Why MITIE chose Exchange Server – after evaluating Google Apps


At EHLO, we love customer success stories about Exchange! How Exchange, Outlook and Office make users’ lives better, improve productivity, and make work fun is what excites us. Today’s post is the second in a series of customer testimonials we bring you to highlight what we’re hearing about Exchange from our customers. In this post, David Aird shares his thoughts about why MITIE chose Exchange 2007.

I’m David Aird, Head of IT for MITIE, the strategic outsourcing company. When we were ready to replace our email system, we had several key considerations that we looked at. Like most companies we were looking for a solution that was competitively priced. While cost was important, we also had to be able to trust the solution we put in place would meet our business needs, work well with our existing technologies and wouldn’t require additional training for the 6000+ desktops we manage.

We looked at Google. They were competitively priced but with only three years in the productivity space, they lacked maturity and seemed like a risky investment. Usability was also problematic. Google Apps was missing some of the key features and functionality we needed. Although their price was attractive, it was clear that any short term savings we gained would likely be lost over the long haul and could cause a lot of headaches with an unfamiliar look and feel, training requirements and issues with not being well integrated with other products in our toolset.

We also thought about Microsoft Business Online Productivity Suite but decided the subscription model wasn’t right for us quite yet. Ultimately, we choose Exchange 2007 for its manageability, reliability and enterprise class support. Despite all the recent focus on the cloud, we’re not quite ready to move our data outside of our immediate control. When we do, we’ll do it on our terms rather than being forced into a fit that’s not right for our business. That may mean keeping some of our existing IT systems and moving others to the cloud. Ultimately, we believe Microsoft currently provide MITIE with the most flexibility and the best path forward for our business.

Comments (10)
  1. GoodThings2Life says:

    Exchange 2007?! Wow. I deployed Exchange 2010 at the start of the year and wouldn’t dream of looking back. Plus, as I roll out my new Cisco UC platform in the next couple months, I’m excited to turn on the Exchange UC features for everyone, not just myself (have been my own guinea pig for the past several months).

  2. Fuadsm says:

    It is a very good decision but still not clear why they chose to drop GoogleApps and also we don’t know what was their old messaging system. I support them specially with the huge number of users they have. 6000+ means by implementing Exchange they are creating their own cloud and future success options.

    I am one of the most excited fans of exchange since exchange 2003 up to exchange 2010 with its unbelievable UC features and integration that lead us to kick other products. Great job Microsoft.

  3. AntonyWillis says:

    As GoodThings2Life said – 2007!?!

    Would be good know know what key features and functionality was needed.

    Would have been good to see how the costs stack up?

    Similar case study on:

    http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/06/brown-university-has-gone-google.html

  4. Pastor of Muppets says:

    I think another consideration in Google Apps vs. BPOS vs. Exchange 2010 is the vendor support. Google is doing a great job on selling on price- and if price is the only consideration, then they are hard to beat. However, their product support is abysmal, to put it kindly. Having dealt first hand with getting support from them on their Postini offering, well, lets just say that if you need a vendor to offer poor documentation and not return calls- even when you call every day on the same issue asking for any kind of status report whatsoever such that it takes 6 weeks to finally resolve with "oh yeah, we’ll have that feature next year", then Google is hands down the way to go. I can’t imagine being in a situation with them where I’ve got a CxO breathing down my neck for an answer, and all I can say is "well, they’re not returning my calls, and I can’t make them call me. The service has to be completely down for them to escalate."

    Google is an advertising company that started out by making a search engine. Keep that in mind. They’re merely dabbling in the enterprise at this point, and the enterprise makes up but a tiny sliver of their revenue. At least Microsoft knows where their bread is buttered.

    Are Google’s enterprise offerings any good? Sure- they’re as good as the requirements they fulfill for your enterprise. God help you if you need post-sales support, however- in that regard, they are showing their immaturity.

  5. Chris says:

    Well, in my -and my company’s- opinion there leads no way to google. We’ve gone with MS Exchange since 5.5 till the great 2010.But although I worked with other Systems like Domino/Notes which offers more flexibility at the groupware funtions – I think for me Exchange leads the way. Google did great work, but I thinks it isn’t worth to take a look in enterprise environments.

    Great work, thumbs up for the MS Exchange Team.

  6. itguru says:

    Last week, we finished migrating 3500 users from GroupWise to Exchange 2007.  Fun project and interesting experience to see the users and the IT folks shifting from an application they’ve been using for ages to Microsoft platform.  From users’ perspective, we installed outlook 2007, and they loved it. It’s more feature-rich compare to GroupWise.  There were few nice features in GroupWise that outlook didn’t have, but the users didn’t care about it that much.  From the IT guys perspective, there were two groups, Group A, Pro-Microsoft, they like working with MS products and familiar with Exchange and MS clustering. Group B, Pro-Novell, let’s say….. They rather stay on Novell for another 100 years! We’ve installed Exchange 2007 w/CCR in 2 physical locations.  We also enable UC for all users and OCS for 400 users.

    Microsoft-Exchange team are doing great job by simplifying administration and usability, and also adding great features and having it integrate with other MS products such as Office 2010, SharePoint, etc.

  7. iMeerkat says:

    @ITGuru and @Exchange, Completely with GoodThings2Life on this, Why EX2007? In my opinion it is riskier to deploy than EX2010 from a business risk point of view. What was the driving force to go back 3 years in time? A little more detail please.

  8. itguru says:

    @iMeerkat: it was per client request. They spent $1000s of dollars for someone to write them a proposal document for Exchange 2007. I personally would rather see Ex2010 in production. But hey … you go with what your client tells you to do  :).. Cheers

  9. Keosaki says:

    To be honest I am not a big fan of Microsoft. But having said that, their Technical support team for Exchange is very superlative and it has always been a pleasure working with the exchange support folks at PSS.

    I will not say the same thing for Google.

  10. jessysmithpoo says:

    Keosaki: i seocnd that. Great support within a reasonable amount of time. Keep up the good work!

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