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Microsoft Exchange Server 2012 gaining 'celebrity status'

- 20 Million Notes Exchanged!! -

InfoWorld's 2011 Technology of the Year Award winner for Best Mail Server, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 has steadily continued its upward climb in popularity with its Enterprise edition becoming the preferred solution of over 75% top Fortune companies.

With 86 of the top 100 Fortune companies and 71 of the top 100 Fortune Global companies using Exchange and more in the process of switching, Gartner Research has named it the only Strong Positive (highest rating) in its 2010 MarketScope for E-Mail Systems in a field that included VMware Zimbra. The largest enterprise customers have been using Exchange for over 14 years, with access to one of the largest R&D budgets in the industry and an extensive ecosystem of partners providing a predictable level of support.

From the mail server aspect, Gartner research shows that over 20 Million Lotus Notes users have now switched to Exchange, with more in the process of doing the shift. Kim Gab Seong, General Manger of Administration Information System Dep’t of Hyundai Heavy Industries, who made the switch says, “The existing Notes environment enables easy development and revisions according to requirements but from an administrator’s perspective, there were many operational difficulties. Due to this experience, we thought to use general-purpose platform for the next generation HHI Office to increase operation and management efficiencies. We were very attracted to the advantages of Microsoft’s solution, which does not require additional development every time a user demand arose and includes various functions about portal, collaboration and UC in one package. Moreover, Microsoft provides regular upgrades, a huge help in maintenance.”

With Exchange 2010, integration with PABX, Microsoft Lync, a unified communication tool that provides instant messenger, calling and video conferencing and SharePoint 2010, provides unified communication environment that not only simplifies communication, but also improves employee productivity and ability to track and manage all communications via a single unified platform. Exchange 2010 is available as an on-premise offering and as an on-line offering for organisations that prefer a cloud based e-mail solution. Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Online are built on a common code base, so their features are similar to a large extent. Both can help users to achieve new levels of reliability and performance with features that simplify administration, help to manage risk by protecting communications, improving compliance, and meeting user demands for greater mobility and easier collaboration.

George Hamin, Director of E-Business and Information Systems, Subaru Canada says “Our salespeople need to respond quickly to dealer concerns. With Exchange Server 2010 and voice-to-text conversion, within 20 seconds after a dealer leaves a voice-mail message, our users see an e-mail preview on their cell phone. Our mobile employees might check voice mail anywhere from 5 to 10 times a day, at 5 to 10 minutes a session. By using Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and taking advantage of the voice-mail preview feature in Exchange Server 2010, they can increase their responsiveness while saving more than 15 minutes a day. From a business perspective, that’s an incredibly valuable productivity increase.”

“Moving to Online Services will enable us to reduce our IT operational costs by roughly 30% of what we’re currently spending. The ability to introduce a variable cost subscription model for these collaborative technologies allows us to more rapidly scale or divest our investment as necessary” says Alastair Robertson, VP, Information Workplace, GlaxoSmithKline.

Imran Vilcassim, Director Enterprise Business of Microsoft Sri Lanka speaking of the added advantage Exchange brings in through its cloud based offering stated, “Exchange Server 2010 provides ultimate flexibility in configuring and customizing deployment, as well as ultimate control over security, features, and performance. High availability and reliability are easier than ever to implement, while optimized data handling enables low-cost storage options. Whether on-premises or online, Exchange is a reliable and flexible messaging platform that can help to lower messaging costs and increase productivity. Both Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Online provide the best productivity experience across PC, phone, and browser with Microsoft Outlook on the desktop, Outlook Web App in the web browser and Exchange ActiveSync, the de facto industry standard for mobile devices.”

Exchange Online is designed for organizations that want the cost, agility, and manageability benefits of cloud-based email without sacrificing the business-class capabilities that Exchange Server has provided for decades. With Exchange Online, Microsoft handles the ongoing maintenance, patches, and upgrades of the Exchange infrastructure while providing the control and flexibility the user requires.

The Outlook Web App in Exchange 2010, includes improvements such as the ability for users to track their sent messages and printable calendar views and the "Premium" experience is now available across multiple browsers, including Safari and Firefox. Another significant feature is a transport concept called "Shadow Redundancy" which protects e-mail messages while they are in transit. It also has a new, integrated email archive designed to help companies increase compliance and respond quickly to legal and e-discovery concerns, and there are now previews of voice mails in Microsoft Outlook enabling quick response.

In Sri Lanka too, leading blue-chip companies have come to rely on the rich functionalities of Microsoft Exchange as their messaging system. MAS Holdings, one of the leading apparel manufacturers and exporters in Sri Lanka with buyers located across US and Europe is one such conglomerate who has come to bank on the smooth messaging platform for its high compatibility and integration with other mission critical applications such as Microsoft Office.

Mr. Sampath Gunawardena, Head of IT Platform Services of MAS Capital (Private) Ltd. commenting on their experience using Exchange said ‘“MAS runs a business which is extremely fast-moving. We work on a seasonal timetable, and it’s an extremely dynamic environment. With that speed of change, a responsive and reliable communication platform is vital to our organization and Exchange 2010 has been able to deliver on these demands.

Most importantly, the messaging security advancements we get from Exchange 2010 has helped us simplify and automate the way we protect our communications from external threats such as spam and latest virus, and from internal threats such as data loss or critical information being accidentally sent to the wrong person. The other significant improvement is in the areas of storage and capacity. In the past, if a database grew past a certain size, we had to be very mindful of it. Now, our database can grow well over the 200 GB mark and still perform as fast as a much smaller database.

This means my administrators have fewer issues to resolve and end users have a much better experience. I have been able to free up resources and advance the IT team's mission to help make the firm more efficient. The end result of these enhancements is an average 20-30% increase in administrators' productivity making my team leaner and more efficient as a strategic business unit.”

Some of the other local companies using Microsoft Exchange messaging platform include leading corporate giants such as Brandix, Hirdaramani, Associated Motorways, Loadstar, Sri Lankan Airlines, Expo Lanka, Virtusa, Browns, LOLC, Peoples Leasing, Carsons, Abans, Dimo and Hemas. Also the top Telco operators Dialog, Etisalat, Mobitel and Sri Lanka Telecom all use Exchange Server to deliver the best of class unified communication experience while top finance institutions such as Hatton National Bank and Seylan Bank are also among the elite set of customers using Exchange. Interestingly some of the companies have switched to Exchange from other software solution such as Lotus Notes, Oracle and Open Source.

Microsoft’s flexible deployment options, enables customers to choose the deployment style that best fits their needs. For those who need the highest degree of ownership and control over their infrastructure and data, Exchange Server 2010 is probably the answer. For those who want the availability, management, cost, and other benefits of the cloud, deploying Exchange Online with Office 365 would be the ideal solution. A hybrid deployment between Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Online is also available for those who need to migrate gradually or maintain some user data on-premises and some online indefinitely.Whatever the choice of deployment, Exchange delivers a flexible, reliable platform, anywhere access, as well as improved protection and compliance