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Survey Tracks Exchange 2010 Migration Plans

A company-sponsored study found that 44 percent of surveyed organizations plan to migrate to Microsoft Exchange 2010 in the next 18 months.

However, it's no surprise, given the current economy, that organizational budget constraints may foul up that prediction. The survey found that 57 percent of respondents cited the "overall IT budget" as the principal reason for not planning to migrate to Exchange 2010.

Microsoft's newest messaging server product has been on the market for about six months, with Exchange 2010 released in November of last year. According to the survey, which had a small sample size of 150 organizations, many respondents (44 percent) plan to wait for the first service pack before moving to the new product. And that may happen in a few months' time, as Microsoft has announced that Service Pack 1 for Exchange 2010 will arrive "later this year."

Osterman Research Inc. conducted the survey for Seattle-based Azaleos, which has a vested interest in the topic. Azaleos provides hosted e-mail and collaboration services for midmarket and larger organizations. The Microsoft partner company launched an integrated management service last year that works with hosted and premises-based Exchange environments, as well as hybrid deployments.

Survey respondents had a few other reasons why they didn't plan to move to Exchange 2010. Some were happy with their current non-Microsoft solution (43 percent) or it was considered too difficult to switch from their non-Microsoft platform (31 percent).

The report found that 59 percent of users considered switching to Exchange 2010 to add flexibility to their e-mail infrastructure. An earlier survey by Osterman cited support for unified communications, mobile workers and larger mailbox storage as reasons to make the switch. Using virtualization with Exchange was also a motivating factor for nearly half of respondents.

Respondents were confused by some of the enhancements in Exchange 2010, such as archiving (22 percent). With the new archiving feature in Exchange 2010, IT pros will be able to manage e-mail retention policies and will have some e-discovery and search improvements. However, Exchange 2010 archiving doesn't support offline access and SharePoint repositories can't be searched. The e-discovery capability is considered "basic" compared with other software vendor offerings, according to the report.

The report predicted sharp decreases in older Exchange product use. In the 2009 to 2011 time frame, Exchange 2003 use will decrease from 45 percent to 6 percent. Over the same period, Exchange 2007 use will decrease from 51 percent to 38 percent.

The survey, "Embracing Exchange 2010: Momentum, Migration and Growth in the New World of Messaging," was conducted by Osterman Research in February and March. It included only respondents in organizations with at least 1,000 employees.

Azaleos' Web site offers a free download of the 10-page survey here, although it requires registration to access it.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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