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My network needs help!

By alix ·
Okay, I realize that this site is mostly for professionals. I am not. My experiance is in webwork. However, I am in control of the small company i work for. We have Windows XP Pro running on all the computers. This may be alot to ask but i need to figure out how to set it up so that each person gets their own user/pass and logs onto a network hard drive where they can store their files, that being the only place they can store. And take away their privliges to install new software.. etc. i know thats notthing that can be directly told, what im hoping is that someone might know a place that i could find a walk through of how to do the above. Because this network is a mess!!.. lol, realy, its pathetic. I never realized that the employees here could be so dumb sometimes. now i know why everyone else does it like one should. I deeply thank any help that can be given.


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Thank for the compliment ?

by Oz_Media In reply to My network needs help!

Well firstly, while there are MAY very experienced technicians and support staff here with a wealth of combined knowledge that is hard to match anywhere, there are no professionals here.

We all just learn as we go and everyday brings new challenges or we wouldn't do it.

Now, you sound like you wnat to grab the bull by the horns and get this company networked and productive.

In order to get some sound advice (and yes you can get it ALL here)you will need to start thinking about the overall goal you wish to reach.

You should consider what the main use of the network is, email, file sharing, collaboration etc.

You should also decide whether you want a simple peer to peer network or actually depoy a server and a Network operating system. Such as Novell Netware, MS Server 2003 (can't believe I said that) etc.

You should think about security and the value of your data.

BUDGET!! How much can you spend to get the right solution if properly justified.

So there's some homework and I've probably raised a few more questions for you ask here too.

Any and all ideas you have would help, no such thing as a stupid idea so be honest with yor thoughts. We can then help by starting to suggest products to review, technologies to consider etc.

This may/probably will turn into a battle of who knows best as it usually does, but you can just filter answers and extract the information as needed.

You are taking on a bold venture and your company should be happy to have someone willing to undertake such a task without formal training. Good for you!

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A late thought

by Oz_Media In reply to My network needs help!

Judging by your alias I will assume you work in a call center environment or one with a high volume of sales calls?

What telephone system/predictive dialler are you using if any?

Is your company in need of a unified messaging solution too?

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call center indeed.

by alix In reply to A late thought

We run an inbount/outbound call center using an ACTdialer. (the dialer pulls info from a ACT database as the name suggests) The alot of the problems that we are having involve the leads collected and data gathered from the calls. Most of the problems are people opening up other people's call logs and changing info or deleting them. The logs are kept in a excel speadsheet form.

What is really needed is a way that a person just click an icon on their desktop and have a login window pop up, the input their login info and then a folder on our "server", if you want to call it that, will open up where they and only they can put files in. Now the only thing real special about the computer we are using for the server or that we have dedicated for that purpose is that it has a few extra HD's, everything else is the same. It's running Windows XP Pro, which is the only OS we have at this time. If i should need to aquire a new OS that should be no problem, however im only familure with Windows based platforms. i've used linux such as Mandrake before, but feel better and more confident on a windows base. Thanks for your help, good advice is hard to come by.

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I know this sounds silly but

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to call center indeed.

How many staff are involved in this?

XP Pro can only accept up-to 10 simultaneous connections and with any more you'll ned to switch to one of M$ "Server" OS's Like W2k Server or 2003 Enterprise Edition/Small Business server depending on the staff numbers and so forth.

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Very interesting

by Oz_Media In reply to call center indeed.

I have actually resolved the identical issues for a couple of different people.

Generally, ACT is a good CRM but has it's group environmentweaknesses. There are some 3rd party add-ons that will help reslve the file rights issues to. THis is a common problem with ACT, unless you restrict users you can't control record access. If your resrict the users, they won't have the needed create right for new data.

I have some notes, suggestions and will offer them here or send email to you when I get a few minutes to look it up.

Have you thought about inbound traffic directly activating an ACT screen pop instead of using Excell? If you use CTA adapter's on your phone system, this works quite well. It will be reliant on the type and software level of your telephone's Key Service Unit as to how fast the screen pop-up but it is worth looking into.

MOST importantly, how mant users in total including admin staff?

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by alix In reply to Very interesting

We currently have 20 users in the office. So it looks as though im going to have to get a new OS. Which is no problem.

Another problem we are having with the ACT dialers is that we have to split the databases up for each user or else the same data will be loaded into the dialers on everyones computers. Which would cause problems because some people will be getting called 4 or 5 times in a short time period. The purpose for the excel is that once a call is placed, the user can put call status and notes on the user into the spread sheet. The excel form is also what is required of us to send to the higher up management.

Do you think i should go ahead and aquire Windows 2000 server? Would that be a good start? Thanks.

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by Oz_Media In reply to users

Just a personal opinion here:
We have recently had a discussion regardinh Novell vs Windows for a network Operating system.

Personally, I would not recommend Wondows as it os high maintenance, if you don't have server experience or time, you are better off with NOvell s it requires a lot less attention one up and running (fire and forget solution!).

Now anyone that is an MCSE will recommend Microsoft and this will go in a circular fashion and no resolve your problem.

Note: those that will recommend MS will be trained MS techs, they find it easier as they have training and are accustomed to fixing things. I prefer Novell because when I was dumped into a NetAdmin position with no experience several years ago, I found it a piece of cake and I had a tonne of time to learn the system instead of needing to jump into it right away. I would recommend that if you but a NOvell operating system, that you do hire a professional Netware CNE to install the first time around, as with ANY new OS, but you will have NO problems maintaining it yourself, it's a piece of cake and one of the most secure, centrally managed systems available.

You should do your homework yourself though to decide what will work and what won't, I would suggest contacting someone who consults in several different systems to avoid a biased reponse, but as far as I'm concerned, jumping into Win Server will provide you with an instant full time position, if you want one.

WIth the Excel issues, I really think you should talk to a local ACT dealer or at least get some further Act training. Even if you need to export filtered data into Excell for someone else, you will save a lot of time and effort by using ACT across the network for Data entry as well as data storage. It is a great CRM once it is utilized properly. But to cross over like that is time consuming, risks data integrity and as you say, people can manipulate your records.

Spend the monet and get licences for all users and run ACT from the server. You can also look into a telephony server, Nortel AND NEC both make very high end telephony servers and unified messaging platforms that will even run MS exchange from your telephone server for tighter integration.

There are also several Key Telephone Systems that will give you ACT integration and offer predictive telephony dialling from a single database without duplicating calls but you need a single, centrally managed ACT database.

if you got to NEC's Network Groups website, you can find a dealer from the locator and at least open doors for your options and possible much cheaper and more robust solutions than Network Software offers.

Dealer Locator pages:

Nortel (Business Communication Manager Telephony server):

I just want you to realize you have many options other than just relying on network software to help you in a call center situation. They have never released any products that will out perform or offer more features than telephone manufacturers have.

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Get 2003

by MallardtooXX In reply to users

If you can foot the bill you should most certainly get 2003. You will find a great many little things about 2003 that make it far superior to 2000. You can set it up fairly easy and you won't need a major support staff to deploy it. Also you should consider splitting your processing between two processors; it sounds like you could offload a lot of your system to the server and make your operation move a little faster.
I would honestly suggest that you get a (dude) dell small business line server like a Poweredge 1750 or along that line. Check out Dell's web site they really are cheap. I admire the fact that you are just jumping into this it is not nearly as scary as it seems. Just grab onto it and you'll find out the dirty IT secret; IT is easy, we just make it seem hard so we can play more video games at work with really cool computers. =) Good luck.


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by Oz_Media In reply to Get 2003

I always neede my 256MB Grapics card for running all those nasty network admin tools. I almost got them to buy me a steering wheel once but then they fixed Novell's Console One so you could use a keyboard, damn red N!

I guess that's another issue I've rid myself of now, being held accountable! Not that I ever was, they just thought I whad control. ;-)

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LOL...HL2 Server Anyone?

by TomSal In reply to Get 2003

Hmmm...good idea...let me turn the PowerEdge 6450 box (4 Xeon CPUs @ 2.0 ghz ea), 5 GB RAM with gigabit networking into a Half Life 2 server....ahhh yes!!

Thanks for reminding me why I got into this trade! LOL

(Sincerely if you are a gamer Doom3 on 4/15 and Half-Life 2 later this year..should make it a great year for gaming!)

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