A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to present the Exchange Server session at the latest Redmond edition of Microsoft Partner 101. Since I had only 30 minutes to speak on a number of potential topics around the Exchange business, I decided to prioritized my pitch to cover the considerable partner opportunity there is to help our mutual customers move from Exchange 2003 to our latest release (which, by the way, is 100% aligned with one of our key business priorities for FY11). Now, this probably sounds like a new release “motherhood and apple pie” statement, but you don’t have just take our word for it.
We continue to hear – from numerous sources like our field, partners, and third-parties – that there is a LOT of excitement behind Exchange 2010.
Heck, it even won an InfoWorld 2011 Technology of the Year Award just last month.
And, as one of our partners shared with me on a recent call, “customers really want to get their organizations to this release!”
Having these Exchange tidbits in my back pocket means I get to open my presentations on Exchange Server 2010 by sharing some of these business momentum fun facts:
- 60% of organizations with Exchange 2003/2007 plan to upgrade in the next year: Okay, we’ll start with our research first. As you’ve likely heard from one of our recent posts about the waning Lotus Notes install base, we do a lot of research into the state of email across businesses. In one such study conducted last year amongst our mid-to-large sized customers in the U.S., we asked folks on earlier versions of Exchange, “Hey, do you expect to upgrade to Exchange 2010?” and “If so, when?”. Well, we had a resounding response that two-thirds are ready to move, and move soon! These folks will be looking to you to get them there. And, think about the fact you not only have a chance to move them to a new release, you can help them design their an updated HA/DR/Backup strategy utilizing new mailbox resiliency features like the Database Available Group, and help them remove those aging, old school voicemail systems by rolling out integrated Unified Messaging.
- 76% of respondents plan to move to Exchange 2010: According to “The Exchange Report” (a Computing whitepaper commissioned by Mimecast in September) 76% of the 250 IT decision makers at some of the largest organizations in the U.K. are ready to move. Their biggest motivation? 65% of them said “the new features were behind their upgrade decision”. When you add to the fact we rapidly responded to customer and partner feedback on the initial release of Exchange 2010, with an action packed SP1 last August, you don’t need to speculate for long that customers are ready to have discussions about the product. Even Windows IT blogger Paul Robichaux has called 2011 the year of the upgrade in his Fearless Predictions for the 2011 Exchange Server World. Another data point comes via Scott Lowe of TechRepublic who shared in September 2010 his results of a poll where “54% of the 433 respondents’ organizations have the newest version of Exchange in their future (11% have already made the change).” Neat!
- 301% risk-adjusted ROI with a breakeven point (payback period) of 7.4 months after deployment: Talk about a compelling story to land with your Exchange 2003 customers! This stunning stat comes by way of Forrester Consulting’s “Total Economic Impact of Implementing Microsoft’s Productivity Platform”. Granted, this is inclusive of more than just email, but when you think about how much Exchange 2010 can help you land and light-up Office 2010, Lync, and SharePoint 2010, it’s one heck of a pitch to walk your customers through. But wait, there’s more: you can share that upgrading to Exchange 2010 could yield 48% ROI with a payback period of less than six months per the “Total Economic Impact of Exchange 2010” just on its own.
- The only vendor to receive a “Strong Positive” rating in the Gartner MarketScope for E-mail Systems: This June 2010 Gartner report is another fantastic conversation starter and best if followed up with another report from June 2010 where Microsoft is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of the Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Wireless E-Mail.
- SP1 shipped: While I’m the first to stand up and say the RTM release was the most thoroughly tested version of Exchange (thanks in part to our Live@EDU program enabling use to roll out code to millions of mailboxes before we even reached beta), we know there is a warm and fuzzy feeling about having the SP1 on hand before deploying. And, as history has shown before, there is a tremendous bump in interest and implementation in the 12-18 months following the availability of the service pack. Translation: the time is now and all the pieces are in place! Especially when you look at the number of improvements we made, based on your feedback, around the archiving and discovery features as well as Outlook Web App, Voicemail, and more! (BTW, you can see some semi-classic footage of me talking through the archiving updates when we shipped the beta of SP1).
I could go on and on, but there’s a ton of Microsoft news out there today (like the long list of new features coming to Windows Phone 7 this year!), so I’ll save a few more (hopefully) motivating tidbits about why the proverbial iron is hot for a future post.
That said, it would be great to hear what you’ve been experiencing and what can my team do to help make this opportunity even easier for you to tap.
Happy Valentine’s Day!