I want to let people know of some great work that our Small and Medium Business team released to beta today.  The work is called the Assessment and Deployment Solution for Mid-sized Businesses (really catchy name...)  Over the next several months this work will be released to a number of partners and customers to test with a final release expected around the end of the year.    We are planning to also do some previews at IT Forum in November.  So if you are planning to be there, look us up at our booth in the Ask the Experts area. 

Here is some more information on this solution:

The Assessment and Deployment Solution significantly reduces the cost and complexity associated with upgrade and deployment of Windows Server System infrastructure projects in midsize business. The Solution helps partners to quickly assess customer IT environments to properly scope infrastructure projects and reduce the risk and complexity of upgrades from legacy Windows platforms to deploy a secure and well managed infrastructure based on Windows Server System.

The integrated end-to-end solution will help partners deliver IT projects on a schedule and at a cost the midsize customer can afford, the solution together with software discount offered by the Windows Server System Midsize Business Promotion (announced at the World Wide Partner Conference in July 2005) will enable the channel to accelerate the adoption of Windows Server System infrastructure.

The solution includes tools and prescriptive guidance for each phase of the customer's project lifecycle (Evaluate, Plan, Build, Deploy and Operate) to provide predictable experience to enable key scenarios such as setup an and management Networking & Active Directory services, secure mobility and remote access easy File& Print sharing Secure and reliable messaging and Server & Desktop management. 

The solution supports a three step process;

  • Assessment phase includes an inventory tool that discovers the entire server infrastructure including servers, client workstations and all network devices in customer’s IT environment. 
  • Secondly, the proposal wizard creates a Visio diagram of current IT assets and quickly generates a detailed professional proposal based on the inventory for migration and deployment to new platform based on Windows Server System. 
  • Finally, tailored to individual customer scenarios, the solution provides deployment component that automates multi-server setup of Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, Exchange 2003, Windows Software Update Services, GPO and Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Workgroup Edition according to proven Microsoft’s best practices.