Putting Your Stock in Exchange – Are Microsoft’s Newest Releases for You?

Are you using Microsoft Exchange for email and productivity collaboration? If not, you might want to take a look. According to the RadiCati Group [doc], in 2009, there have been 280 billion emails sent every day. Thanks to great SPAM filtering products like Barracuda and IronPort, however, most of those messages don’t reach your inbox. For the messages that do, Microsoft Exchange is a great place to house them for better management, sharing and security. Exchange commands 57% of the corporate messaging software market demonstrating a strong showing in email and productivity collaboration tools.

Microsoft has released numerous versions of Exchange since its inception in 1996. Today, many companies host Exchange 2007 which incorporated significant changes from Exchange 2003 such as a 64 bit architecture for increased RAM utilization, the introduction of multiple roles (allowing an administrator to separate out all functionality of the system into various physical servers or virtual servers for greater load manageability), greatly improved high availability/redundancy features that can withstand an entire server failure with zero impact on the end users, an introduction of Unified Messaging integrating voicemail with your mailbox, and a multitude of other enhancements. It was a complete redesign of Exchange 2003 and, from our experience, a vastly superior product. For more information, you can visit Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2007 Product Overview site.

If you prefer being at the leading edge of technology, Exchange 2010 was just Released to Manufacturing (RTM) by Microsoft on October 8th, which means Microsoft has officially signed off on the new code and it will soon be available to the public for purchase and installation. New features of Exchange 2010 include Role-Based Access Control Permissions providing an administrator more granular control of permissions, new Exchange Management Console features, integration with Active Directory Rights Management Service, new transport and routing functionality along with many enhancements for Outlook Web Access (OWA) resulting in an interface more closely resembling the standard Microsoft Outlook client. For a complete list of the new features and enhancements please visit the Microsoft Exchange 2010 website for more information.

Microsoft has continued to improve each new release of Exchange Server, meeting the challenges of the ever-changing infrastructure and addressing end-user requests and needs. With the many user experience enhancements in addition to Administrator benefits Microsoft has implemented, it is easy to see why Exchange is so prevalent and commands such a strong share of the messaging market.

Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more or discuss the benefits of implementing this Microsoft Exchange 2007 or 2010 within your environment.


Reminder: Cisco Unity 4.x End of Support (EOS) Notice

As you continue to review and improve your voice infrastructure, the time to update your Cisco Unity voice messaging system has arrived. Back in early 2008, Cisco announced End of Support (EOS) for version 4.x of Cisco Unity products. The most recent version – Cisco Unity version 7.x – is available to Unity 4.x customers with specific support agreements (contact your Sr. Account Manager for details).

Unity’s remaining product lifecycle is detailed in the table below:

Key Milestones


Date


 
End-of-Life Announcement Date
End-of-Sale Date
Last Ship Date
End of software maintenance releases
End of service contract renewals
End of support/end of life


Jan 27, 2008
July 27, 2008
Oct 25, 2008
July 27, 2009
Oct 23, 2010
July 27, 2011


Those currently utilizing the Cisco Unity version 4.x may want to visit the official announcement that lists each of the product part numbers affected by the original announcement:

A few additional links you might find of interest:

  • Cisco Unity Overview
  • Cisco Unity Connections (Alternative Messaging Product)
  • Cisco Unified Contact Center Express (Call Center)


    Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more or discuss how Keller Schroeder can assist you in the process of upgrading or modifying your Cisco Voice Messaging platform.


  • The Domino Effect – Benefits of Upgrading to Version 8.5.1

    Lotus Notes and Domino Version 8.5.1 was released for download on October 12th and adds to the already impressive array of new features that have been introduced since version 8 was released in August 2007.

    Several new features have been added that users have been asking for. Some of the most requested Client features include in-line spell check, capturing Recent Contacts for repeated use, Immediate Out of Office notifications, and Federated Calendars (display additional calendars at once) which include internal as well as external calendars such as Google Calendars and iCal Feeds. The calendar can also display invitations that haven’t been accepted yet as ghosted entries.

    The iNotes client (web access) has been greatly improved where it’s difficult to tell the difference between it and the actual Notes client. In addition, now there is an option to automatically sync the local contacts with the iNotes contacts. Response time has been greatly improved and new display modes have been introduced such as Lite Mode for slower connection speeds and UltraLite mode for the iPhone.

    Traveler was introduced in 8.5 and recently enhanced in 8.5.1. The new enhancement lets you run a free Traveler client on your Windows Mobile Phone or iPhone that connects back to a Lotus Traveler server you setup at your own location. Traveler lets you sync your mail, calendar, and contacts over the air with just a personal data plan from your cell phone carrier.

    On the Server side, new compression and attachment storage features have been introduced that will let your organization save 40 to 60% on server disk utilization. In addition to potential disk savings, upgrading to Domino 8 can reduce CPU and I/O utilizations on most platforms.

    On the Management side, the new ID Vault can be implemented to allow users to automatically recover damaged, lost, forgotten id files and administrators can reset individual passwords as easily as they would a Windows password. And as of 8.5.1, the Domino Developer client is now available for free without the need for an additional license.

    For additional information on these and many more new features, please refer to these articles on the IBM website:

  • Notes/Domino 8.0
  • Notes/Domino 8.5
  • Notes/Domino 8.5.1
  • Lotus Domino and Notes Information Center 

  • Contact your Keller Schroeder Senior Account Manager to learn more or discuss the benefits of implementing the Lotus Domino upgrade within your environment.


    Appreciation Event for Clients = Help for Area Food Banks

    Keller Schroeder’s annual Client Appreciation Event was once again a dual success – an opportunity to say thank you to our clients, and an opportunity to make a positive impact on our community.  This year’s event (held on October 2nd) sported a Hawaiian theme and included good music, abundant food, and great conversation between Keller Schroeder employee-owners and over 250 client attendees. 

    Attendees were asked to join Keller Schroeder in bringing food items that could be donated to the Tri-State Food Bank for the event.  In all, over 2000 dry food and produce items were collected and donated by Keller Schroeder employee-owners and clients.  In addition, Keller Schroeder partnered with Marx Barbeque to donate 500 lbs of fresh meat to the Food Bank.

    Keller Schroeder’s strong relationships with key vendors were on display, as the event was supported and attended by Cisco, NetApp, LifeSize Video, and IronPort.


    Received Superior Customer Satisfaction Scores

    Information technology companies can be creative in the use of white papers, webinars, and ad campaigns to tell their success stories.  But, “Nothing speaks more credibly about us than the very words of our clients”, says Keller Schroeder President Larry May.

    Those words came through loud and clear from Keller Schroeder clients in this year’s customer satisfaction survey, administered by Microsoft and required of all its leading Partners.  Keller Schroeder received an overall performance rating of 94 percent, compared to the average score for all Microsoft Partners of 65 percent.  Loyalty ratings for Keller Schroeder were 100 percent, compared to 86 percent for all Microsoft Partners.

    As part of an ongoing qualification process, Microsoft Gold Certified Partners participate in an annual evaluation which includes a customer satisfaction survey completed anonymously by active clients.  “We are passionate about seeing our clients succeed,” says May, “and it is gratifying when they tell us so resoundingly that we are impacting them in a positive way.”

    Since becoming the first Evansville-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in 2007, Keller Schroeder has seen its Microsoft business grow faster than any other segment.  While some firms specialize in infrastructure-related Microsoft tools (such as server and data management software), and others specialize in applications-related tools (such as SharePoint and .Net development), Keller Schroeder’s expertise includes the full spectrum of Microsoft solutions for businesses of any size. 

    The firm’s reputation for excellence extends well beyond the Microsoft space.  Keller Schroeder received the 2007 Cisco Outstanding Indiana Customer Satisfaction Award, the 2008 Cisco Outstanding Growth Award, the 2008 Spirit of United Way Award, and was named as one of Indiana’s “Best Places to Work” in 2006.