Tag Archives: SaaS

CIO / CEO: Evaluate Cloud SaaS email & collaboration and get a head start

There´s a lost of fuzz about cloud / SaaS based email and collaboration solution, fixed costs and less worries attracts many CIOs / CEOs. Before you read tons of literature and listen to sales people from Microsoft, Google and IBM; try the experience for free and get a head start!

Click here to create a free demo account and try out the solutions, this makes is so much easier to compare!

Here are links to the most popular cloud (SaaS) based email and collaboration suites:

IBM Lotus Live

Goggle Apps

Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS)

Lowering TCO and getting faster ROI with Microsoft Exchange Sever 2010 and BPOS

My career as an IT Pro started in 1997, the same year as Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 was released. I didn´t make it in time to actually design and implement 5.5 but I did a number of migrations to Exchange 2000/2003.

I´m happy that Exchange Server 5.5 has evolved and it´s been mature for quite a while, still it´s with Exchange 2010 that it´s finally grew up and left it´s teen period.

The big news with Exchange 2010 is DAG = Database  Group, which makes high availability so much easier. Forget about active / passive clusters with expensive SAN disk and lot´s of administration. DAG transforms your mailbox server into an almost domain controller like state. This means that you can use direct attached storage to each mailbox server. The server hardware no longer has to be identical. How does this work? Well to begin with, Outlook clients no longer connect directly to the mailbox server; all traffic (Outlook RPC, Anywhere and OWA) is routed to the client access server (CAS). You can easily load balance multiple CAS servers using NLB. The client access list keeps track of which mailbox server to contact, and if the mailbox server goes offline it looks in the mailbox server priority list and takes the next one in the list.

Storage groups has been thrown in the trashcan, this is lovely! Just create a database and connect it to the DAG, and choose which servers to include in it. Now all databases are replicated between each other.

If you combine DAG with a retention policy that is synchronized with your policy on how long deleted emails should be stored, you can build an Exchange mailbox server topology that doesn’t require any backup at all!

If you have an 3rd party archiving solution in Exchange 2007, you can most likely get rid of it when you upgrade to Exchange 2010, this is because EXchange 2010 now includes a built-in archiving solution.

If you´re sitting on an older Exchange version – building a business case on how much money that can be saved would be very interesting!

If you combine the cost lowering features in Exchange 2010 with BPOS you will have happy users and more budget space for that cool training course you long for! Identify different user profiles withing your organization, from a BPOS perspective.

There´s no longer a problem having a mixed user base consisting of on premise Exchange / Outlook 2010 users and BPOS user running Outlook / OWA. A seamless user experience and migration between on premise and BPOS is here.

This may sound like a Microsoft commercial, well it´s not. I happen to like Microsoft Exchange but I recommend you to evaluate other options when moving email to the cloud (SaaS). Lotus Live is really existing and you can evaluate is for free!

A good DAG posting here: http://www.exchange-genie.com/2009/04/database-availability-group-dag-exchange-2010/

By they way, if you know of any good resources for 70-662, let me know 🙂

Hosted UC (Saas / Cloud) needs a clear strategy / business case / Governance model

Art Rosenberg published an excellent article on Hosted “All-in-One” IP Telephony Platform Supports UC Services for Both Enterprise Users and Customers at Unified Communication Strategies.

Great article! It seems as Art has adapted to Bern Elliot´s (Gartner) view on CEPB, I like this concept! Still I think additional time is required before CEBP (Communication Enabled Business Processes hits the top of the Hype Cycle. CEBP may be a reality for call center intense business but otherwise there´s a long way to go. Hosted Services is the way to go for many companies but the obstacles to overcome is in my point of view, are not related to technology.

The real challenge for many companies is the governance model; telephony and IT blend and there are few System Owners/Consultants/CEOs with competence in both areas. It´s one thing to implement a solution, but adapting the solution to the business processes is more difficult. UC consultant with business skills will have great customer cases. Buying hosted UC as a cloud service (SaaS) will require the same perspective as for other hosted services.

Build a governance model fit for handling hosted UC before making the investments – even more important; build a strong business case that´s firmly connected to your companies’ business goal and strategies.

Going fast into hosted UC can be really expensive if you´re unaware of the obstacles in your path. Good luck!

Windows Phone 7 Series – will drive deeper telco and UC vendor integration?

Microsoft has finally announced Windows 7 Phone Series, here´s the official launch site http://bit.ly/9qirh8

This is good news for Microsoft employees and my old colleagues @Avande, why you may ask? Well they won´t have to sneak with their unsupported iPhone´s if they can get a good user experience and functionality in a Windows Phone 7 device.  It´s my opinion that the actual device is getting less important, the phone operating system and even more the App Store / Market Place is of more importance. HTC can forget buiding their own user interface, this is on Microsoft´s table. HTC and all the other manufacurers will build hardware based on Microsoft´s spec.

I can´t wait to see the new Office Communicator client for Windows 7 Phone Series, will it ship with Office Communications Server 2010 (a.k.a. Wave 14). I hope that UClarity will be able to demo this soon!

When will Telia Sonera / Tre / Telenor ship business phones with Windows Phone 7? I hope that the level of mobile service integration between telco´s and UC vendors can take a leap forward with new innovative OS.

This is a picture of the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace:

Windows 7 Phone includes XBOX Live and Experience. In my ears, this sounds like a flirt with the trend of incorperating consumer “look and feel” into professional devices. The design of the OS is very clean and navigation is done in a smooth way, a team from Nike has moved to Microsoft and this is the result:

A few other images:

What happend with Windows Movile 6.5? It´s in the thrashcan,

Telia Sonera delivers Unified Communications as a Service

“Barcelona, February 15 – Telepo today announced at Mobile World Congress that it had added TeliaSonera as its first major Communications Service Provider to offer Unified Communications as a Service through Telepo Business Communication Solution” http://ow.ly/17AkQ

At this stage is hard to determine how mature this service is or when it will be offered. But still, if Telepto are able to deliver what´s promised in the press release; the Scandinavian market can look forward to a great new era.

Telia Sonera are putting huge resources into transitioning their network to IP based architecture. Telia Sonera have a strong foothold with many large companies with large PBX investments, this is especially true for the Swedish market.

The capability to offer Unified Communications as a Service is the way of the future, a telco provider failing to deliver is this area will fall behind in the race.

Telepo is a rising star and Gartner praises them as a “Cool vendor in Wireless and Mobile”

“Telepo BCS is a complete mobile Unified Communications solution. It meets the need of fixed, mobile and IP voice communications and call control services. Traditional desk phones and private branch exchange (PBX) systems are easily integrated with the solution. Unique to BCS is that users have a single identity and the same set of services regardless the device being used and that it has been designed to support users with mobility in focus” http://bit.ly/d7mG0W