible ($50/yr Google Apps accounts) but it is messy and in my experience unreliable so we don't bother.

OneDrive isn't bad for storage but there are limits to the number of documents you can store (which we have hit multiple times) and the syncing is far from trouble-free.  Consider something like an HP Microserver running Windows Server 2012 Essentials for in-house storage.

Self-serving bit:
We occasionally take on a new client that has had a 'friend' set up the system, but when things go wrong the friend is not available during business hours and it starts costing the company money in delays.  Some companies can handle support delays, but with the transport and logistics companies we look after, if for example the dispatcher's PC starts misbehaving the client wants help ASAP.  We would of course be happy to help on a commercial basis.  :)




"4 wheels move the body.  2 wheels move the soul."

“Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.” Douglas Adams

 
 
 
 


xpd

Chief Trash Bandit
10035 posts

Uber Geek

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1015859 31-Mar-2014 10:39
Send private message

OneDrive is a little picky with syncing files.... just the other day I was setting up a friends desktop and laptop with oneDrive to keep his business files synced - next day he called to ask where all his files were - OneDrive upload stopped due to PC crashing overnight, and OneDrive decided that because there were only 100 files on the laptop, that it had finished and the desktop was wrong, and removed all his other 3900 files from his desktop when he powered it on.

Luckily I had just done a backup before starting OneDrive.




XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

Server : i5-3470s @ 3.50GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Workstation : i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz  20GB RAM  RX580 4GB Win 10 Pro    Console : Xbox One

 

https://www.xpd.co.nz - Games, emulation, geekery, and my attempts at photography.     Now on BigPipe 100/100 and 2Talk

 

Emulation - The art of getting your $4000 PC to run an 80's system - and still fails.

 

Add me on Steam


5168 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Microsoft

  # 1015886 31-Mar-2014 11:03
Send private message

is this OneDrive or OneDrive for Business?

xpd

Chief Trash Bandit
10035 posts

Uber Geek

Mod Emeritus
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1015903 31-Mar-2014 11:35
Send private message

Me ? Just the standard OneDrive - trying to convince user to sign up for O365 SB to avoid his email syncing issues... 





XPD / Gavin / DemiseNZ

 

Server : i5-3470s @ 3.50GHz  16GB RAM  Win 10 Pro    Workstation : i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz  20GB RAM  RX580 4GB Win 10 Pro    Console : Xbox One

 

https://www.xpd.co.nz - Games, emulation, geekery, and my attempts at photography.     Now on BigPipe 100/100 and 2Talk

 

Emulation - The art of getting your $4000 PC to run an 80's system - and still fails.

 

Add me on Steam


1382 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1015906 31-Mar-2014 11:37
Send private message

trig42: Hi All,

It has been a while since I have had to spec out a setup for a small business.

I have been asked to help out a friend, whose business is struggling with their IT provider (or lack thereof). They have pretty simple needs, and they are getting the impression that they are being oversold a solution, or that the provider does not really care about them because they are too small.

They are a transport company, with 3 depots in the North Island.

Their drivers do not need email access

They have probably 5-6 users who will need email access, and have access to PCs, most in their central location, 2 in satellite offices. All have a DSL connection.

They currently have their own domain name hosted for email somewhere (they are not sure where - on my to-do list to find out).
At present they are POPing email into their computers. It is getting confused, and people are deleting emails before they are read, or getting confused when an email they have already dealt with comes in on another computer (as happens with POP email).


My thoughts:

Tidy up current PCs - bring them up to standard if needed, ensure they all have Office (pretty sure they do).

If Office is missing or outdated - Look into Office365 SB Premium.

Move email domain to a cloud based email provider - I like Office365 Small Business (or Premium), This will give them exchange, and access to email on mobile devices.

** Is there something better/cheaper - they have Outlook currently on their machines. I personally have my own domain transferred over to Windows Live, and it works perfectly - any reason we cannot do that with a business email address? It is free.

Setup OneDrive for simple sharing/syncing of files - create a folder in the SkyDrive for each user, point the MyDocs on their PCs to it. Bonus that it gives them mobile access to them if needed.

Document and leave some sort of way for me to get in and fix up any small niggles.

Be happy :)



Can you think of anything else, or any other avenues I should be looking down.

The key will be simplicity of administering (remotely probably) and ease of use.


If you are using Office 365 - you can use Exchange Online to configure the email for them using their domain.  Office 365 from memory will also keep itself up to date.  You may also like to consider setting up some mail rules such as signatures and the like.   Consider the privacy act when putting documents and potentially confidential information into cloud storage - not everything is suitable to go online.

One thing you may want to consider with exchange is shared mailboxes where email sent to a company can be read and responded to by an appropriate list of people.  It allows correspondence to be visible to a group of people rather than only individuals.

Another question, how are they for upgrading from Win XP?  Do they need to be managed through this?

Finally, one question I often ask is how are the business depreciating their hardware/software.  If this is well managed, the business can often be in place to upgrade to new hardware/software every three years or so -  this can be an aid to ongoing maintenance and also in some cases can reduce costs (power savings etc.). 







Software Engineer

 




Banana?
4855 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 1015923 31-Mar-2014 11:51
Send private message

Great replies thanks people.

I have not yet been onsite, so do not know the mix of XP/Win7 etc, or if they have some sort of file storage already.

There will not be a huge amount of shared files, but sharing email addresses (like the main Point of Contact one) is a good idea, and would be done.

It would probably be the O365 SB - which is email only (no Office Applications).

 
 
 
 


5778 posts

Uber Geek

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 1015939 31-Mar-2014 12:17
Send private message

Take a look at Box for file storage.  They seem to have better facilities for syncing among multiple users, and securing folders per user/group as well.

Also an O365 account that includes Lync Online would be advantageous, given they have multiple branch offices.  Being able to Lync - Lync for video or voice is great - and the collaborative tools are awesome.

3958 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  # 1015973 31-Mar-2014 12:48
Send private message

If total 5 users then can look at buying 4 x small business licensing for Office 365 and 1 x small business premium license which will cover 5 machine install of MS Office 2013 on desktops etc. This will cover Lync for audio/video/IM conferencing, OneDrive for business file sharing, emails.




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

Awesome
4859 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1015975 31-Mar-2014 12:52
Send private message

I would just go with a Live custom domain and outlook.com. You can use the Hotmail connector with Outlook and it generally works well.

This will be a huge improvement from their current setup in any case.

It's a shame they don't do free Google Apps anymore




Twitter: ajobbins


5168 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Microsoft

  # 1016020 31-Mar-2014 14:00
Send private message

personally I think a business should use a paid for account, rather than Outlook.com, so that you have an SLA, someone to call for support etc etc



Banana?
4855 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 1016024 31-Mar-2014 14:04
Send private message

ajobbins: I would just go with a Live custom domain and outlook.com. You can use the Hotmail connector with Outlook and it generally works well.

This will be a huge improvement from their current setup in any case.

It's a shame they don't do free Google Apps anymore


This was my initial thought, and it is what I do for my emails (and it goes perfectly well).

 

As Nathan mentions above, an SLA is good, as is tech support if I pass it off to a local IT company (they would have no idea about calling MS tech support).
Of course, if I did it (and I have recommended local IT companies to them instead of me), I would document as much as I could, so that when someone else takes over, they do not have to start again.

1905 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1016061 31-Mar-2014 15:25
Send private message

trig42: Hi All,


At present they are POPing email into their computers. It is getting confused, and people are deleting emails before they are read, or getting confused when an email they have already dealt with comes in on another computer (as happens with POP email).


That alone is a worry.
Something very wrong with their IT setup & HOW EMAIL IS BEING USED
How/why are emails being deleted before being read??
Im guessing they are sharing email adress's across pc's. Never a good option. Also check if any of the email adress are aliases.

If they each had separate email accounts (NOT alias's & no a/c's being shared) , this wouldn't happen.
Its almost certainly not a pop3 issue at all.
This sort of thing happens when you have multiple PC's using the same email adress, or are using alias's .





Banana?
4855 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 1016063 31-Mar-2014 15:27
Send private message

Or it happens when multiple people use the same PC and they are not communicating.

But, I agree,, it is messy.

Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Logitech introduces new Made for Google keyboard and mouse devices
Posted 16-Oct-2019 13:36


MATTR launches to accelerate decentralised identity
Posted 16-Oct-2019 10:28


Vodafone X-Squad powers up for customers
Posted 16-Oct-2019 08:15


D Link ANZ launches EXO Smart Mesh Wi Fi Routers with McAfee protection
Posted 15-Oct-2019 11:31


Major Japanese retailer partners with smart New Zealand technology IMAGR
Posted 14-Oct-2019 10:29


Ola pioneers one-time passcode feature to fight rideshare fraud
Posted 14-Oct-2019 10:24


Spark Sport new home of NZC matches from 2020
Posted 10-Oct-2019 09:59


Meet Nola, Noel Leeming's new digital employee
Posted 4-Oct-2019 08:07


Registrations for Sprout Accelerator open for 2020 season
Posted 4-Oct-2019 08:02


Teletrac Navman welcomes AI tech leader Jens Meggers as new President
Posted 4-Oct-2019 07:41


Vodafone makes voice of 4G (VoLTE) official
Posted 4-Oct-2019 07:36


2degrees Reaches Milestone of 100,000 Broadband Customers
Posted 1-Oct-2019 09:17


Nokia 1 Plus available in New Zealand from 2nd October
Posted 30-Sep-2019 17:46


Ola integrates Apple Pay as payment method in New Zealand
Posted 25-Sep-2019 09:51


Facebook Portal to land in New Zealand
Posted 19-Sep-2019 18:35



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.