Server Revs up the Capacity of a Business
Robust servers are in demand, catching the eyes of small businesses eager to increase efficiency and productivity. By investing in this sophisticated technology, companies with just a few employees can boost their manpower to that of much bigger organizations.
While expanding their land development portfolio, Michael Hulme and Joseph Doye, partners with over 30 years of experience in real-estate brokerage, land planning and design, faced many new challenges.
Operating under Westin Company, the previously established name, the pair transitioned their core business strategy, and decided on a new company name, LANDinnovation (www.LANDinnovation.com).
When Hulme and Doye set out to concentrate solely on mixed use land development projects, they needed strong and reliable solutions to handle their expanded services and a growing workload. To maintain communication with sub-consultants, they relied on email, an inefficient method of transferring large multimedia files such as JPEGs and PDFs.
"We had to deal with frustrating revision control," said Hulme. "It was nearly impossible to keep everybody on the same page at any given moment. We had no decent contiguous storage space and projects had files scattered amongst many locations."
So, congruous to Westin's branding transition to LANDinnovation, the firm traded in their peer-to-peer network for a powerful server-based solution.
"The upgrade has enabled us to expand our company's web-based presence," said Hulme. "And it has helped us institute a deeper set of professional land development services, including a 'Member's Only' access point to keep clients and sub-consultants up-to-date on project-specific topics, schedules, and datasets."
With just one system, a DellTM PowerEdgeTM 2900 Server, and Microsoft® Windows® Small Business Server 2003 software, Westin and LANDinnovation improved file sharing and enhanced security measures. The combination of the server and software enables users to share files, create tasks, and view a team-wide calendar. And with the Outlook® web access feature, employees can access work email from any computer installed with Internet Explorer® .
As Hulme and Doye are often in transit, yet need to stay in the loop with sub-consultants and clients, they rely on Microsoft Exchange Server to wirelessly sync their Windows mobile devices and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) with the office server.
"Once we received this machine, we gained this whole bevy of capabilities," said Hulme. "By purchasing the server, we really came out of the dark ages of just having a couple notebooks and desktops hooked together in a peer-to-peer scenario with a bunch of hard drives growing each month. With the upgrade, we now feel a lot more secure, and we are able to be effective and ultimately impress our clients and sub-consultants."