I've used SMEServer & ClarkConnect in small businesses to great effect.
VPN coupled with Remote Desktop access to their XP Pro PC's and web mail have provided these users with the services they need to do their work.
These systems can also be run 'headless' so that they can be tucked away in a corner in the back office. Useful when offices are tight for space.
I've used Win 2K3 Servers when businesses needed to have terminal services or other special requirements. Often because they have satellite offices or road warrior users.
It's important to remember that in order to avoid unnecessary call-outs, you should do the following:
1) Delegate / enpower the office manager to handle day-to-day tasks (backups, account mgt, printing, etc)
2) Enable remote access to your PC / Laptop (so you can fix minor issues on the fly)
3) Automate as many tasks as possible (updates, garbage collection, system checks, etc) and get the system to email you the results. That way you can pro-active with your system maintenance.
4) Always use a UPS unit. They are cheap and will save your bacon in the long run. If you can, put the Internet router & switch on it as well so that remote access can still be maintained.
Remember that they demand reliability from their systems and do not (usually) have an on-site IT engineer to help them.
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