Bridging the gap….

subtitle - an overuse of parentheticals....

An email came across an internal alias today that really got me thinking....I am going to quote a portion of it here.....

The weirdest thing happened tonight – my Outlook said it was connected. To Exchange Server. From my home network. Which had no RAS/PPTP set up. No smart card plugged in. Weird.

 I had never known this was possible before, and thought it  had somehow detected that I had OWA opened in an IE window.

The reference is to Outlook and RPC over HTTP (incorrectly named IMO since it is actually RPC through HTTP(s)) or what is now called Outlook Anywhere in Outlook 2007/Exchange 2007.

The simplest definition of this is that Outlook (since Outlook 2003) has had the ability (with a properly configured Exchange environment) to connect to it's home Exchange server, over the Internet, without the use of a VPN. It is an unbelievable time saver for those of us at MS that would otherwise have to whip out a SmartCard, enter a PIN, establish a VPN, clear quarantine and only then be able to delete our spam (and of course read and respond to email). I am sure a few of our customers out there appreciate this feature as well.

This is not new. We have been able to do this for a couple of years now. When I say "we" I mean anyone with Exchange 2003 or later and Outlook 2003 or later. Which makes me wonder how much of a gap there is between our marketing/training and our customers. I am in front of IT Pros almost every day. I have always been amazed at the response I get to some of the technologies or features (and sometimes entire products!) I speak about that our customers don't know exist. But when our own employees don't (for the record, no one at MS knows everything about every product.....but Outlook? EVERY employee uses Outlook!)

This is why I love what I do. Those light bulb moments I get to see. But it is also a little unnerving to know that there is so much education to do with our customers (and our employees). I define what I do as - Traveling the world spreading the word about our products and technologies. Problem is I only really get to do this in a handful of states in the US. But that is what this blog is for - to help bridge the gap....



Comments (1)

  1. UPDATE – I forgot to mention….I even have this implemented on my server Exchange server at home. Under Exchange 2003 it isn’t a cakewalk to implement, but Exchange 2007 is pretty darn simple.


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