We have a few openings on the E12 Technology Adoption Program (TAP) for some small and medium companies (less than 500 employees/users). The E12 TAP program is designed to validate Exchange 12 by having customers test and deploy pre-release builds of the next version of Exchange. This gives participants the opportunity to provide design feedback to the Exchange product development team. During the program you are provided free support from Microsoft Product Support Services for issues with E12.  The program timeline requires a commitment from now through the end of 2006.

(On a related note, Ewan wrote a summary about our TAP program last year, check that out for some more info.)

What's in it for TAP customers?

    • Opportunity to provide feedback on E12, the next version of Exchange, directly to the product team.
    • Conference calls with members of the product team.
    • Production grade pre-release builds of E12.
    • Access to free Microsoft Support (PSS) for E12 issues for the duration of the E12 TAP program.
    • A head start in the next deployment cycle, taking advantage of new and enhanced features available in Exchange E12.
    • KC's eternal gratitude. :-)

    What do I have to commit to in order to participate in the E12 TAP?

      • Jump through a few legal hoops, signing a TAP agreement, NDA and a few other documents.
      • Deploy pre-RTM versions of Exchange E12 in your production environment.
      • Commit to timely response of survey and feedback requests from Microsoft.
      • Commit to providing resources for TAP activities for the duration of the program - people/time as well as machines.
      • Provide us with deployment plans, including details of network topologies and EXBPA output reports.  (Required before we can give production approval for the pre-release code.)

    What makes a good TAP customer?

    Here are some qualities of a great TAP:

    • Willing to dedicate the resources (people/time and machine) to testing the product as well as running it in production before RTM.
    • Did I mention production yet? :-) We find that we get some of our best feedback through production deployments, and so we will prioritize nominations from customers willing to be aggressive in their production rollouts higher.
    • Responsive to our requests for feedback (such as responding to surveys and attending conference calls).
    • Gives constructive criticism with context - don't just stop at "foo sucks", but "here's why foo sucks for my exchange environment, and here's why I think bar would be better".
    • Gives feedback even when not requested. We may not have sent a survey out or had a call about a topic, but if something about the product is problematic for you (or you love it! :-), we want to know.

    I would like to participate. What's next?

    [Update 10/18/2005: We have received so many nominations that we are closing nominations and further submissions will not be considered.]

    • Company Name
    • Email address/name of a contact person at the company
    • How many employees/users you have at your organization (we're looking for organizations with fewer than 500)
    • What e-mail software those mailboxes are currently running on (if it's split across multiple versions of Exchange or other products, please tell us how many are on which product/product version)
    • How many servers and mailboxes you are willing to put in production on E12 by February 2006.

    Note: that this is a nomination process, not a guarantee. If the above sounds interesting, send us an email at the address listed above. We'll send you a survey with more detail about the areas of the product you're interested in, and then we'll choose customers to invite to the TAP from those who respond to that survey.

    We'll choose customers based on the commitments they're willing to make to the program (both for testing and production), the number of spaces we have open, and how the customer's profile fits into our existing set of TAPs (we want to make sure we have a wide variety of TAPs across many verticals and regions, who don't all plan on using the product in the exact same way).

    - KC Lemson