Looking for customers under 500 employees/users for the Exchange 12 TAP program


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

Comments (15)
  1. Christopher says:

    You’re asking me to inconvenience my organization by deploying pre-release (unstable, admit it) software that every single employee uses CONSTANTLY; and then you offer nothing in return. The "privelege" to test something for you and actually talk to you about your bugs is not an incentive. If you had added that you would give me the release version for free, with the same level of licenses that I currently have for Exchange 2003: Then I’d be all over this. My company (50 people, 2 exchange servers in a front-end/back-end config) would be willing to put up with some email problems for a free upgrade of Exchange. But alas, the only incentive you offer is a firm poke in the eye.

  2. Matthew Loraditch says:

    I sent my email in, we are a small company with about 120 email users, and i’d love to join TAP. It seems to me MS seems to focus more on the big guy and doesn’t always worry about how to make the little guys job easier so helpfully if we get in we can help with that!

  3. Bozford says:

    Christopher,

    MS isn’t asking YOU to DO anything. They are asking if you are INTERESTED in doing something. Quit being so indignant at being given an option to have input. You aren’t interested. We get it. Quit whining about it.

    Do I agree with you that MS should offer the server for free as a thank you? Absolutely. Do you see me griping because I have the OPTION to participate? Nope.

    Try being a little more constructive next time instead of a whiney weenie.

  4. odin2 says:

    Christopher,

    Hey maybe you don’t know this but if you are an MCP (Microsoft Certified Partner) you get all the Microsoft software for free. I get CD’s every month of the latest version of software with a volume license attached to it for my company to use. Oh and if I were to lose the CD? I can always download it from the MSDN site. I work for a smaller company http://www.onsitetechnology.com than everyone here which is why I definately want to get into this test program. The smallest voice will be the loudest!

    Odin

  5. Jørgen Flaten says:

    I tried to send an email becuase I would love to participate in the E12 TAP. But I got a delivery failure back. Tried from two email accounts, with same error. Is the adress correct?

  6. Matthew Loraditch says:

    Jorgen, I didn’t have a problem perhaps their mailbox is full? what is the error, that should say so if that is the case

  7. Christopher says:

    Whiney weenie lol. Yes I see how my comment could be read as whiney.

    If you will permit me to restate:

    I would love to participate. I love giving feedback. But if participating requires deploying pre-release code into my "production" environment then I’ll need more incentive that I can use to sway my executives to agree to the risk.

    And so the reason that I post feedback at all is to let MS know that they are missing an opportunity for feedback because they "free stuff" isn’t there. My frustration in the fact that I could not participate in this program resulted in my wording as a whiney weenie. A lesson learned…

    Were it a chance to comment on the new version in a non-production environment, then I’d be all over it.

    Odin thanks for note.

  8. Exchange says:

    Christopher,

    There will be a separate beta program next year, which is where you can evaluate it in a test environment. The TAP is a special program with a very specific goal of production deployments – thus the "A" for Adoption :-) The TAP should not be confused with the concept of a beta program as it is a much more intensive, higher-touch program than a beta.

    – KC Lemson

  9. TowerDave says:

    I am running SBS2K3 SP1 on my server here at home. I have 5 users on my home network. I use OWA. I am willing to test Exchange 12 on my production server, or do I need to wait for a specific version to beta test for SBS?

    I’m sure you are looking for environments with more users, but I’ll test if you are willing and my server meets the requirements.

    TowerDave

  10. dimitris says:

    @Christopher: I am willing to participate – roaring to go actually – for two main reasons.

    1. Because I think that the product will be stable enough already. I was in a TAP project for Windows 2003 (I used to get a new build every week and put in one of the sites with the highest peak traffics in my country) because I knew that IIS6 will be a far better product than IIS5 – even at beta. Same applies here. I have Exchange 2003 I am very happy for its performance in the last 18 months, I have migrated from NT4/5.5 in one of our locations so I take the stability for granted. I dont consider it a risk. You may but some of us dont.

    2. I am not happy with the utilization of the capabilites of Outlook 2003 by my colleagues and I think that it is here that we are going to see the big (productivity wise) improvements in this release. This is a risk I am happy to take.

    However I will be glad if during the TAP – if accepted – we are to get some feedback about the usability issues that our office clients will provide to MS (i.e. feedback on our feeback). In addition I will be eager to know if we shall have any kind of centralised support point the way Vista and Longhorn promise (where users ask for support – sent issues to a location that you define, when this happens).

    Anyhow everyone gets what he/she deserves (husbands their wifes, companies their IT departments etc). And to philosophise a bit more about it… I will close with an old greek saying… the things that dont get redeemed, do get interest. So even if you dont get your free software you may have saved your company in productivity over that time, or you will get something else in a new company that will need someone to install this software etc etc.

  11. Exchange says:

    Jorgen – I have been receiving many nominations per day, so I am confident that there is not a problem on my end.

  12. Robbie says:

    Can I ask, when are you going to contact those who have made it into the TAP program, my boss keeps asking. Is there a cut off time that we should assume we did not make it in.

    Thanks

  13. Exchange says:

    Hi Robbie,

    Sorry for the delay – the selections have been made, and the invitations will go out in the next few days. We won’t be sending the rejections until we receive acceptances from most of the invitees, because if one of the invited customers decines the invitation, then we want to have a backup customer to invite next.

    I expect the whole process to be completed by mid-November. Sorry for the delay!

    – KC Lemson

  14. Robbie says:

    Thanks for the quick responce, fingers crossed we have been selected !!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Seeing that the Exchange 12 CTP build has been available for some time now, we have learned that some…

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