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Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?

By Andrew Pollack on 02/10/2010 at 04:53 PM EST

I got this press release today from someone I really should learn to just ignore -- but I couldn't help myself. I actually read it. What struck me as the most odd set of statements in it focused on the idea that small and medium businesses are migrating away from Notes and into hosted exchange environments. In other words, that the move for small business into the cloud was somehow based on ISV's hosting off-site Microsoft Exchange mail servers for people.

I suppose there must be some out there. This one looked to me like the case of someone paying to have some code written for a single migration, and that code then being packaged as a product/service offering and backed with a very important sounding press release -- albeit one that makes many claims yet cites not a single source as the basis for any of those claims.

Am I totally off base here? It seems to me that what move there is from locally hosted messaging to cloud based is being driven by Google more than anyone else, with IBM's announcement of Lotus Notes Live and it's big Panasonic win showing they're working to be a serious player in the space as well. I can't think of a single site anywhere though, that's gone from having their own Domino server environment to using standard Exchange servers hosted by a service provider. Even Microsoft's play for the cloud space (Office Live) has very little to do with migrating to individual "pst" files and hosting them somewhere.

Is it me, or does this set off your bullshit alarm as well?

I'm not going to post a link to this guy's web site because, frankly, I don't want even that much association with him. My advice to anyone, is to listen to your own b.s. meter. If you're thinking of doing business with someone and you've seen them do things that seem a bit sketchy around the edges -- they'll probably treat you the same way.


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re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Bill Dorge on 02/10/2010 at 05:59 PM EST
Not sure it's quite Bullshit, but a good sized turd maybe. I'd say it might be
like 90/10 moving to Google, then hosted exchange. I've been at the VMware
Partner exchange all week, and the spoiler maybe VMware/Zimbra, and the
partners that will be hosting that solution. The price is sure right and you
can roll it out during a cup of coffee. One to watch I think.
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Erik Brooks on 02/10/2010 at 06:21 PM EST
IIRC, the Panasonic win was LotusLive iNotes, there is no "Lotus Notes Live".
There's LotusLive iNotes and LotusLive Notes.

I could be confused though - it's not like IBM's constant renaming of things
isn't confusing at times.
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By AmyGeek on 02/10/2010 at 06:27 PM EST
They're telling us (I work in the Exchange group) that we've provisioned more
than 20 million mailboxes in the cloud so far. They're not all in use, but
they're from universities, etc. who have contracted with Microsoft & asked for
these mailboxes to be set up.
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Andrew Pollack on 02/10/2010 at 06:28 PM EST
For Office Live, I suppose I can see how that would get there -- but are we
talking migration of PST files?
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Richard Schwartz on 02/10/2010 at 08:42 PM EST
I seem to recall IBM throwing out the number 15 million for their total Lotus
Live base, but I presume most of that is due to the Outblaze acquisition,
meaning the Lotus Live iNotes offering which is not (despite the name) based on
Domino. I suspect the Panasonic deal will be a mix of both Lotus Live iNotes
and Lotus Live Notes, but no idea what the breakdown will be.
Their offering isn't Office Live, it's Business Productivity Online SuiteBy Nathan T. Freeman on 02/10/2010 at 07:30 PM EST
You'd be surprised at the size and number of companies gazing longingly at
BPOS. I did a competitive analysis a few months ago, and even I have to admit
that MSFT got the retention and archive experience way out ahead of the
competition.
re: Their offering isn't Office Live, it's Business Productivity Online SuiteBy Andrew Pollack on 02/10/2010 at 07:38 PM EST
Ok. Is it hosted PST files?
re: Their offering isn't Office Live, it's Business Productivity Online SuiteBy Nathan T. Freeman on 02/10/2010 at 11:52 PM EST
I wasn't able to tell one way or another. I had a PST file on my client,
though.
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Anonymous coward on 02/10/2010 at 08:05 PM EST
Unfortunately, we're one of the companies moving to BPOS (Business Productivity
Office Suite) for which Exchange is placed in an off-premise configuration.

Specifically, moving 2K Notes accounts to a hosted Exchange environment. As
part of the initial evaluation, we spoke with other companies in our industry
that are also doing the same. I was surprised by the references as well.

It will be an interesting experience to say the least. That light at the end
of the tunnel? It's coming towards us! =)
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Andrew Pollack on 02/10/2010 at 08:19 PM EST
I guess someone has to. Let me say in advance, I'm very very sorry for you
(and I pray you're not working with that product I got spammed about today)
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Anonymous coward on 02/11/2010 at 02:07 PM EST
Thanks for the sympathy. On a serious note, it will be an interesting
experience from a messaging perspective.

For example, currently, with an on-premise solution, there is a server in each
building. If there is a network outage to another location, users are still
able to communicate within the same building. With a hosted solution in
essence, each client is an island.

Also, in this new hosted solution, there is no need establish a VPN connection
and anyone is able to install the SSO client and configure Outlook on any
workstation connected to the internet. Then of course, there's SSO. Security
vs. convenience conundrum.

We haven't quite started and only have a pilot environment established at this
point. The product mentioned for migration was Quest. I've worked with Binary
Tree in the past for migrations from Exchange to Domino which works well. If
you don't mind, will you send me the name of the migration vendor to avoid
offline?

Much thanks!
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By Andrew Pollack on 02/12/2010 at 12:00 AM EST
That sounds fantastic!

In one smooth move you get to put all your company internal mail on an outside
provider's hardware, directly accessible without vpn and even introduce single
sign on from user's unmanaged home machines.

What could possibly go wrong?!?

- As far as that other offering, I'd rather not spread the person's name all
over the interwebs, but if you want to run a specific name by me the future I'm
always willing to offer an opinion. The names you did give are not those I had
in mind.
re: Is anyone really considering a move to a hosted Exchange system?By David on 02/13/2010 at 07:12 PM EST
Maybe you shouldn't be so hung up on "which email system is best" and instead
be focused on "which email system is best suited to a specific set of
requirements".

On the subject of Lotus Notes, I'm afraid you are flogging a dead horse as the
number of organisations utilising Notes is declining.

In our experience, this is typically due to business applications being
migrated away from Notes Databases onto purpose built systems that are cost
effective to maintain

No, I am not an Exchange biggot.

David.


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