Put this onto your radar:
Had a meeting with some bodies here at the MS Australian partner conference just a while ago, in particular the lovely Frederique Dennison (Product Marketing Manager, Secfurity and Management) where we were discussing network management tools and processes.
Microsoft is certainly ramping things up for the SME end of town and if you work in this space then you need to start getting familiar with System Center Essentials (SCE) before the guy up the road does. It’s going to change the way networks are maintained moving forward – making things easier, more visible, more pro-active rather than reactive (aka waiting for the phone to ring).
You can download a VHD of SCE to play with so you’re not installing it into your production environment to begin with, and being a virtual machine you could even play with it whilst flying home from the conference [8-|]
Hint: SCE is part of the wave hitting a network near you next year (http://msmvps.com/blogs/calvert/archive/2007/08/31/aussies-add-this-to-your-rss-feed.aspx), so get your board waxed and ready ahead of time.