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 activitiesWith 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!  

 

Julia White 
Director, Exchange Product Management