It was painful in the days of 4.0 and 4.5
It was great in the days of 2000. In fact, it was good enough to have lasted another five years!
The product, in the days of 2003, has been over the top spectacular. A truly unbelievably great package! I can't think of a better bargain anywhere in technology.
So where does SBS end?
We're seen hints. You join the SBS blog and all they can talk about (which isn't much) is getting you to sign up for the Centro beta. The SBS dude, Kevin, is really the Centro dude.
Meanwhile, Exchange has become way too complicated and robust to include in SBS for very long. So you can see that spinning off. Perhaps SBS will become a combo of Server, RWW, and Sharepoint (premium adds SQL and ISA).
But the real DEATH of SBS will come from the shitty, absurdly imcompetent technical support provided by Microsoft.
Note: if your time is worth nothing, and you clients are perfectly forgiving, then you can waste huge amounts of time and labor dealing with morons who are supporting a product they've never seen.
[I'll never forget the a-hole who browsed through the active directory until he came to an empty "users" container and panicked. I thought he was going to hyperventilate. "Where are your users?"]
They destroy computers and they waste money.
I have better luck posting a request on a newsgroup and hoping someone can post a reply at 2:00 AM.
Which makes SBS no better than Linux.
I've complained about the horrible tech support for years. Microsoft's only answers are:
1) Be patient. It takes time to train people.
2) Since you're a certified partner, we offer a much higher level of support where you can always talk to someone who's competent. It starts at $7,000 a year.
Here's a memo I just posted to my technicians:
Beginning immediately, no one is authorized to call Microsoft support for any issues involving SBS.
They are the most horribly unprofessional, untrained, arrogant, and incompetent technical support we ever deal with in any company whatsoever.
These bastards admit that they are completely incompetent and don’t know what the f*ck they’re doing, but they refuse to escalate.
They sign our agreement that they won’t make changes to our system, but they do anyway.
They put us on hold and then poke around all over the place demonstrating that they don’t know what they’re doing.
They waste hours and hours and hours of time because they are absolutely incompetent – most of them have never seen SBS before!
If you want to call Microsoft, remember:
-- The PSS line will waste a minimum of four hours of your life – which we are paying for – and they will not solve your problem.
-- If we can hold off the customer, we will contact the alternative support systems we have in place (Vlad, Erique, etc.)
-- If we can’t hold off the customer, put in CD 1 and reinstall.
-- If you want to avoid this and call Microsoft, you MUST call me personally to get permission. If you can’t get ahold of me, you are NOT authorized to call Microsoft.
SBS is an awesome product that will die a slow death because the tech support is the worst it can possibly be.
Wherever a client does not absolutely *need* RWW or SharePoint, we will stop quoting SBS and quote Server 2003 and Exchange 2007. It’s a little more expensive in the short run, but Microsoft is still providing competent technical support for these products. So, over the course of three years, this will be a much wiser decision.
I’m sorry that Microsoft has completely given up on the prospect of providing competent technical support for SBS.
But we cannot continue to dedicate our business to a product with no support.
And we cannot afford to support SBS without competent support from the manufacturer.
We’ll discuss at Monday meeting.
Because of Microsoft's horrible and incompetent technical support, we are considering relying on another Indian-based help desk that does provide competent support: Zenith Infotech.
More about that later.
I welcome your feedback. I've heard of people who've had great support from PSS in India. But more often, I've heard from people who are happy because they've figure out ways to get around the morons in first level support and get to the real superstars in North America.
None of this bodes well for Cougar. You can't cheerlead a product with terrible tech support and expect it to take off. It might even be a better product, but we'll never know unless there's real tech support to back it up.