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Feedback on what is Range for Competive Pricing for Setup of Windows Server 2008 SBS Standard

Posted on 2010-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am trying to determine what might be a rough estimate range of price to charge to setup a Windows Server 2008 SBS Standard.   The location for the Setup would be Midwest of US.  Also any tips on how to find out what the "going rate" is for such Server setup and delivery jobs from small business (5 to 20 users).  Typcially these jobs are for small business that have deciced they want to move from just desktops to a Server based setup using Windows Server 2008 SBS...

In addition to a rough estimate on price range for this setup and delivery test of new Server 2008 SBS Standard also roughly how many hours may be involved in the job.  The Seup of the Winserver 2008 SBS listed below is about as basic as you can get I think.


Here are some other basic details of the potential setup:

- The setup would be for a Small Business with 5 to 10 Windows 7 Desktops.  User login accounts setup for 5 to 10 users etc..

- The Server hardware would be an entry level Dell Server for Small Business loaded with
Windows Server 2008 SBS Standard.

- The setup would only be for file and printer sharing (1 LaserJet printer on LAN) and NOT  have Exchange, Sharepoint or any Web hosting, etc..

- The setup would include setting up server backups and testing

- The setup would include setting up Server small busines Antivirus Program (installs on Server and the Deksotps) with Centrral managment and testing.

-- For hardware firewall I woud probalby use at SonicWall TZ100 etc..for such a small business.

- The current user data on one of the WIndows 7 Pro Desktops would be moved to the Server and share folders setup to access the data on the Server.

- The Desktops would just be using back Office 2007 programs.

-- Email would be thru Outlook 2007 to existing company web site with IMAP email accounts (no Exchange server used).

-- No program are run off the server.

-- Setup VPN to access work LAN when away.

-- Setup a Gigabit LAN using smartswitch and hook into existing wireless network.

-- Provde documentation, list of deliverables,  some basic user training,  etc..

I would want the price to include doing a complete job and not just the quickest cheapest way... I realize it does take a fair amount of up front planning, discuession with customer and delivery, test and acceptance to do the job correctly...

Thanks





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Question by:rdwolf
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Author Comment

by:rdwolf
ID: 33700308
Anyone have some answers to my questions?
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 33700533
Personally, if you're not going to have Exchange and Sharepoint setup and configured...you've chosen the wrong product.   Windows 2008 Server R2 would be a better solution.
In general rates can run anywhere from 75.00 to 150.00 depending on the experience level of the tech doing the job.    An individual who is in business for himself will probably charge between 100 and 125 an hour.
In general you should expect between 40 and 48 hours..again..This is a very rough guess because no evaluation has been done.   To be on the safe side you could budget another 16 hours.   This should include sufficient time to complete the tasks you've outlined.    
The amount of time to complete all these tasks is going to differ a lot for 5 users vs 20 users.  
What's not clear is:  are you going into business for yourself and trying to figure out how to be competitive in your market and build your quotes to be profitable or are you looking for something to use to evaluate vendors to do a one time job you need done?
If the answer is the first..then I think you have a lot more work ahead of you.  You're proposing SBS 2008 for your customers but if you're not doing Exchange and Sharepoint you're cheating the customer for the product you sold them.   For 5-10 users I would probably sell them Windows 2008 Foundation Server.    For 15 or more  Server 2008 R2 standard.
To provide any more feedback will require more background what your goal is
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Author Comment

by:rdwolf
ID: 33701117
Thanks for your input.  To answer some of your questions and provide more details on my original question for others as well.

1. I am looking to find out what is a competive rate to charge to setup Windows Server 2008 SBS in Midwest in Chicago.  I am starting my own business to do this and do not have good data yet on what the competive price would be.  I realize I have a lot of work to do regarding Windows Server and all it's flavors etc. but that is fine as I am willing to put in the work and I am a fast learner.   Using Expert Exchange is a great resource to get some great tips like yours to help in this effort.

2. For the customer I was thinking about Windows Server 2008 SBS they can get the software for less than $50 since they are non profit so the cost of the Server is trivial in this case.

3. The company has said they do not want to have Exchange Server and Sharepoint, etc. on initial install and setup but may likely want to add that functionality in the near future.  Maybe in about 1 year.


So given above I thought that Windows Server 2008 SBS Standard may be a good choice since it would be easy to add Exchange and Sharepoint and other features of SBS later just by configuring them later.  

I realize that I could also install the Windows Sertver 2008 R2 Foundation (for up to 15 users) but in the near future (maybe 6 months to 1 year) the company is likely to want me to upgrade them to Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard.  

Question 1) I know you can upgrade from Foundation to other Windows 2008 Server editions but how easy and smooth is this  to do in real life?   Roughly, how much time and effort would be required to do this etc? Plus there would be added cost of the new Server flavor software to factor in.

Question 2) In my example, of starting with WIndows Server 2008 Small Business Edition Standard but not initially configuring Exchange, etc.. Would there be any more complication to supporting this setup vs the foundation?  It would seem that if you do not configure the Exchange, Sharepoint server etc. options there would be no added complexity to provide support and maintenace to the SBS vs foundation.  Is this correct?


Also, I know that WIndows Server 2008 R2 Foundation only costs about $250  (for up to 15 users) vs Windows Server 2008 Small Business Server Standard edition for about $780.  Also, for more than 15 users, as you stated, Windows Server 2008 R2 would be a great choice if not using Exchange, Sharepoint, etc..  


Question 3) I appreciate that you said that the hours required to setup and deliver the Server would be about 40 to 48 hours with about 16 hours of eavluation..  And the hourly rate being from approx. $75 to $150 etc..  But based on those numbers it would seem the customer would be paying:

1) About  40 * $75 = $3,000 at a minimium for the install ans setup if I go with min. numbers.  If you add 16 hours eval. (16 * $75) then the total cost is another $1,200 for  a total of $4,200

2) The cost of least expensive server from Dell  T110 (as an example) is approx $1,500 to $2,000 with RAID 1 etc config..

I would think the hour estimate of 40 hours plus 16 hours eval. would be correct with likely more hours needed but it would seem many small business customes ( 5 to 15) users would have a hard time paying $4,200 for labor to setup their new Windows Server 2008 and another $1,500 at least for the Server..   Since the economy still is in bad shape in general I would think most IT companies would not be able to charge these rates even though it would seem fair from an hours spent point of view.
I would think most small companies would likely just put off the purchase of the new WIndows Server 2008 and just keep using what they have (just Desktops etc.).

I am new to the pricing for this work, and that is why I am asking, but could I get more comments on this?  I am thinking most IT companies are having to heavily discount their Install charges for Win Server 2008 now to get the jobs for small 5 to 15 small business in general but I do not know...

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Author Comment

by:rdwolf
ID: 33701170
I should also add the costs to the small busines would also need to add in
New Antivirus Software,  Backup Software, etc. that would of course add to the total cost to the smalll business when they eval the cost to move to server of course.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Cris Hanna earned 500 total points
ID: 33701503
You've got a lot of variables that didn't get included in your first post, thus my response.
If they anticipate using Exchange and Sharepoint down the road, then SBS is the right path.
SBS 2008 is an image based install.  You don't get the option to NOT install Exchange or Sharepoint.  They're there when you install SBS by default.   If you don't know this already, it begs the question,  How many SBS 2008 installs have you done already?
If you have never done an SBS install, learning on your customers time (and money) is not the way to go!   Unless they understand that upfront, and you are willing to give them a significantly lower rate for being your first customer.
Wanna know what the going rate is?  Start calling MS Partners in the Chicago area and ask them what their hourly rates are for the services you plan to provide.  I'm in St Louis, so the rates between Chicago and St Louis are not going to vary a lot.  I know what other partners are charging here.  And I've had the same discussion with other partners across the country.  It really doesn't vary much.   There are most likely Windows Server User Groups in the area.  That might be a good resourse too.
Now as to whether your customers can afford your rates...not terribly your concern.  Because they are non-profit, doesn't mean they don't have to pay for products and services.   If they need the water heater fixed, the plumber is going to charge them the same rate, he charges anyone else.
But again, if you're just starting out...don't have a lot of experience, maybe you charge less if the customer understands that up front...but that could result in more hours.   And what about cost of support after the install?
I don't do centrally managed AV software.  I do a Firewall (which they are going to need anyone (and  a $40 Netgear router from Best Buy is not a firewall) which included UTM services.  Then on the workstations I put Forefront Client Security (very cheap) which can be updated through WSUS.
 
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Author Closing Comment

by:rdwolf
ID: 33762023
Thanks a lot for your quick answers to my questions and your follow up.  It was very helpful.
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