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Case Studies
Redwood Group focuses on delivering business value to our clients through the strategic use of technology. The following case studies illustrate how we have helped various small businesses use technology more effectively.

Remote Access Improves Communications & Productivity
Web Hosting Solution Reduces Monthly Costs
Cost Effective Server Upgrade Adds Business Value
 
Microsoft Small Business Server 2003 Improves Communications & Productivity
Solution: Microsoft Small Business Server 2003, Windows 2003 Server
Industry: Accounting


An accounting firm needed an affordable but secure remote access solution. After evaluating the existing systems, Redwood Group recommended that the company upgrade their existing Small Business Server 2000 system to Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003). The new SBS 2003 software provides a secure web portal that select employees can easily access from anywhere using a web browser. Contact information, calendars, and email were immediately available over the Internet. With the ability to work effectively from a client's office or at home, the accountants became more productive and the customer service of the entire firm was improved.

Redwood Group also installed a Windows 2003 Terminal Server to host the firm's specialized practice management and tax preparation software. In addition to improving the performance of these critical applications, the Terminal Server allows these programs to be accessed remotely through the SBS 2003 web portal.

After the migration, Redwood Group helped the accounting firm utilize the additional functionality of the Small Business Server 2003 product. The shared fax service was activated allowing users to send faxes directly from their computers, to receive faxes to a public folder on the network, and to automatically print out at a designated network printer. This gave the firm the ability to electronically archive client's faxes in their respective files on the server for easy access and review.
 
Web Hosting Solution Reduces Monthly Costs
Solution: Dynamic Website using ASP and Microsoft SQL Database
Industry: Realty


A real estate firm needed to find a new hosting provider for its custom website. The existing web hosting company was exiting the hosting business and was no longer able to provide service. The web site was an important tool for the real estate firm as it displayed current listings and photos. Unfortunately, the website application had been designed to run on a dedicated server and had several programming components that could not be used at any other web hosting company. With limited options, the real estate company approached Redwood Group for assistance in hosting the web application internally.

Redwood Group estimated the annual cost of the agency hosting their site internally. The estimate included a high speed internet connection with a dedicated IP address, server hardware, web server software, and recurring maintenance costs. Redwood Group ultimately determined that it would be more cost effective to rewrite the web application so that it could run at most web hosting providers. The return on investment was less than one year and in each successive year the realty firm will save thousands of dollars. Additional benefits to the hosted solution included e-mail virus protection, spam protection, weekly backups of the website and database and high availability.
 
Upgrade to Small Business Server 2003 Adds Business Value
Solution: Small Business Server 2003
Industry: Social Services


A social services agency needed an upgrade to their aging and unstable Microsoft Exchange 5.5 server which was running on a simple desktop computer. In addition, to retain key employees the firm was interested in implementing remote access so these individuals could work from home. After evaluating the existing infrastructure, Redwood Group recommended an upgrade to Small Business Server 2003 (SBS 2003) using new server hardware. SBS 2003 includes Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 as well as many remote access features.

The migration was seamless and the agency now has many remote access options including access to email over the web and remote control of desktop systems. The new infrastructure is more stable and can be remotely administered by Redwood Group engineers. Additionally, the newly deployed server hardware is more fault tolerant than the desktop computer that had previously hosted the mail server. This solution was the most cost effective vehicle for the agency to upgrade to the latest versions of Exchange and Windows Server while offering the additional benefits of the Small Business Server product.

After implementing the Small Business Server solution, users experienced noticeable improvement in network access speed of their files now residing on the Small Business Server. The Small Business Server software had become their new domain controller as well as their primary file and print server. The machine that had previously performed these tasks was now free to dedicate all of its resources to running Microsoft SQL Server which is the backend database for the agency's custom case tracking application. This new network design has resulted in improved application performance which has in turn resulted in increased productivity for users.
 
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