The expectations are high in the current technology era: we want it all, we want it now, we want it from anywhere and, hey, we want it to be user friendly. In the day and age of iPads and iPhones, it has become pretty common place for business people to expect their information from anywhere and expect it to be extremely easy to get to. I think this is a perception we should have had years ago. That being said, it’s obvious that technology is getting to a place where anyone can use it. After all, I would like to think my 5 year old is a genius (which he is), and even he has an iPod touch, which he beams his music to our TV and watches Netflix on it.
The issue becomes that the industry is still in limbo in the cloud/post PC era and we are in almost a tug-of-war between the old and new way of doing things. As consumers we still want that functionality we have always had with our PC/office network, but we want to be able to do it with today’s expectations. We use new, modern ways of doing things with mobile devices and cloud apps; However, many of us still use items like VPN and remote desktop to get to our office PC. These types of technology have been around for years and are still being used today. The drawback is that when it comes to VPN and remote desktop they require multiple steps and have many variables involved to make that connection. This is in almost total contradiction to the cloud and iPhone era that has trained us that technology should JUST WORK, without the headache, without technical training. So, to break it down, is there an easier way to get to my corporate network/pc? Well, we think so.
The new version of Windows 2011 Small Business Server has a feature built in called Remote Web Workplace. It takes your corporate email, your file shares, even your desktop and allows them all to be accessed from a centralized website. While it’s not exactly what I would classify as “cloud”, I think it’s a tremendous step in the right direction in giving consumers what they need in today’s current technology climate.
Outlook Web Access: Now you can have almost a fully featured Outlook client from any web browser: Your contacts, your calendar, your email!
Shared Folders: Any shared folder or drive can be accessed right from your web browser. Have the meeting notes stored on a mapped drive but don’t feel like VPNing in? Now you can get to them.
Remote Access to your PC: With Remote Web Workplace you can also access your computer from the web browser to fully control your office PC.
What’s great about this is that all this functionality is done from one single website. One login will allow you to access all these items from a web browser, one and done!
So if you are in the market for a new server, and you are a small business, we think the newest version of Small Business Server has some amazing features and functionality!