Include third-party upgrade costs in your migration budget

Make sure you include all the costs involved in an Exchange server migration. This tip lists some of the less obvious expenses that you need to include in your plan.

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When upgrading to Exchange 2003, most organizations figure in the cost of the new Exchange product and any needed hardware upgrades. However, companies often overlook costs of programs that aren't as obvious, including backup software, antivirus components, and special connectors.

If your organization has a maintenance contract for third-party programs, you're in luck. You should still make sure the software vendor supports Exchange 2003, but you shouldn't suffer any additional out-of-pocket expenses.

In other cases, you may have let support for products, such as backup software, lapse. Depending on the length of the lapse, your company may face purchasing the product all over again to properly support Exchange 2003.

In addition, don't forget the cost of upgrading or replacing third-party Exchange connectors or add-ins. Some may not offer Exchange 2003 support right away, or they may charge you for the upgrade.

In a time when businesses are making everyone justify their budgets, getting money for upgrades can be difficult enough. Asking for more money after a project has approval to cover hidden expenses is even more difficult, so make sure you do your homework and ask for what you need the first time.