Lync - discussUC
TechEd 2010: Microsoft Communications Server ‘14’ takes the stage Monday, 07 June 2010 16:31Written by Aerosetry
Gurdeep’s demo inside Bob Muglia’s keynote went well today, as did his breakout session later in the day. That includes some funny joking between Jamie with the whiteboard giving directions to Gurdeep on where he needed to be later in the day for his other sessions. And the High definition video was stunning on a 40 foot screen! For a broader rundown of features checkout http://www.microsoft.com/communicationsserver/cs14/en/us/new-features.aspx.
It’s great to see the product out there now, and even better for our folks around the company that have wanted to show it more openly to their customers. Microsoft Communications ‘14’ really delivers on that promise of a more connected experience for people that want to stay plugged in to what’s going on, even when they are not there. The new collab experience is great. Having PowerPoint, the RoundTable view, and IM all in one view is great.
The developer story is also super powerful. What you can do today with communications in applications, or even building your own communications application like the call scenario demoed is pretty amazing. All on one platform.
It’s also great to hear the reaction from ITPros and developers here at the conference and the interest in communications. Being able to bring communications into the productivity fold has been something that we have been working on for a while and ‘14’ delivers there, with the expert search integration into SharePoint, the deep Outlook integration, and the Word, Powerpoint, and Excel integration. It’s also great that we can deliver on a full telephony experience as well. Between that, the great collab experience, and it being built right into the apps people use every day will really obsolete other forms of communications out there.
Finally, being able to talk about our Windows Live audio and video federation, connecting our Communications Server users with the hundreds of millions of Windows Live Messenger users with full audio and high definition video is great.
One big thing is for sure, communications has now landed squarely in the lap of the corporate ITPro and developer. I hope they are ready for it.
It’s a fun show so far. Really looking forward to the rest.
Yancey Smith Director, Product Management
Director, Product Management
Communications Server “14” – Replace, Enhance or Add to your PBX & IP-PBX Systems Tuesday, 08 June 2010 10:05Written by Aerosetry
Hey everyone –
I wanted to get out a message to the community around some recent news on the voice interoperability front – some big things happening recently – the announcement of UCIF, new qualifications in the UCOIP including AT&T and Orange, supporting Remote Call Control for both new and existing customers for the next release of Communications Server, and highlighting the ways that customers can replace, enhance or add to their PBX systems both today and in the future.
First off - on Wednesday, May 19th, industry leaders including HP, Juniper Networks, Logitech / LifeSize, Polycom, and Microsoft announced the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCIF). UCIF is a non-profit, open alliance of worldwide technology companies that will develop interoperability profiles, certification, and testing programs in order to enable UC interoperability scenarios. The UCIF’s vision is to enable interoperability of UC hardware and software across enterprises, service providers, and consumer clouds, as a means of protecting customer’s existing investments, simplifying their transition to more extended UC networks, and generating incremental business opportunity for all stakeholders in the ecosystem. To learn more about UCIF, including the growing list of companies who have joined the forum, check out the website at www.ucif.org
Of course, Microsoft has been delivering practical interoperability solutions to our unified communications customers since the launch of the UC Open Interoperability Program, or UCOIP, in 2007. The UCOIP is a qualification program for gateways, IP-PBXs, and SIP trunks services that is intended to ensure that customers have seamless experiences with the setup, support, and use of qualified telephony infrastructure with Communications Server. Any IP-PBX, SIP/PSTN gateway, or SIP Trunking vendor that meets the qualification requirements, conforms to the specifications, and successfully completes the third party testing performed by TekVizion labs will have their solution published on the UCOIP web site.
On this front, we’ve had more than a few updates - the first big change is that IP Telephony Service Providers now have the ability to qualify for SIP Trunking to Office Communications Online (BPOS-D) in addition to qualifying for on-premise interoperability with Office Communications Server. To date, AT&T and Global Crossing has qualified for both scenarios, with many more in the pipeline.
And speaking of pipeline, it keeps coming – in the program we’ve now qualified:
- Fourteen IP Telephony Service Providers - and extending a warm welcome to the latest to qualify, AT&T, IP Directions & Orange Business Services.
- 17 different IP-PBXs - Avaya Aura 5.2 being the latest addition.
- 35 SIP/PSTN Gateways - with Media5 and Teldat now qualified.
Check them all out at http://technet.microsoft.com/UCOIP
The interoperability we bring to the market today allows customers to take on Communications Server in a variety of scenarios. For customers ready to replace their PBX for some or all of their workers, Communications Server offers a complete unified communications solution – including IM, presence, and audio, video, and web conferencing -- that also natively supports all critical enterprise telephony features. Communications Server can connect directly to the PSTN via a gateway or through SIP Trunking, and can connect directly to any PBX during the transition phase. The user’s phone number is moved to Communications Server or a new phone number is provisioned and they are provided a device to suit their needs (including choice of new low cost IP phones). Good customer examples of this are Sprint, Royal Dutch Shell, and Lionbridge.
Customers can leave their PBX in place and enhance it using Communications Server to give users full unified communications in parallel to their existing phone during a transition period defined by the customer. In this scenario, Communications Server connects to the existing PBX, and each user is given Communicator in addition to their existing PBX phone. The system can be configured such that Communicator rings whenever the PBX phone rings, which allows users to receive calls on the road or in their home office, and gives them the option to use Communicator as their primary endpoint even in the office. Good customer examples of this are AT Kearney and Alutiiq.
Customers who simply want to give some users the ability to control their existing PBX or IP PBX phones from Office Communicator may do so through our Click-to-Call feature (based on traditional CTI using what we’ve typically called Remote Call Control or RCC). Both new and upgrading customers will be supported for click-to-call with Communications Server “14” (CS “14”). The functionality remains the same as with previous releases, so it’s important to remember that Click-to-call users lose other Communicator capabilities including mobile voice. Finally, the integrations to the popular third party gateways like Corebridge, Estos and Genesys are still available, allowing companies to deploy Click-to-call solutions without needing to spend potentially significant amounts of money upgrading their IP-PBX.
As an aside, I should explain that our decision to support “Click-to-call” for new customers in CS “14” is a change from previous plans. Until recently, we planned only to support “Click-to-call” for existing RCC customers. We made the change for several reasons, including some great work we’ve been able to accomplish on the updated management experience that will be an integrated part of CS “14”, being able to pull broader Click-to-Call support along with many more small but important enhancements into the release. The most important reason, though, is that we want to give those customers who, for whatever reason, require desktop control of existing phones, a better option than adding software from a PBX maker, like Cisco’s CUCIMOC, on every user desktop. This blog post about CUCIMOC outlines general issues to consider with plug-in offers; we think our “Click to call” functionality is better not only because of the reasons in that blog post, but also because our “Click to call” functionality works with nearly every PBX and IP-PBX model and version you own, not just those from whichever vendor is promoting their software bolt-on. With our “Click to call”, you provide a consistent user interface and can easily move users to Communications Server voice in the future without re-training users or re-imaging desktops.
Communications Server also provides a good option for customers looking to add only presence, instant messaging, and conferencing to their legacy PBX. Communications Server connects directly to the existing PBX, and allows users to take advantage of audio, video, and web conferencing using Communicator, or audio and web conferencing if they use their existing PBX phone. With the new “Join From” feature in CS “14”, the user’s PBX phone is automatically rung upon conference join. This scenario does not provide users with the ability to use Communicator as their phone device inside or outside the office, but it does give the organization the option to easily enable the voice capability in the future. A good customer example of this is Intel.
It’s been an amazing year already – with our CS “14” first look at VoiceCon, including a demo I did of SharePoint-powered Skill Search and Office 2010 integration during Gurdeep’s keynote (Login to watch the video) and our disclosure of our complete enterprise telephony capability in the Voice RFP response and Next Gen Telephony White Paper.
You’ll be able to see a lot more from us this week at TechEd New Orleans, June 7th-11th. I’ll be hanging out at the booth, along with a few dozen of my colleagues, ready to demo, diagram, and discuss all the great things we’re bringing to market with CS “14”. I hope to see you there!
You’ll be able to see a lot more from us this week at TechEd New Orleans, June 7th-11th. I’ll be hanging out at the booth, along with a few dozen of my colleagues, ready to demo, diagram, and discuss all the great things we’re bringing to market with CS “14”. I hope to see you there!
Senior Technical Product Manager
Top Ten Reasons to Move to Exchange Server 2010 in 2010. Thursday, 21 January 2010 13:01Written by Aerosetry
As we start the New Year with Exchange 2010 in market, I wanted to share more of the stories we are hearing from our customers. At launch, we highlighted how a few of our customers, Lifetime Products, Morgan Keegan and Global Crossing are utilizing the new features in Exchange 2010. But, now with a couple months since launch, it is incredibly rewarding to hear how so many customers are benefiting from Exchange 2010.
In the spirit of a top 10 list for the New Year, here are 10 quotes from some of your fellow IT Pros that speak to how Exchange 2010 is helping them and their companies work better:
1. Offering Larger Mailboxes While Lowering Storage Costs : Cell C used the improved I/O performance of Exchange 2010 to purchase less expensive storage that enabled supporting large mailboxes at low cost. “We were looking at a very expensive storage area network (SAN) solution with third-party archiving, and our work with Microsoft Services consultants helped us to identify this DAS SATA solution, which costs about one-fifth as much,” said Andrew McNair, Wintel Infrastructure Manager, Cell C says. That represents a cost savings of about R1.8 million (U.S.$230,000).
2. Easy Online Mailbox Moves: MedcoEnergi wanted to improve availability for its increasingly mobile work force. Moving mailboxes between databases was time-consuming and required taking users offline. As a result, MedcoEnergi administrators worked at night or on weekends to avoid downtime. “With Exchange Server 2010, we can move mailboxes during office hours—in fact, I was accessing my own e-mail during a migration and I didn’t even realize it had happened,” said Cecep Saefudin, Manager-Infrastructure Services, Medco Energi Internasional.
3. Improved e-Discovery and Multi-mailbox Search: Binaria expects the new multi-mailbox search feature to help specialized users, such as compliance officers and auditors, improve their productivity. “We need to be able to search e-mail messages for legal reasons. In Chile, we have a finance code that requires us to keep all e-mail messages for a minimum of five years. It is a massive volume. We used to spend one or two days looking for information we needed for legal requirements. Now, with multi-mailbox search in Exchange Server 2010, we can find what we need in an hour or less. This is exactly what we were looking for, and it’s a key benefit for us,” said Julio Sandoval, Head of Middleware, Binaria. That’s a 90 percent improvement in discovery time for Binaria.
4. Save Costs with Server Consolidation: By consolidating multiple messaging environments into one high-availability solution, the City of Växjö is cutting IT costs. The city estimates that by deploying Exchange Server 2010 mailbox servers with direct-attached storage and SATA hard disk drives, it has saved more than $400,000 in hardware costs compared to the cost of deploying a SAN. It will also save up to $110,500 in labor costs through simplified administration. Moreover, although the city purchased new server computers for its Exchange Server 2010 solution, it expects an immediate return on investment in both licensing and hardware costs when it eliminates the existing six servers and the backup tape solutions running in its old environment. “Exchange Server 2010 is a much more affordable solution because we can use regular servers with direct-attached storage. So in addition to improving availability, we have saved a lot of money,” said Per Andersson, IT Manager at the City of Växjö.
5. Continuous Availability: Using Exchange Server 2010, Lion Nathan will improve its failover process and ability to support its new disaster recovery center. The company is implementing database availability group (DAG), a new capability that combines on-site and off-site data replication into a single high availability solution that helps protect its Exchange environment from downtime. “Because e-mail is such an important part of our business, the more redundancy and site resiliency we can build in, the better. With Exchange Server 2010, failover or switchover becomes an easily definable and executable process. Often the failover can be performed without users knowing that it occurred,” said Brett Watkins, Systems Manager, Lion Nathan.
6. Improved User Productivity: Mobitel will also be able to increase the size of employee mailboxes to 2 GB while also increasing the overall performance of the mailboxes. With access to their inboxes from the Outlook desktop client and Outlook Web App using the browser of their choice, the employees will have more flexibility in how they work. Finally, users can take advantage of features like conversation view and faster search capabilities to help them find the information they need more quickly. “Users will spend much less time searching and categorizing items in their inboxes, which will help them be more productive,” says Valentin Dominko, Head of IT Infrastructure, Mobitel.
7. Enhanced Role Based Access Control (RBAC): Carnival Cruise Lines plans to use the Role Based Access Control (RBAC) feature in Exchange Server 2010 to provide permissions to groups within its organization and better distribute management. Using RBAC, administrators can give teams such as security or help desk the rights to perform administrative tasks that align closely with their roles and areas of responsibility. “We have a widely distributed management model. The security team handles mailboxes and distribution lists. The operations team handles the day-to-day functionality of Exchange Server to keep it running. When we implement unified messaging, we’ll have a communications team responsible for that. Having RBAC roles within Exchange Server and the ability to customize them will help us to distribute administrative functionality in a more granular fashion than we could in the past,” said Tom DeLuca, Supervisor, End-User Engineering, Carnival Cruise Lines.
8. Improved System Uptime: Telecom Italia will use the new Database Availability Group feature to improve availability, and it will replace its five storage area networks with lower cost direct-attached storage. “With Exchange Server 2010, we expect to have better than 99.99 percent uptime for our employees. Overall, we will have much better availability than before,” said Maria Pia Abbagnano, Corporate Internet Messaging Services Manager, Telecom Italia. As a result, the company expects to save €350,000 (U.S.$520,000) annually in maintenance costs.
9. Greater Compliance: The Cell C IT department will use improved compliance features in Exchange Server 2010 such as retention capabilities and multi-mailbox search to reduce the amount of time spent on compliance activities “With Exchange Server 2010, we can give the auditors permission to pull mail out of mailboxes themselves. Now the nine hours a month I spend on compliance will be cut down to zero,” said Andrew McNair, Wintel Infrastructure Manager, Cell C.
10. Easy to use Retention Policies: Using retention policies in Exchange Server 2010, administrators can apply retention settings to specific items or folders in a mailbox, at a per-individual or per-organization level. The retention polices applied to messages appear inside the message, so employees can more easily identify when an e-mail is set to expire and, if necessary, move it to another folder to retain it beyond the expiration date. Employees can also set their own retention policies for any folder in the mailbox. “We can provide guidelines about what constitutes important messages they need to keep, but the technology really helps us by providing these retention policies,” said Paul Sanderson, Technical Lead, British Sky Broadcasting Group.
2009 was a challenging year for everyone, but it is exciting to see that Exchange 2010 organizations are improving everyday productivity and meeting the demand to do more with less.
If you haven’t done so already, the Exchange Server 2010 bits are available for download now. As always, keep the feedback coming!
Director, Exchange Product Management
Unique Solution Brings Communications Capabilities to People With Special Needs. Monday, 30 August 2010 11:06Written by Microsoft
In this post I’d like to bring your attention to an amazing solution developed by our partner ICT Wortell in the Netherlands. The solution, called ikpraat.nl (“I Talk” in English), is a secure, virtual communications environment on the Internet developed for people with mental limitations. The application, built on Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Office Communications Server, provides a simple UI that enables users to initiate email, instant message or video chatting in five easy steps. Many of us take these types of communications for granted, but they have not always been within everyone’s ability to use. In the video, we meet Roseanne, who now uses Office Communications Server to stay in touch with her brother. Having access to daily communication with loved ones is making a huge difference in these user’s lives.
Wortell, Microsoft Netherlands, and healthcare facility deHartekampgroep collaborated on the development of this communications solution. Using Microsoft SharePoint Server, they created a simplified, customizable user interface that makes it easier for people at different developmental levels to access the capabilities of Office Communications Server and Exchange Server.
I particularly like this story because it shows how relevant technology can be for improving people’s lives. So many opportunities exist to help people become less isolated in both their personal and professional lives through these technologies. When Wortell took advantage of the easy integration of Office Communications Server with other Microsoft software products, they created a solution that filled a gap and redesigned communications processes to make a huge impact on people’s lives. Creating these types of solutions provides a terrific opportunity for partners to develop deeper relationships with their existing customers and expand their customer base.
Product Manager, Office Communications Group
Microsoft OCS Licensing Changes Tuesday, 27 April 2010 13:16Written by Pam Avila
Microsoft recently released a licensing brief (Base and Additive Client Access Licenses: An Explanation) which details future licensing changes upcoming in the next release of OCS (OCS Wave 14).
Here is a summary of the key changes:
1) A new OCS Voice CAL:
- Will include the OCS Wave 14 voice capabilities plus some of the voice functionality in today’s OCS 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL (ECAL).
- Will be additive on top of the OCS Wave 14 Standard CAL.
- Can be licensed with or without the OCS Wave 14 Enterprise CAL.
- Will not be included in the Enterprise CAL when Wave 14 launches.
- Will include new voice capabilities that will enable “Enterprise Ready Voice” for future releases of OCS (beyond Wave 14).
2) The OCS Wave 14 Enterprise CAL price will decrease to reflect the move of the voice functionality to the new OCS Voice CAL.
3) Will my current OCS Enterprise CAL give me access to the new OCS Voice CAL?
- If you purchased your existing OCS Enterprise CAL after July 1, 2009 and before the release of OCS Wave 14, and your Software Assurance was maintained, you will have the equivalent access rights to the new OCS Voice CAL. You will then need to renew to OCS Voice CAL separately at your first renewal after the OCS Wave 14 launch.
- If you purchased your existing OCS Enterprise CAL before July 1, 2009 or did not buy or maintain Software Assurance, you will need to separately purchase the new OCS Voice CAL.
More information about OCS Wave 14 can be found here: Microsoft Announces Microsoft Communications Server “14”.
Consulting Firm AT Kearney Saves Costs with Microsoft Communications Server “14” Monday, 02 August 2010 13:30Written by Pam Avila
This month we're highlighting a video case study about AT Kearney who implemented a unified communications solution using Microsoft Communications Server “14” and other Microsoft technologies to improve the communication and collaboration among their employees while achieving significant cost savings. The flexibility of the solution also had a positive impact on the work-life balance for their mobile consultants.
AT Kearney is a leading management consulting firm headquartered in Chicago, IL, with more than 3400 employees in about 50 locations around the world. In looking for a unified communications solution that would integrate with their existing PBX environment, AT Kearney looked at a Cisco solution first. However, they found that the integration of Communications Server “14” with other Microsoft solutions to be a "game changer"; implementing a unified experience with Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Office Professional provided a superior user and admin experience, and was also more cost effective.
Kevin Rice, Global Network Architect | AT Kearney
With Communications Server “14” AT Kearney is able to leave their PBX in place and enhance it to give users a full unified communications experience in parallel to their phones. CS”14” connects to their existing PBX and uses Microsoft Communicator in addition to their existing PBX phone. The system can be configured so that Communicator rings whenever the PBX phone rings. This allows their mobile consultants to receive calls on the road or in their home office, and it gives them the option to use Communicator as a primary endpoint even in the office.
AT Kearney CTO John Laughhunn says, “The ability to tie OCS into our PBX environment is very key, it helps give access from anywhere on earth that you have an internet connection plus it helps drive down our costs. We can intelligently route that traffic to a local PBX when it’s possible. We can also provide online conferencing at virtually no cost, which is a huge component of our capabilities inside”.
Laughhunn also appreciates the new features in CS”14” such as skills based search, location awareness and E911, stating, “There’s great value in integration, and the capability to have access to multiple resources from one application. OCS does a very good job of that. Wave 14 is extending that and going more in to the capabilities and skills database area, location awareness, and extending the presence awareness capabilities.”
By choosing the Microsoft solution, AT Kearney avoided the additional cost of hardware and licensing that was required by the Cisco solution. Laughhunn calculates initial savings with the Microsoft solution to be a fraction of the cost, stating, “We saved about a half a million dollars in licensing and hardware savings and infrastructure capabilities just by deploying OCS.” Further, AT Kearney's Director of Global Operations, Michael Robbins says, "For every 10 percent of usage that we can move off of mobile telephones and onto OCS, we’ll save about half a million to a million dollars annually.”
“Because it was integrated and because it was a unified client, there wasn’t all these modular adding on of applications. So for example, with the Cisco solution you get a soft phone and if you wanted video you had to buy more software and licenses to add video to it. With the OCS client we have one piece of software that we loaded and updated and we manage it much more straightforward than we could with any other competitive model.”
John Laughhunn, Chief Technology Officer | AT Kearney
I particularly like the AT Kearney video because it shows how an enterprise company with a mostly mobile workforce, was able to take advantage of the new CS”14” Voice capabilities. They left their PBX in place and enhanced it to give their users a full unified communications experience parallel to their existing phone. Folks, you don’t need to throw away your existing PBX investment to deploy CS”14” Voice. Just enhance it!
Product Manager, Office Communications Group
Exchange 2010 – Revving the Engines for Launch Tuesday, 27 October 2009 02:10Written by Pam Avila
Two weeks ago we announced that Exchange 2010 was code complete and, as we get ready for launch, we’re seeing some amazing results from our early adopter customers. They are so good, that I can’t help sharing some of these early highlights – just a sneak peek of what is to come.
One server, many solutions
One of the things I’m most excited to see is the evolution of Exchange from an e-mail server to a multi-workload communications backbone. Some organizations are now bringing in Exchange to do the job once managed by four or five different systems, and the results are really impressive. With Exchange 2010, you’ve got a full e-mail, calendar and contacts solution, built-in information protection, built-in mobile e-mail and mobile device management, a full voice mail replacement, and a brand new archiving, retention and discovery solution. Exchange administrators have seen their roles grow from simply providing great e-mail to providing an end-to-end communications solutions. Customers are seeing impressive results in each of these workloads.
It does e-mail
It always has, but in 2010, it does it better. With the new high availability, disaster recovery and back up capabilities combined with the significant IO reduction a few very cool things become possible. First, what used to take multiple applications to achieve mailbox resiliency becomes possible using just Exchange. Second, a very large mailbox – even 10 gigs+ becomes very affordable and supportable. With Exchange 2010, a major government agency increased mailbox sizes by 10x, reduced failover times by four hours, decreased IT admin and storage costs and expects cost savings of up to $1 million per year with Exchange 2010.
It makes everyone mobile
Let’s face it – people want access to e-mail, calendar and contact information from everywhere. Outlook Web App, Outlook Mobile and Exchange Active Sync have long been the leading solutions for web e-mail and mobile phone access for businesses. But, we didn’t rest on our laurels with 2010, and it shows in the positive user feedback– from the improved OWA UI with integrated IM/presence, to conversation view in mobile, to EAS device management – every user can now have a rich mobile experience, while you don’t have to pay anything more since it’s all ‘in the box’.
It replaces voice mail (and gives a text preview!)
A mid-size innovative manufacturing company deployed Exchange 2010 voice mail avoiding a $43,000 annual maintenance contract for their legacy voice mail and reduced IT support required by more than 1000 hours – providing an additional $28,000 savings. And, with the new text preview, a national auto dealer has improved their sales rep response time to voice mails by 50%, which means a better sales experience for customers.
It archives and discovers
At a regional healthcare group, they are able to use the integrated archiving, retention and discovery capabilities of 2010 saving them the cost and maintenance of using third party solutions that resulted in $250,000 they didn’t have to spend – and that was just the first year savings.
It protects people
Using the combination of Exchange 2010 and Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server, a global electronics firm has seen a 90% reduction in unwanted e-mail, meaning less time deleting and more time making new gadgets for you and me. And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg -- there’s a lot more around information protection we’ll showcase at launch.
When you think about the full value of Exchange together it’s an impressive package! And, I’m really pleased that many of you clearly agree -- a recent customer survey we did showed that 40% of Exchange customers are planning to move to 2010 within the next 6 months. This certainly validates the feedback I’ve gotten from our customers and partners about the value delivered by Exchange 2010.
Since I know many of you are underway with deployment planning, I wanted to take this opportunity to make sure everyone knows the licensing options, so you can plan accordingly. Just like 2007, Exchange 2010 will offer a Standard CAL and an Enterprise CAL. Standard CAL includes all e-mail, calendar and contacts capabilities, mobile messaging with Exchange ActiveSync, plus the new over-the-air updates of Outlook Mobile on Windows Mobile 6.1+, and Outlook Web App. The Exchange Enterprise CAL adds e-mail archiving, discovery and retention functionality, integrated voice mail (i.e. unified messaging) and Forefront Protection for Exchange.
On the server side, Exchange Server Standard will now support high availability, so all customers can take full advantage of the new database availability group capabilities. Exchange Server Enterprise enables configurations with up to 100 databases per server.
All of the specifics around pricing and licensing will be available when we launch, but just to give you an idea, a customer buying a new license will pay about $55 for Standard CAL and about $35 for Enterprise CAL. Existing customers with Software Assurance, of course, only pay for the renewal of Software Assurance, so this price is much lower. And for the servers, a typical customer can expect to pay about $550 for Standard Server and $3200 for Enterprise Server. As you know, pricing depends on the license type you choose, and if you buy via one of the CAL suites further discounts apply, so definitely take this as a ballpark vs absolute. As always, your reseller partner or Microsoft rep can get you the specifics on pricing once Exchange 2010 is available.
I can’t wait to share more of the incredible results our Exchange 2010 customers are seeing and talk with you about your Exchange 2010 plans. I hope you can join us at TechEd Europe in Berlin, Exchange Connections in Las Vegas or online at www.thenewefficiency.com as we launch Exchange 2010. It’s going to be a great time!
Director of Exchange Marketing
Exchange 2010: Saving Money, Delighting Users, Protecting Communications Monday, 09 November 2009 02:00Written by Aerosetry
Today, at Tech∙Ed in Berlin we announced that Exchange 2010 is available. This version of Exchange is like no other for many reasons. One reason is that we built it as a service from the beginning, and over two years ago it became the e-mail service for universities around the world via our Live@Edu offering. In building Exchange 2010, we also broke new ground with low cost storage support, built-in archiving, and a truly unified inbox across the PC, phone and browser. Here we are today, with over 15 million users on the service, thousands of IT organizations testing Exchange Server 2010, thousands of technology consultants trained, and more positive buzz than we’ve ever had for a release of Exchange.
While this is an exciting day, it happens during a very challenging time. Your world is complicated. IT organizations like yours are under cost pressure like never before, and you need to justify every investment you make. Security, availability, data protection and compliance requirements are becoming more intense. The evolution of software-plus-services creates new possibilities that require you to think carefully about many decisions you make today. Today’s workers have high expectations – higher than ever before – of what technology can do to make them more productive in their jobs. These issues are particularly relevant for IT Professionals, like you, that make a living managing the communications technology for their organizations.
In building this release of Exchange, we’ve worked hard to address many of the issues you are facing. Let’s talk about cost savings. Exchange 2010 early adopters are consistently telling us that they are seeing huge savings from our new low-cost storage options. BGC Partners (one of the world’s leading inter-dealer brokers) has already saved $1 million by replacing their SAN with DAS (direct-attached storage) using Exchange 2010, and expects to save 50 percent on their storage costs. Morgan Keegan (a US-based investment firm) is cutting storage costs by 15% and has saved $400,000 in hardware costs by using DAS with Exchange Server 2010. Morgan Keegan expects to boost IT administrators’ productivity by up to 30 percent and reduce recovery time by 20 percent. What’s remarkable about these examples of storage cost savings with Exchange 2010 is that these companies are also dramatically increasing users’ mailbox size. We are seeing more and more companies now giving their users huge mailboxes -- like Elabs at 5GB; and Nasdaq at 10GB. Now, low cost storage AND large mailboxes are possible.
Built–in archiving and voicemail are two other areas where we are seeing IT organizations save money with Exchange 2010. TriWest Healthcare Alliance is saving about $250,000 with Exchange 2010 by avoiding the cost for an independent archiving and retention system, and Lifetime Products is saving over $70,000 per year by avoiding a 3rd party voice-mail contract. Today Forrester released a study of Exchange 2010 “Total Economic Impact” where they found that organizations can expect a 48% ROI with Exchange 2010 and a payback period of under 6 months.
Last week we announced the amazing progress we are making in helping organizations efficiently manage e-mail by moving all or some of their users to the cloud. Exchange Online (part of our Business Productivity Online Suite) is now available in 36 countries, and in recent months some of the new customers we have added include Aon Corporation, Aviva PLC, Barry-Wehmiller, Hofstra University, Lions Gate Entertainment, McDonald’s Corporation, Rexel Group, Swedish Red Cross, Tyco Flow Control, University of Ohio, and Westcon. Hundreds of others have chosen the Business Productivity Online Suite in recent months. Here’s what McDonald’s is saying about Microsoft Online:
“Within McDonald’s, collaboration and communication tools are critical to our success and ongoing innovation, and with Microsoft Online Services, we found a cost-effective yet familiar, intuitive solution that we could trust with our business communications. We have already completed over half of the corporate rollout and, by early in the next year, we will be fully deployed throughout our organization. With Microsoft Online Services, we expect to reduce our IT costs and increase our productivity.” -- Chris Millington, global chief technology officer and senior vice president of Shared Services, McDonald’s
Exchange 2010 is delighting end users by unifying communications within a single inbox. With the new Voice Mail Preview (possibly my favorite new feature!), you get a speech-to-text preview of voice mails right in Outlook, and with new SMS Text Messaging, you can send and receive texts from your inbox. So all your communications – for e-mail, IM, voice mail and text messages – are in one spot. One of my favorite things to show my family, friends and customers (or anyone willing to let me demo for them!) is MailTips. MailTips warn me – before I send an e-mail – if a recipient is out of office, if I am about to send a mail to a large group, or if a recipient is outside of the company. I know this will help me from committing an embarrassing e-mail gaffe!
In addition to saving me from embarrassment, MailTips are also a first line of defense in protecting company data – by warning me before I send information outside of the company. In addition to giving me – as an e-mail user – more ways to protect company information, Exchange 2010 also gives IT the ability to encrypt messages based on sender, receiver or even the content of the message and attachments (for example, anything with the phrase “internal use only”). And with the latest release of Forefront Protection for Exchange, IT can add an additional layer on top of what is built in to Exchange 2010.
So - starting today - we hope IT professionals like you will enjoy learning more about Exchange 2010 and trying it out for yourself. You can see our launch keynotes from Tech∙Ed Berlin (including my on-stage demo!), Exchange Connections in Las Vegas, and lots of cool demos at our virtual launch – www.thenewefficiency.com. Enjoy!
Director, Microsoft Exchange
Cisco: Just Like Any Other Office Communications Server ISV? Thursday, 03 December 2009 10:38Written by Aerosetry
I’m always excited to hear about third party applications written to the Office Communications Server developer interfaces, and Cisco’s UC Integration™ for Microsoft Office Communicator (CUCIMOC) is no different: each and every application testifies to the momentum of our unified communications products with end customers and to the openness and flexibility of our platform. Our platform interfaces make it easy for developers to integrate communications within applications, and are getting even better. Have you ever said that about your legacy IP PBX?
Many ISVs have already taken advantage of these platform interfaces, as highlighted in our Partner Showcase. Great examples include Schlumberger, who integrated UC functions within Petrel, their reservoir modeling software, PostCTI, who uses OCS federation to provide web-based call recording, and Aspect, who added IM and presence to their contact center solutions. I expect to hear about more and more applications as the Developer Community continues to grow.
What about Cisco and CUCIMOC? In some respects, Cisco is like the other ISVs who develop applications on our platform: they used our published APIs to develop an add-on application and can leverage our developer support options as necessary. Cisco developed CUCIMOC independently, not jointly with Microsoft as some customers have been led to believe, and is solely responsible for its support at end customers. Have a problem with Adobe Acrobat? Call Adobe. Have a problem with CUCIMOC? Call Cisco.
CUCIMOC is unlike most other ISV applications in that its goal is to replace many built-in features of Office Communicator rather than to enhance or extend them. We believe that the native functionality in Office Communicator provides a much better and more complete user experience than CUCIMOC, and that SIP-based server interconnection, as documented in this joint statement, is a less complex and more cost-effective integration technique than adding additional software to every desktop as recommended by Cisco. For anyone considering CUCIMOC or any other substitutive application, we suggest the following:
· Make sure you know what you’re buying. If an application is presented as an alternative to the OCS Enterprise CAL, make sure it includes everything in the Enterprise CAL – not just click to call and a soft phone, but also desktop sharing and multi-party audio, video, and web conferencing. If it doesn’t, make sure you know how much more you have to pay and how many more desktop applications you have to deploy to close the gaps.
· Assess the user experience. Add-on applications present their own interfaces, which users must learn and then adopt. Is the add-on intuitive and easy to use? Will users have seamless communications across IM, video, voice, and collaboration? Or will transitions be disjointed or even impossible? Can users take advantage of a full set of communications capabilities away from their offices?
· Determine the cost of deploying and supporting the add-on, including other desktop software implications. Is integration on user desktops less or more complex than SIP-based server integration qualified and supported as per Microsoft’s Open Interoperability Program? Does the vendor software work with the rest of your desktop environment? For example, if Windows 7 migration is important to you, does the vendor roadmap for support, such as Cisco's, match your deployment timeline?
If you’re still unsure after the assessment, do a side-by-side comparison: run a pilot with some people on CUCIMOC and some on Microsoft enterprise voice, and compare the user experience, the capabilities, and the cost of ownership for yourself. If you believe that communication and collaboration is about more than an IP-phone and click to call, then you’ll see that Office Communication Server offers a better and richer user experience at lower complexity and cost.
And if you ultimately choose not to deploy our enterprise voice? There are many paths to adopting unified communications, and we want you to be successful with our products regardless of which path you take and how much of our stack you deploy today. If it makes sense for you to continue using your existing Cisco phones, with or without CUCIMOC, that’s okay: you can still take advantage of the tremendous productivity and cost savings benefits of Microsoft Unified Communications by integrating Exchange Unified Messaging and OCS audio, video, and web conferencing with all of your existing phone systems, Cisco included.
We’re committed to providing your users with a great UC experience working with the infrastructure you choose.
OCS Senior Product Manager
Title: IBM Panasonic “Win” = Keeping a Notes Customer Thursday, 14 January 2010 18:31Written by Aerosetry
In advance of Lotusphere, IBM is touting a big cloud win with Panasonic who they claim will be using LotusLive for 380,000 people, and IBM is claiming this as a replacement of Microsoft Exchange. These claims around Panasonic compel me to shed some light on the real facts. Panasonic, which has just under 300,000 employees, was already using Notes worldwide, and fewer than 4% of their employees were using Exchange Server – most of them in North America. As with many recent IBM claims, this win is little more than keeping an existing customer. Then again, with a multi-year trend of declining Lotus market share, perhaps keeping an existing customer is a win.
Beyond IBM’s spin, the important aspect this news is the impact of the cloud. We know from years of delivering Microsoft Online Services that there is growing worldwide interest in software plus services, especially among Notes customers who make up 70% of Exchange Online and SharePoint Online customers. IBM’s approach reinforces Microsoft’s Software plus Services strategy. Giving customers choice and flexibility in software delivery is an important evolution for the cloud. The cloud is here, and for an increasing number of businesses, it is ready for prime time.
Director, Exchange Product Management