IT Policies

10 reasons to migrate to Exchange 2010

Organisations have shown a reluctance to upgrade to Exchange 2010 -- but they could be missing out on some cost-saving improvements.

A Plan-Net survey found that 87% of organisations are currently using Exchange 2003 or earlier. There has been a reluctance to adopt the 2007 version, often considered to be the Vista of the server platform -- faulty and dispensable. But an upgrade to a modern, improved version is now becoming crucial: Standard support for the 2003 version ended more than a year ago, and much technological progress has been made since then.

It seems that unconvinced organisations need some good reasons to move from their well-known but obsolete system to the new and improved 2010 version, where business continuity and resilience are easier to obtain and virtualisation can be embraced, with all the benefits that follow. Here are 10 reasons your organisation should migrate to Exchange 2010.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Continuous replication

International research shows that companies lose £10,000/$10,000 an hour to email downtime. This version of Exchange enables continuous replication of data, which can minimise disruptions dramatically and spare organisations from such loss. Moreover, Microsoft reckons the costs of deploying Exchange 2010 can be recouped within six months thanks in part to the improvements in business continuity.

2: Virtualisation

Exchange 2010 supports virtualisation, allowing consolidation. Server virtualisation is not only a cost cutter, reducing expenditure related to maintenance, support staff, power, cooling, and space. It also improves business continuity -- when a virtual machine is down, computers can run on another virtual machine with no downtime.

3: Cost savings on storage

Exchange 2010 has, according to Microsoft, 70% less disk I/O (input/output) than Exchange 2007. For this reason, the firm recommends moving away from SAN storage solutions and adopting less expensive direct attached storage. This translates to real and significant cost savings for most businesses.

4: Larger mailboxes

Coupling the ability to use larger, slower SATA (or SAS) disks with changes to the underlying mailbox database architecture means that far larger mailbox sizes will become the norm.

5: Voicemail transcription

Unified Messaging, first introduced with Exchange 2007, offers the concept of the "universal inbox," where email and voice mail are available from a single location and consequently accessed from any of the following clients:

  • Outlook 2007 and later
  • Outlook Web App
  • Outlook Voice Access -- access from any phone
  • Windows Mobile 6.5 or later devices

A new feature to Exchange 2010, Voicemail Preview, sees text-transcripts of voicemails being received, saving the time it takes to listen to the message. Upon reception of a voice message, the receiver can glance at the preview and decide whether it is an urgent matter. This and other improvements, such as managing voice and email from a single directory (using AD), offer organisations the opportunity to discard third-party voicemail solutions in favour of Exchange 2010.

6: Help desk cost reduction

Exchange 2010 offers potential to reduce help desk costs by enabling users to perform common tasks that would normally require a help desk call. Role-based Access control (RBAC) allows delegation based on job function which, coupled with the Web-based Exchange Control Panel (ECP), enables users to assume responsibility for distribution lists, update personal information held in AD, and track messages. This reduces the call volumes placed on the help desk, with obvious financial benefits.

7: High(er) Availability

Exchange 2010 builds upon the continuous replication technologies first introduced in Exchange 2007. The technology is far simpler to deploy than Exchange 2007, as the complexities of a cluster install are taken away from the administrator. It incorporates easily with existing mailbox servers and offers protection at the database -- with Database Availability Groups - rather than the server level. By supporting automatic failover, this feature allows faster recovery times than previously.

8: Native archiving

A large hole in previous Exchange offerings was the lack of a native managed archive solution. This saw either the proliferation of unmanaged PSTs or the expense of deploying third-party solutions. With the advent of Exchange 2010 -- and in particular the upcoming arrival of SP1 this year -- a basic archiving suite is now available out-of-the-box.

9: Running on-premise or in the cloud

Exchange 2010 offers organisations the option to run Exchange on-premise or in the cloud. This approach even allows organisations to run some mailboxes in the cloud and some on locally held Exchange resources. This offers companies very competitive rates for mailbox provision from cloud providers for key mailboxes, whilst deciding how much control to relinquish by still hosting most mailboxes on local servers.

10: Easier calendar sharing

With Federation for Exchange 2010, employees can share calendars and distribution lists with external recipients more easily. The application allows them to schedule meetings with partners and customers as if they belonged to the same organisation. This might not appeal to every organisation, but those investing in collaboration technologies will see the value Exchange 2010 offers.

Taking the leap

Due to the uncertain economy, many organisations are wary of investing their tight budgets in projects deemed unessential. However, if they follow the "more with less" rule and invest in some good service management for their IT service desk, the resulting cost savings will free resources that can be invested in this type of asset. The adoption of Exchange 2010, in turn, will allow more efficient use of IT by end users and help the service desk run more smoothly, thus engaging in a cycle of reciprocal benefits.


Keith Smith is Senior Consultant at Plan-Net.

13 comments
laman
laman

I would say that most of the 10 reasons for upgrading to Exchange 2010 is not really a reason for upgrading. And there is too much quote from Microsoft which I doubt the validity of such statements. Depending on the size of the companies, it could cost even more if you use all the benefits as stated by the author.

greg
greg

Blows my mind how many companies use Exchange. Yes Outlook is prettier, cosmetics should obviously be the #1 criteria when selecting software. The first 9 items on this list have been in Notes/Domino for at least 5 years or more. If you really can't live without Outlook you can still use it with a Domino server backend and then not be a slave to Microsoft's security problems and restrictions.

plan-net
plan-net

Hi all, I see that there is some curiosity with regards to the survey so although the data is to support, and not the main point of the article, here are the details: In June/July 2010, IT Services provider Plan-Net conducted a survey aimed at finding areas where organisations lack innovation with regards to IT. Details of 100 London-based organisations of 250 users or more in a variety of fields evenly distributed amongst the financial sector, legal sector, media sector and public sector were collected for this purpose. EXCHANGE SERVER PLATFORM Organisations were asked what server platform they were using: o 87% are using Exchange 2003 or earlier, with 78% using the 2003 version and 9% using the 2000 edition o 7% use Exchange 2007 o 4% have already adopted Exchange 2010 o 2% use other server platforms The press release can be found here: http://www.prfire.co.uk/press-release/organisations-live-in-the-past-when-it-comes-to-it-21488.html Note: spelling of words such as 'organisation/organization' is due to Plan-Net being a UK company which communicates in British English. Kind regards, Samantha Selvini Press Assistant at Plan-Net

Paul Gordon
Paul Gordon

Where is the "survey" referred to? - I'd very much like to take a look at that...

muto
muto

I think reason #1 is the much improved Outlook Web Acess interface - or using the updated Microsoft parlance, "Outlook Web App." Though significant, users don't care about the other 10 points. If you want to get a company motivated to switch to 2010 then show them the newer OWA. http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010/en/us/outlook-web-access.aspx

troyhackney
troyhackney

Your kidding, right? Why did you read this article, so you could gripe? Maybe you have to much time on your hands.

gary.robinson
gary.robinson

I would also like to see this survey. If you are stating facts from other sources please attribute them or was the source MS?

paul
paul

Exchange 2010 also allows for use of the letter Z. Pretty cool, right? "Organisations" "Virtualisation" "Spellcheckisation" I have yet to see the marketing campaign stating "Same old software, were just charging you again!". It's always better, faster and prettier. I enjoyed the tweaks made for 2007 and I am looking forward to having 2010 in house!

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

With only 45 mailboxes and ample storage and bandwidth capacity none of the reasons noted constitue a sufficient arguement for the upgrade. We have a stable system that works just fine and the web interface is completely sufficient to needs. The features offered just are not sufficiently compelling to ditch a stable system simply to be running on the current revision.

Kevin@Quealy.net
Kevin@Quealy.net

Even though we're kinda small with about 100 mailboxes it's still a great choice for us. The biggest benefit has been the reduced I/O and ability to virtualize it. It's terrific to take advantage of all the benefits of Hyper V with my mail server. I was shocked about how little impact it had on server performance. I've also received positive comments about the improved Web Access. That said we had lots of issues getting Web Outlook, Outlook Anywhere, the address book, and other features working properly. Some of it was because of our specific infrastructure and some of it was because of issues with Exchange 2010 that will be resolved when the first service pack comes out. We spent days on the phone with Microsoft getting everything sorted out. It took about two weeks to get everything sorted out. So while the upgrade process was a huge pain in the neck I would still do it again if I had the choice. Now that it's complete I love using Exchange 2010. If I had to do it again I think I might wait until the first service pack comes out.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

Over 2 years old, I doubt it much matters anymore. Besides, it's an open forum and others are entitled to their opinion.

rcfoulk
rcfoulk

Off topic, but one of my irritations is that so many folks go for sarcastic in their replies. I never knew that there were so many perfect people on the planet. It is fine to discuss the relevance or lack there of for the commentary but frankly there's no need to be rude in reply. It doesn't add to the conversation and honestly detracts from any other point one might be attempting to get across. Note: being fearful of similar derisive commentary I spell-checked this in Word prior to posting.

Geek Gurl
Geek Gurl

I believe this was written by someone in the UK, as they referenced GBP as well as USD. We have an office in London and I've had to get used to the differences in their spelling of certain words. Maybe their keyboards are missing the "Z" key :)

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