Getting ready for CC3:
As far as hardware is concerned, the general rule is buy the fastest stuff you can afford. The practical rule is install CC3 and pinpoint the workstations and systems that need to be dealt with. What we have found specifically is that Celerons are not fast enough for the workstations that really push graphics, an example is the parts workstation, where calling up lots of graphics when you’re looking for invoices and printing them is day in and day out procedure.
Novell is not a problem, but for the obvious reasons in the industry, Windows Server is recommended. That recommendation has nothing to do with CC3 directly, and everything to do with the fact that Windows Server is a superior product that gains market share from Novel everyday. My favorite feature where Windows Server trumps Novell is Terminal Services, which allows you to hit your server from anywhere on the internet, including me here in Washington, without 3rd party junk like PC Anywhere.
Scanners – we use primarily 2 scanners, but theoretically any Twain compatible scanner will work. You can buy the Visioneer XP200 either from www.visioneer.com or from online computer stores. Do not use the XP100 as they are too wimpy and break down quickly. I also really like the Brother 8500 Multi Function scanner/copier/fax machine. They are toner cartridge based, and are really easy to install and use, and if you really shop them, you can get them for around $400. I’ve never scene anyone unhappy with that buy, and I’ll personally buy it from you if you’re not happy with it.
Emailing – CC3 shells the emails out to Microsoft Outlook, not Outlook Express. So if you have Outlook installed on your machines, you can email right off the bat. Also, thank you letters and such are shelled out to Microsoft Word. Faxing is handled directly through Windows, as long as you have a modem and phone line attached to a workstation, you can fax anything you can print.
That said – like CC2, no shop uses it all or in the same way. But for instance, many customers have eliminated all copying of invoices and checks by scanning them right into the management system. So when an insurance adjuster walks in the door to audit a file, they just punch in the RO #, and with one button print off copies of all the invoices and hand them across the counter. Not sure how you could be any more efficient than that.