Challenges on the Road to Exchange 2007
Analysts are asking questions about the road that organizations must tread in order to adopt Exchange 2007. Options include:
0. paying the price and upgrading regardless of pain, cost and frustration (for hopefully achieving the dream at the end)
1. migrating to another high-end messaging server environment, eg, Notes/Domino or GroupWise
2. migrating to a lower cost alternative (open-source or smaller vendor offerings)
3. shifting from inhouse Exchange to hosted Exchange (via one of the managed services partners)
4. putting in a pre-configured Exchange appliance
My take is this: We need to be careful about identifying which parts of the market we are talking about. Small businesses (less than 100) should look at options 2-4; option 2 if they have the inhouse staff willing to retrain and focus on something new, or options 3 or 4 if they don’t are are suitable okay with the viability of the managed services vendor. Medium-sized companies (100-1000) are more likely to have inhouse staff and applications that integrate with Exchange, and thus an inhouse infrastructure makes most sense. They either go option 0 or 1; I don’t see option 4 being a go. For the larger organizations, unless the wider vendor relationship with Microsoft turns sour, they’re not moving.
Other factors to consider include geographical diversity of offices and staff, mobility requirements (eg, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile access), and whether or not the existing Exchange infrastructure has been integrated tightly into other business systems.
Look, at the end of the day, every business needs something that’s going to work for them in the mail space, and we are at a point in messaging and collaboration history where you can no longer make your email decision without reference to the rest of the stack and support infrastructure. I think that most will upgrade, and of those some will first look at alternatives, either to satisfy themselves of the higher value of what they’ve got, or as a negotiation lever against Microsoft. Some will shift, but then they probably should never have been on Exchange in the first place.
Tungle for Solving Calendaring Woes
Tungle is a brand-new just-gone-into-beta add-in that hopes to help people address the pain associated with setting up meetings. It works by giving users a new instant messaging style contact list (others have to be Tungle users), that takes a shareable feed of the user’s calendar and makes it available to others via the Tungle client for scheduling meetings. Various levels of security over sharing preferences are included.
Tungle is a P2P meeting coordinator that is downloaded and installed by the end user. Its one-click setup automatically installs the software and seamlessly integrates with a user’s time management and calendaring system. Because it is platform and application agnostic, Tungle enables professionals to leverage their current time management and calendaring application to see the Free / Busy times of their friends, co-workers or business associates.
The Tungle client is only available for Outlook 2003, but forthcoming support has been promised for Outlook 2000, 2002 and 2007, along with Google Calendar, and other calendaring and time management solutions, eg, the flash demo says “Notes”.
My take: There is definitely a problem with meeting scheduling, and it’s good to see a vibrancy in the market with new and different approaches. I would prefer to see Tungle integrate with something like Skype for sharing the calendar feed, rather than building an entirely new client and platform. Oh well; first steps first.
Collaboration and Mobility
- Big firms want Web 2.0-style systems from big and incumbent vendors. Wow, what a surprise. ZDNet, Silicon
- The acquisition of WebEx is about corporate diversification for Cisco, apparently. ComputerWorld NZ
- Xobni is taking Outlook places that Microsoft isn’t, and should have. ZDNet
- NextPage released the NextPage Document Analyzer, a free tool to quantify the level of information risk represented by documents created and stored on individual computers. If customers hate what they find, NextPage has the answer … Huliq
- SharePoint 2007 is the biggest disruptive force in the ECM market for 2007. TOWER Software
- Mike thinks the forthcoming “Google phone” isn’t a hardware device per se, but rather the best / most awesome mobile browser the world has ever seen. ComputerWorld
- Buy an iPAQ from April 1, and miss out on a free copy of Outlook. BrightHand
- Zimbra released the alpha of its offline client edition. Uses the Apache Derby database for the local store. Builder.au
- Constant interruptions may be theoretically bad for us, but in today’s fast-paced and tightly wired collaborative world, is there an alternative? Barry Campbell
- Criticism can sting, but learn from Colleen how to benefit from it. ConnectITNews
Items of Interest
- Good questions to ask when looking for a new operating system. SearchSMB
- Is loyalty all it’s made out to be? Be careful how you define it. Dan Ward
Categories: Industry Updates