What a fun week on the UC Blog!  We saw lots of spirited comments from the Notes community, especially in response to my Monday post.  Certainly, there is a lot of passion among Notes users.  There is a lot of passion in the Exchange community, as well, but a decision on your email and messaging system needs to be based on more than emotion.

I wanted to take the opportunity to provide a little more background on the statistics I cited in Monday’s blog post.  The Exchange team commissioned the research through Ipsos, a global survey-based market research company.  We chose Ipsos based on their ability to conduct an unbiased survey from a random sample of organizations with results that we use to inform our business.  The study’s results are unbiased and statistically significant and we present the results to you. But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the Gartner report and blog posts I have referenced in a previous post, talk to experts, ask your colleagues in the industry.

We also wanted to allow our customers and Partners to tell their story this week.  Toshiba discussed their move from Notes to Exchange and SharePoint on Tuesday, and it was Russian steel and mining giant, Severstal, on Thursday.  And on Wednesday, our Exchange Partners told their story of helping their customers off of Notes. 

As some of the comments from the previous blog points out, moving to cloud services is the next frontier – something I very much agree with.  Our Exchange Online offering has seen fantastic uptake and the demand for Office 365 is even greater.  For customers looking to get off of Notes, moving to Exchange Online is increasingly becoming the favored option.  With Exchange Online, customers get the great Exchange and Outlook experience they desire, but don’t have to go through the internal server changes and have much less IT admin re-training.

On this note, I wanted to end the week with one of our customers leveraging Exchange Online to replace Notes, Godiva Chocolatier.  Godiva had to decide whether they were going to update their Notes infrastructure or move to a new solution.  The Notes client wasn’t very intuitive and Godiva’s employees wanted better integration of email with Microsoft Office.

Godiva had outsourced their Notes infrastructure, so a cloud-based service made the most sense.  With Exchange Online and Office, Godiva found the solution they needed.  Employee feedback confirms the choice.

“User response has been overwhelmingly positive. Our employees are thrilled to have a modern, familiar email program, which makes them more efficient and productive.”  Mike Strause, Information Technology Architect, Global Shared Services at Godiva Chocolatier

Plus, Godiva is saving $250,000 a year in maintenance and hosting fees associated with their previous Notes infrastructure.  Not bad for 1,400 seats.  And Godiva has already started using Lync Online and will soon turn on SharePoint Online.

You can read more about Godiva’s move from Notes to Microsoft Online Services here and some of the many customers using Microsoft Online Services, such as Volvo and DuPont, on the Microsoft Online Services Team Blog.

Julia White

Senior Director, Exchange Product Management