I am just back from the latest in a series of Microsoft Office 365 events, this one held at the very prestigious Audi Quattro rooms in Chiswick London. One of the key points made by the Microsoft Executives is that on the 14th of April 2014 Microsoft is withdrawing support for Exchange server 2003.
So what does this mean for business?
Any serious business cannot run on hardware or software that is not ultimately supported by the manufacturer, it just does not add up as a risk worth taking. Email systems have become a massive part of the way that we do business and to be without it for a week or more is unthinkable to 99% of businesses in the UK today. Therefore any business running Microsoft Exchange server 2003 or Small Business Server 2013 need to upgrade within the next 12 months.
So what are the options?
Well you could just go for another Exchanger server (2011) and keep on the same path as many business have relied on for years or you could move in the cloud. It is slightly easier for small businesses (under 75 users) as Microsoft have withdrawn Small Business Server and realistically a cloud email solution is the only real choice.
Microsoft argue that for businesses up to 500 users Office 365 is the best choice in terms of the total cost of ownership for an email solution. With office 365 there are no servers to maintain, no upfront costs, no power to run the servers, no physical security costs etc etc. In short you pay monthly for enterprise email weather you are a sole trader or a 500+ business. There argument is compelling with prices starting from £2.60 per person per month.
The Positive Solution!
Here at Positive computing we are investing in consulting and technical skills required to support clients with the move into the cloud or otherwise. We welcome the chance to give you the real world view, advice and support gained by migrating many clients already to Office 365.
Call us know before the rush in April of next year!