Earlier today, we unveiled a brand new partner program aimed at helping our mutual customers--both IT Pros and the users they support--simplify the task of selecting the best Exchange ActiveSync capable mobile devices, which in turn offer a premium experience with Exchange or Exchange Online.

Dubbed the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program, this new program will enable you to drive an even richer mobility discussion with your customers as they seek to get a better handle on the increasing number of devices that users are purchasing, bringing to the office, and expecting to have access to their email, calendar and contacts from Exchange. No doubt you’ve got customers who are asking you how to best safeguard their corporate data, manage these additional end-points, and ensure these devices will not generate endless helpdesk calls because relied upon functionality is not supported or doesn’t work as expected.

“So, how does this program actually work?” you might ask.

5619_MS_Exchange_ActiveSync_rgb_240x240_WhtIn exchange (no pun intended) for developing a mobile email client that meets a set of requirements (specifically 14 of them, which is just a coincidence that Exchange 2010 was codenamed Exchange “14”), which is tested and validated by a third-party firm, these handset manufacturers receive a nifty logo they can incorporate into their device’s UI and use in their marketing of the qualified device. 

These requirements include important security functionality such as remote wipe and password enforcement, as well as user features that streamline setup (i.e., support for Autodiscover) and boost user productivity (e.g., HTML formatted email and the ability to look up contacts in the company’s GAL).  Ultimately, we feel this will elevate the feature set provided by the various Exchange ActiveSync licenses (like Apple and Nokia), adding even more benefit to the “de facto standard” status EAS has garnered since being included in Exchange 2003.

You can learn a bunch more about which devices are qualified as of today from the various links I’ve shared above, but know that we have a very healthy pipeline of name brand partners (both handset OEMs and mobile operators) that are rapidly developing offerings to send through the validation process. So, stay tuned for additional partner announcements down the road.

In the meantime, here’s what I suggest you do as partners:

There’s certainly many more things having this program in your back pocket can unlock vis-à-vis your customer engagements.  To help support you, we’ll be providing more details and some supportive content up on the Exchange page of the MPN Portal.  Watch for more info and tools there over the coming weeks, and (as always) let us know what more we can do to help support you in delivering this message to our mutual customers.

Ian Hameroff
Group Product Manager
Exchange Partner Marketing