How difficult is it to set up a business server with users using Macs and Pcs?
We are a small company looking at our current IT provisions. We are small (3 people) at the moment with 2 Macs and 1 PC using DropBox. Soon we will require a server for a group of 16-20 people in two geographical locations with both PCs and Macs. We will have SAGE online and onlne CRM across both companies. Bit of a challenge! Any ideas?
I have helped small business out over the past 15 years. I use to sell small business servers. NO MORE SERVERS.
You have many options.
1) As suggested Office 365
2) Google Apps
3) Storage server internal like a NAS
I suggest look at Google Apps and Office 365 - I have found that smaller offices that are more creative have been better with Google Apps and more finical businesses Office 365 words. One thing I like about Google Apps is you are able to use it to login to other services. You can use your Google Apps login to login to your CRM and other online applications.
I hope this helps.
The 365 sound's like a good plan as it is fully in the cloud. You will need a good internet connection for it... I have been using the apple server for years. And like the way it work's. You will need to have some one set it up for you. With both office 365 and the Apple server. I would write down all the thing's that you would possibly want to do now. and in the future. Some of the things will make it a lot more expensive to implement if you go with the "wrong" system now.
The bottom line is that it is no problem to have Windows and Mac collaborating with in one business. again: look at all the things on your wish list for now, and in the future.
Just use AWS (Amazon Web Services) using their EC2 infrastructure and you should be fine. Stay away from any Microsoft specific servers (such as Windows) since their products usually target specific browsers unlike Linux/Unix based platforms which are more open.
You do not need an ERP for that small company. Try a basic sales, account and project management http://www.myerp.com
I would have to agree with Timothy as well. Just make sure everything you use between the two locations is compatible between the 2 Operating systems and you should be ok.
Some quiet good suggestions here, I will add few additional points to help, if I may.
If I understand your needs correctly there are THREE things involved.
1. Online Cloud Services providing Email, File Storage and Communicator (e.g. Skype kind of software)
- for these services, your best bet is Office 365. Here you have various license options. E1 licenses would give you hosted services, but you would need to have a license for each PC for Office 2013. Or you can go for options such as E3 where you will get all hosted services with Office 2013. There are suitable options for Small Business too. If you need, I can email you a good comparison PDF file - which is quiet easy to understand.
- with hosted Exchange, you can use Outlook as client
- with hosted SharePoint, you can use OneDrive for Business to sync files between server and your PC/Mac
- with hosted Lync, you can use Lync to communicate with your people and also hold video conferences
- This option will enable you to stop using DropBox as Microsoft gives hefty 50GB storage for each user. So I believe you will have enough space.
2. Online SAGE/Online CRM
- You do not need to buy any local or hosted servers for this. These are managed by SAGE/CRM vendor and you will access them like any other website. Most of the modern websites are compatible with Apple Safari, or Google Chrome - so Mac is okay. I use SAGE and SugarCRM myself. For Windows, you have IE too.
- I put question mark because it is not clear why you mentioned server here. Anyway, I am making few assumptions and my recommendation would be to:
- If you need any Server for local software development and testing etc, you can go for a Virtual Private Server from any leading service provider. We can get you fasthost servers at better price than what they publish on their website, if you may wish. These VPS can be based on Windows 2008 or Windows 2012 or Linux. It depends what you need.
- OR, you can have a dedicated server from fasthosts. Good thing is that you don't have to invest any resources to manage them. Some of my clients run SAP so they come in various configurations and capacity depending on your need.
- So whether VPS or Dedicated Server? I can help you make a decision after understanding your business needs. Based on your mail, I am not sure you would need a server but just to explain, I am highlighting your options here.
With 1 and 2, you will have almost everything any small business needs for collaboration.
Just remember that do create a spreadsheet to truly appreciate all the recurring costs as most of the hosted services are based on monthly billing cycles and some may require annual commitments. So please account for the costs to avoid nasty surprises.
We use Office 365 ourselves and its simply best solution. I am sorry to say to Google fans, Google Apps just don't stack-up. They are good but primitive in a sense. But again, I am not here to say anything - it all depends on your needs.
Any help!, please feel free to ask.
I would agree with Timothy. If you are looking for the simplest and least expensive option this might be it. You will also always have access to the latest Microsoft Office products. The question is what is your comfort level with the cloud and what are your security needs?
We can help you with a server in amazon cloud and have both the offices use that as your primary domain controller, fileserver and print server using our proprietary networking appliance. We can even have one voip switch shared across multiple locations. Check out www.netPulz.com which is part of Advans IT. We take care your IT and you do focus on doing your thing! We have priced this so small businesses like yours can afford going to cloud.
The other option is Google Apps. Very easy to install and the support from Google is 24/7 with chat option is available when you are having problems with your email but that's rare.
The price is $50.00 per license( user) per year. Very competitive to Office365.
We are currently using the platform for 16 users. The staff are able to check their email everywhere and it does not need a professional or IT inside the building to monitor. Set it up and forget about it.
Jo, we have a whole bunch of creative firms in the Philadelphia area that we work with on a daily basis that employ Mac endpoints on a Windows-server centric network. We've solved the geographical issue by building a virtual server for an individual entity in our data center and giving them connectivity from wherever they are, using whatever device they may need. Timothy has a good point about Office 365; you can augment it nicely with the CRM Online you already have! Though I'd lose the less-than-secure DropBox and take advantage of Microsoft's OneDrive or the SharePoint Online component of Office 365. Hope that helps!