Upcoming Telebriefing on Exchange 2010 Friday, Dec 18 2009 

I will be the presenter in a Burton Group TeleBriefing on January 12th and 13th. The details are below:

Another Burton Group TeleBriefing

Service: Collaboration and Content

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Topic: “Transitioning” to Exchange 2010: Is It Worth the Effort?

Presented by: Bill Pray

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A challenge for Microsoft with the Exchange 2010 release is to convince customers that it does something new enough to “transition.” Moving to Exchange 2010 is not an in-place upgrade. It is a transition — making the move more expensive and complex for the enterprise. Microsoft also focused much of the development of Exchange 2010 to rebuild it for software-as-a-service Exchange Online offerings. Therefore, what does Exchange 2010 offer to the enterprise that justifies the transition? In this TeleBriefing, Analyst Bill Pray reviews Exchange 2010 and provides insight into the business case for and against upgrading to Exchange 2010.

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Dates:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2:00 p.m ET/ 11:00 a.m PT/ 19:00 UTC GMT /20:00 CET

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

9:00 a.m. ET/6:00 a.m. PT/14:00 UTC GMT/15:00 CET

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Registration options:

– Register online

http://campaign.burtongroup.com:80/CT00220101MjM1OQAA.HTML

– Call 800.824.9924 ext. 174 (for calls outside the U.S., dial +1.801.304.8174)

Notes about attendance:

– Attendance at this online web event is limited. Register early.

– Once you have registered, you will receive a confirmation and

dial-up instructions.

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What is a TeleBriefing?

Burton Group TeleBriefings offer an interactive forum providing clients with in-depth and pertinent information related to a specific topic. Sessions are hosted by Burton Group experts and topics complement Burton Group research.

Access related content

(http://campaign.burtongroup.com:80/CT00220102MjM1OQAA.HTML)

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To add other people in your organization to this alert service, visit http://campaign.burtongroup.com:80/CT00220103MjM1OQAA.HTML.

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On Today’s CCS Blog – Exchange 2010 Podcast Monday, Nov 9 2009 

I had the opportunity to ask a couple of questions of Michael Atalla, Group Product Manager for Microsoft Exchange and Steve Schafer, Director of Global Information Systems for Global Crossing (an Exchange 2010 customer) about the value of upgrading to Exchange 2010 and posted the responses in a podcast on the CCS blog.

Using Social Media to Influence Microsoft Monday, Jun 29 2009 

The exchange that is happing between Microsoft and some innovative social media users over Outlook 2010 is more interesting in how it is happening than the actual debate. Twitter, blogs, and web 2.0 are all being used to exchange information, make points, and influence decision makers.

You can find the main page for the those claiming Outlook 2010 needs to be fixed here.

Microsoft’s Outlook team’s blog response is here.

My take? Fat desktop clients are rapidly becoming less important for e-mail. For the next generation information worker, webmail is e-mail. So “fixing Outlook” is a bit irrelevant and not the real question, but this method of exchanging the ideas and opinions is fascinating.

Microsoft Announces Virtualization Support for OCS Monday, May 18 2009 

Well, not all of OCS, but for specific server roles. The roles include: front-end, back-end SQL Server 2008 64-bit; group chat channel; group chat compliance; archiving; monitoring (CDR only); and edge access. The roles that are not supported are: audio/video/web conferencing servers, audio/video/web edge conferencing servers, dial-in conferencing, Communicator Web Access, enterprise voice, or Remote Call Control “may not be deployed as part of the virtualized pool.”

In my recent research on cost savings best practices, interviewees consistently mentioned server consolidation. Virtualization goes hand-in-hand with server consolidation efforts. However, communications technologies – in general – are difficult to run virtualized because of high server transactional costs that lead to high CPU utilization, heavy disk IO, and large quantities of attached data. As a result, support for virtualization of communications technologies has lagged behind other server applications. IBM has done well in this area with support for both Notes and Sametime available.  

A whitepaper from Microsoft is available that details the architecture, methodology, and performance.

Microsoft’s Live@edu – Winning Over the College Crowd Wednesday, Feb 25 2009 

Microsoft continues its effort to win over the college crowd with Microsoft Live@edu. The University of Colorado announced that is is switching from Mirapoint to Live@edu. The main attraction? It’s hosted and free.

What is the benefit to Microsoft? There are two primary benefits:

1. This is a strategic method Microsoft has used for many years – capture the next generation workforce as end users before they enter the workforce. I remember my university switching from WordPerfect to Microsoft Office in the early 90s because Microsoft gave the university a fantastic deal.

2. Microsoft needs to rapidly build its experience and capabilities around hosted e-mail on a mass scale in a more enterprise-like environment. Google is gaining traction in the small and medium business markets with Gmail and poses a potential future threat as a competitor for future enterprise hosted e-mail. The university environment is an excellent place to gain this experience with less risk.

iPhone and Enterprise E-mail… A Few Months Later Friday, Oct 24 2008 

When Apple released its iPhone 3G earlier this summer, Apple touted it as “The best phone for business. Ever.” For most users, that means enterprise e-mail, calendar, and contacts on the device. 

The iPhone 3G launched with a native support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync – a logical, but interesting choice for Apple. Logical because Microsoft Exchange is, by most measures, the leading e-mail solution in the market. Interesting in that, given the desktop marketing wars between “Mac and PC”, one wonders why Apple did not provide native support for IBM’s Lotus Notes also.

So where do things stand with other enterprise e-mail solutions a few months later? Below is a quick summary for IT shops that do not have Microsoft Exchange:

Google GAPE: For the iPhone, Google provides a tailored web interface. Another option is Gmail for mobile, a Java-based e-mail application. Gmail also supports IMAP synchronization of e-mail to iPhone’s native e-mail client.

IBM Lotus NotesIBM announced at the end of September the release of iNotes Ultralite software that supports Lotus Notes on the iPhone. The software is free for anyone with a Lotus Notes license. iNotes Ultralite is web application that leverages the Safari browser on the iPhone to access the Lotus Notes functions. The advantage is that since it is a browser, no data is stored on the iPhone (except in the browser cache), should the iPhone turn up missing.  However, it is not a client, so no data on the device also means no synchronization with the iPhone’s native e-mail, calendar, and contacts functionality.

Novell GroupWise: GroupWise 7 ships with GroupWise Mobile Server – an OEMed product from Nokia for mobile e-mail, calendar, and contacts for GroupWise. GroupWise Mobile Server does not support iPhone and, with the latest end of life announcement from Nokia for the product, will not in the future. Novell customers can utilize a partner solution recently released from Notify Technology that provides full support for the iPhone and GroupWise through the native iPhone functionality using ActiveSync.

Oracle Beehive: Using IMAP, Oracle Beehive e-mail is supported on the iPhone. Another option is to install Oracle Beehive Integration for Outlook, through which iPhone users can also synchronize calendar entries, tasks, and contacts through iTunes. Like Novell GroupWise, Notify Technology provides a technically better solution for Oracle Beehive also, with full support for the iPhone and Beehive through the native iPhone functionality.

Yahoo! Zimbra: Zimbra supports the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol, which permits the iPhone to synchronize with Zimbra exactly as it would with Exchange. 

In sum, a few months later, there are ways for all of the enterprise solutions to get e-mail to the iPhone – mostly through IMAP or an optimized iPhone browser access. However, because Apple chose to support ActiveSync, the rich client experience of synchronization of e-mail, calendar, and contacts with the native iPhone clients is only available to those solutions that support ActiveSync. For IBM, Novell, and Oracle this means a web client, or a third party solution like Notify Technologies that connects their product with the iPhone through ActiveSync.

If Apple wants the iPhone to be “The best phone for business. Ever.”, Apple needs to add support for other e-mail vendors, notably IBM, to deliver synchronized enterprise e-mail, calendar, and contacts.

Note:  This is a cross-posting from the Collaboration and Content Strategies blog.

IBM Announces Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging Thursday, Oct 23 2008 

“And so it begins…”

That is the lead that Larry Cannell will use next week when he kicks off our telebriefing entitled “Software as a Service Enterprise E-mail: Get Ready to Go Beyond the Grind.” Today, IBM officially announced Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging. The three heavy weights are now in the SaaS e-mail ring: Microsoft, IBM, and Google. Cisco and Yahoo! have said they will be joining soon.

For many organizations, this means that SaaS e-mail services are now a viable option, especially now that the two primary vendors of on-premise e-mail (IBM and Microsoft) have a SaaS alternative. IT departments can realistically consider transferring the responsibility and headaches for this essential utility to a vendor and reallocate their stretched time and resources to other projects. 

Legal compliance and discovery will remain a concern for many organizations. Who owns, possesses, and accesses the data in e-mail is important. A significant amount of any organization’s intellectual property flows through its e-mail. However, I expect that concern will be resolved over time as legal precedence is set and the vendors become more compliance savvy in their SaaS offerings. 

Organizations will benefit from SaaS e-mail because it will spur more innovation by the vendors. The e-mail client is an example. The web client has made significant technological progress because of consumer web e-mail. It will likely replace the desktop client in the future because of the advantages it provides a SaaS e-mail vendor. A SaaS vendor will not want to, or possibly be able to, upgrade desktop clients – that is difficult enough today for organizations with on-premise deployments. 

The change in the delivery model also provides many benefits. For example, not many organizations can say today that they are providing e-mail services for less than $10 a month per user. The economies of scale that the vendors can bring to this market will make the price point of SaaS e-mail very attractive. In addition, getting e-mail off of IT’s responsibility list will free them to work on other projects that may lend competitive advantage to an organization. 

A price war is a possibility. There is a significant amount of revenue at stake in this market. IBM is starting at $10 per user per month for Lotus Notes Hosted Messaging. Microsoft Exchange Online is also $10 per user per month. Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) suite of tools for enterprises is starting at $50 per year per user. Cisco (PostPath) and Yahoo! (Zimbra) have yet to announce pricing. 

“So it begins, the great battle of our time.” – Gandalf, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Note:  This is a cross-posting from the Collaboration and Content Strategies blog.