AKIBIA'S PRACTICAL GUIDE TO ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY
Thursday, March 19, 2009
April 14 is Decision Day for Those Running Microsoft Exchange 2003
April 14 is not just the day before tax day, it has an ominous meaning of its own. It's the day Microsoft Exchange 2003 goes off mainstream support. Most Microsoft-based shops face a big decision: migrate to Exchange 2007 or buy a Premium Support Contract to extend the life of their Exchange 2003 investment.
Companies thinking about buying the Exchange 2003 support contract should think about this:
Most Exchange 2007 migrations cost only a fraction more than the cost of the 2003 support package. The additional capital required to migrate to Exchange 2007 can be recouped in cost and efficiency savings.
Staying on 2003 for much longer may also cause issues down the road. It’s likely that as most organizations leave 2003 behind, so too will vendors. These companies may stop producing new versions and updates of their products that run on 2003, requiring costly and time-consuming efforts to keep applications working for your environment.
There is of course, a third option – don’t upgrade and don’t purchase a support contract. This option is not recommended. The costs associated with upgrading today are much smaller than the costs that could be incurred as a result of being off support – lack of access to patches, updates and other important information.
There are two good reasons to migrate to Exchange 2007 and they resonate in this economy;
- Increase efficiency
- Reduce costs
Companies looking to increase efficiency know the importance of empowering their mobile workforce. Microsoft Exchange 2007 takes important steps towards providing a better, faster and more efficient technology experience for remote and mobile employees. Exchange 2007 improves Outlook Web Access so that it is almost as good as Outlook itself, making it more efficient for users accessing email remotely.
Importantly, Exchange 2007 also lays the groundwork for Unified Communications. Even if you plan to leverage a non Microsoft solution for UC, such as Cisco, upgrading to Exchange 2007 first makes a lot of sense.
Security and encryption are also improved in Exchange 2007. Built-in protective technologies help reduce spam and viruses, retain business continuity, and enable confidential communications. Lastly a flexible set of compliance tools helps you meet your organization’s needs for industry regulations, government requirements or litigation concerns.
The additional functionality provided in 2007 can eliminate the need to rely on some third party vendors. For example, Exchange has native support for redundancy which means you no longer need to invest in a third party solution.
For many larger companies savings will come as a result of a reduced number of mail servers. Since Exchange 2007 fully supports 64 bit hardware, it can support much greater numbers of mailboxes and users than older 32 bit version of Exchange could. Therefore companies moving from the 32 bit architecture may be able to reduce the number of servers required to run Mail. This reduces hardware costs, as well as associated support and maintenance for the servers and storage devices.