Memo from a simple email user…

Well, Microsoft you finally did it…and I am really thankful for it.

What is “it”? IT is Microsoft Exchange 2010.

The Axxys Technical team sat down several months ago and generated a plan to migrate our email, auto attendant and voicemail over to Exchange 2010. We had done this at a client location and the results were proving to be outstanding. Here a few things I really like about this recent upgrade for Axxys:

1. One system for voicemail and email – While we have received our voicemail via email for quite a few years it was a new feature to be able to keep or delete a message via email and have it delete from the phone system as well. Also, you have the ability using the web client of Outlook to change your voicemail message and  create personalized messages for specific contacts within your Outlook based on the incoming caller number. Imagine, a personalized message for your top clients…that’s powerful stuff. The transcribing of voicemail to text needs a little work, but the ability to play the message via an embedded media player within your email message. Gone are the days of calling in to get voicemail, or missing an important call because you were in a meeting. Now, you must have the Enterprise client access license for each user to do this, but it’s well worth the small amount of money per user.

2. Outlook Web Mail Client (A.K.A. – OWA for all you acronym nuts) – Looks just like Outlook, from the folders to the fonts….great stuff.  Here’s another nice feature for you admins, you can give users the ability to remote wipe lost or stolen mobile devices (we have tested the iPad wipe…we highly recommend that you have a backup before pressing the final “OK”), works instantly. Something simple, and not really overly important, is that you have the ability to create your own “Web experience” and appearance of the Web client. Like I said, simple…but at least you are not stuck with some generic “Web” looking screen.

3. Outlook scheduling feature…Federated Calendars – This is the last simple feature that I’ll briefly discuss…but it is great. Now when you are sending someone a meeting invite you can share your calendar with users that are outside your network. This is a great feature if you have a person or company that you work with regularly and you want them to see your “availability”. Simple feature once again, but it can eliminate the back and forth in “finding a good time for both”.

This is a simple message to get the word out on Exchange 2010. It makes my work/life simpler and gives me the ability to eliminate several extra “clicks” or “steps” a day. It has been in production at Axxys for about a month and we are all enjoying the added benefits, beyond just the three mentioned previously, of Exchange 2010. It would take a long time cover them all…

If you’re interested in our experience with Exchange 2010 migrations let me know…I would be happy to share my knowledge.

Blake