Sembee Ltd.
UK MS Exchange Consultants
 

Page Last Updated: 26/06/2013
UK Based Microsoft Exchange Specialist

Microsoft Exchange consultancy from MS Exchange MVP Simon Butler.

Who We Are

Sembee Ltd (pronounced S M B) is the consultancy company for Simon Butler, a current holder of the prestigious Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award for Microsoft Exchange, one of less than 10 in the UK and just over 100 in the world.

While specialising in Microsoft Exchange, with a background in network administration, I often get involved in general network admin work as well, as this can be required before Exchange can be deployed or is the cause of problems with the Exchange installation.

I provide support both directly to businesses as well as to IT support companies across the UK using remote control technologies such as Remote Desktop. From my base in Thatcham, Berkshire I can provide most support services remotely across the UK, and on site visits within a 90 minute travelling time.

Sembee Ltd was established in 2003 in Fleet, Hampshire as Amset IT Solutions Ltd., changing its name on 1st April 2009 to match the key username of its principle consultant - Simon Butler, aka Sembee. Relocation to Thatcham in Berkshire took place in August 2011.


About Me

I am a Microsoft Exchange MVP, originally awarded in 2005 and have been renewed each year. My skills and knowledge are on the internet.
You can find me posting on a number of forums, where I post under the name of Sembee, including Petri.co.il and the Microsoft Technet Forums.

I was also a heavy contributor on Experts Exchange, originally as Sembee, and more recently as Mestha. (Mestha is an Egyptian god, as was Amset). I have recently resumed contributing to Experts Exchange, as Sembee2.

I have been in IT since 1997, specialising in Microsoft Exchange since 2004.
I have contributed to books on Exchange, presented on the subject, as well as blogged and written technical articles on the product.

My blog you will find here: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/ .

I have also written extensive technical articles on Microsoft Exchange and its related technologies, which you can find at http://exchange.sembee.info/ .

Other technical content I have written can be found on their own dedicated sites, including a getting started guide to the command prompt at http://dosprompt.info, creating and deploying login scripts at http://loginscripts.info, information on recovering Microsoft Office content from temporary files at http://office-recovery.com/ and troubleshooting the Microsoft Automatic Updates client at http://wuauclt.info/ .

I also use the URL shortening domain of semb.ee.


What I Do

I can provide the full scope of Exchange services, except for emergency support.

Some of the most popular requests include:

  • Configuration of a specific feature, or troubleshooting an issue that is not causing a server down status
  • Installation and migration of new, additional or replacement servers - both full Exchange product and Small Business Server
  • Deployment of mobile solutions, such as Blackberry BES/BPS/BES Express, Android and iOS.
  • Review of existing server deployments.
  • Clean Ups of Exchange and SBS Servers that have had little or no maintenance

As my background is in network administration, I can also carry out the full range of network administration tasks for Microsoft Windows based network, including the deployment of an Active Directory domain for your company (which is required for Microsoft Exchange). Once the server has been deployed, I can then offer you monitoring and ongoing maintenance.

All servers and services are deployed to Microsoft's best practises, so that internal IT support or your own support company can take over the on going maintenance.


Migrate from Exchange 2003 or Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 from just £1500 (terms apply)

For more information on the fixed price migration plan, click here.


Got a Blackberry? Got SBS? Forwarding Email or using BIS? You need BES Express.

If you have a Blackberry user on your SBS server then you are probably simply forwarding the email to their device. What you really need is a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES). The entry level version of BES - Express Edition - is free and installation directly on the SBS server is supported. A BES Express installation will give you full synchronisation with the mailbox over the air and does NOT require a change in the subscription of the device. I can install and configure it for you remotely in a few hours (although a system reboot is required midway through).

This does not apply to Blackberry 10 devices (Z10, Q10, Q5).


What I Do for IT Support Companies

If you are an IT support company then my skills are available to you, allowing you to have a top level Exchange consultant to assist with your clients. All I ask is that you tell me what you have told your client, particularly if I need to communicate with them directly. Some clients tell them I am an independent Exchange specialist, others prefer to tell them the consultant is a member of their own staff. I don't mind either way, as long as I know.

A common service I provide is bringing Small Business Servers up to date with the installation of service packs and updates, and deployment of BES Express.

Arrangements with other IT support companies are set on an individual basis. Many client companies operate on the basis of a pre-purchase of a specific number of hours, which are then used as required. As I bill in 30 minute increments for remote work, this makes it very cost effective.
While there is time outstanding on the pre-purchased amount, basic email support is free.

Special Offer for IT Support Companies: Purchase 5 hours in advance and get another 30 minutes free.

For larger jobs, I will usually quote for that specific work. In some cases the complete deployment of the servers and network for a particular client is handed over to me on behalf of the IT Support company and then once the job is complete they are responsible for the ongoing support.


How I Do It

There are a number of ways that assistance can be provided with you Exchange project.

  • On Site Visits
    Part of a day, or a single day visit are restricted to within 90 minutes drive of my base in Thatcham, or within 20 minutes of a junction on the M25.
    If you are further away, then I may still be able to visit you, it will just require an overnight stay. Contact me to see if this is logistically possible. I have been as far as Liverpool and Leeds to visit clients for example, and have also been to Cornwall.
  • Remote Control - RDP - Remote Desktop
    RDP is built in to Windows 2003 and higher and is therefore a popular choice, particularly with my IT Support clients. This includes Remote Desktop Gateway on Windows 2008 and higher.

VPN
I don't tend to use VPN if possible due to the network security risks on both sides.

Other remote access solutions

If you have an existing remote access solution, such as Log Me In Free (popular with IT Support companies) then I can use that as well.


Technologies Supported

I can assist you with

  • Microsoft Exchange 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010
  • Microsoft Exchange 2007
  • Microsoft Exchange 2003
  • Small Business Server (SBS) 2011
  • Small Business Server (SBS) 2008
  • Small Business Server (SBS) 2003
  • Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) (Including all variants based on 4.0 and higher such as Express, Small Business, Professional and Enterprise editions)
  • Blackberry Enterprise Server 10 - including Secure Work Space for Android and iOS.
  • Exchange Active Sync
  • SSL Certificate implementation

All of above using either physical or virtual machines, with particular skills using VMWARE ESXi and vSphere 4.x and higher.

Migration Only Support

For the following versions of Exchange, I provide migration only support - where I can assist you to move to a later version of Exchange. General support is no longer provided due to the age of the product.

  • Exchange 5.5
  • Exchange 2000
  • Exchange 2003 installed on Windows 2000.

What It Costs

Remote Control of your server is £50 per half hour, charged in half hour blocks. In many cases I find that the problem is resolved within the first 30 minutes. However if I think it is a more complex problem then I am quite happy to quote for the work instead. Please note that I may require advance payment of at least the first 30 minutes before work begins. This is due to some companies deciding that they will not pay my invoices.

On site visits start at £300 for half a day, however this is location dependant. If you are close to my base in Thatcham in Berkshire, then I can also charge on a per hour basis. This includes visiting clients in Basingstoke, Reading and Newbury.

For specific tasks, such as server deployment, migrations etc, then I can usually quote for the work in advance at a fixed price.

All pricing is based on 7 day terms or advance payment and is excluding VAT. Work is carried out subject to my standard terms and conditions.


What I Do Not Do

For many reasons, there are some things that I am unable to do

  • Provide emergency technical support for server down situations.
    This is not a service that I offer, simply because availability cannot be guaranteed. If your server is down, call Microsoft, pay their fee. The earlier in the incident that you do that, the better the chance of a successful recovery.
  • Email support for non-clients.
    If you have a question then please post it on a forum or email list as I will be unable to help you directly. If you are based in the UK and would like to be able to send email queries to me, then please contact me below to setup a contract to do so. 
  • Work for anyone or on systems outside of the UK.
    For insurance and legal reasons I am unable to accept work for anyone outside of the UK, where the billing address is not within the UK or where the physical server is located outside of the UK. Full legal liability must be in the UK. There are no exceptions to this, I cannot accept liability waivers as they just slow the lawyers down and do not actually protect me from legal action.

Why should you hire me to work on your Exchange server?

You have read about who I am and what I can do for you, so why should you hire me?

  • First and foremost - I know what I am doing. To receive 8.5 million points in twelve months on Experts Exchange (at least 4000 questions answered as the maximum points earned per question is 2000) you need to know your product. I also answered over 1,000 questions in less than 12 months on the Technet forums.
  • It can be more cost effective to bring in someone like me to resolve minor issues or setup a feature or even a new server because it will be done correctly. The setup of later versions of Exchange now requires skills that will not be used in the day to day use of the server, so it rarely makes sense to train someone to install or upgrade the Exchange server and then not use those skills again.
  • I have a very high success rate, to the best of my knowledge every Exchange server I have built is still in production (except where it has been upgraded). I have even been asked to upgrade my own work on more than one occasion.
  • My activities in the Exchange community expose me to a lot more problems and resolutions than many other consultants. However I will not say I know everything, but through community contacts if I don't know then I will probably know the right person to ask.

To conclude, I can most likely enhance your deployment of Exchange allowing you to make the best of your investment in the product.


Contact

If you would like to speak to me about your Microsoft Exchange project, or are an IT Support company looking to improve your support of Microsoft Exchange, please contact me to find out how I can help you. Email is my preferred method of contact and will usually get the quickest response.

I endeavour to return calls/emails within two working days.

Email: contact @ sembee.co.uk

Phone: 08456 442 669

Please note that I cannot provide emergency/urgent support and I am unable to assist you if you are outside of the UK.
NO EXCEPTIONS.


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  UK ISP Status Pages  

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Sembee Ltd. is registered in England and Wales at 33 Scrivens Mead, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 4FQ.
Registered company number: 4704428. VAT Number GB 904 5603 43.

Sembee is a registered trademark of Simon Butler and is used under licence.