Microsoft Spotlight: Time to Upgrade to Microsoft Exchange 2013?

9/10/13 9:00 AM Laura Pelkey Microsoft

microsoft exchange 2013 standard key resized 600The need to keep IT budgets tight and lean is an ever-present pressure for IT and C-level management across the board. New features of upgraded products can prove a tempting fix for some existing problems, particularly when a business's needs have exceeded a current application's capacity for efficiency.

The decision to upgrade is coming to a head for many companies who have been using Microsoft Exchange 2010 or even 2003.  Official support for the product discontinued two years ago, but some companies have still not finalized plans to upgrade to Exchange 2013.  The time may be right for many of them, however.  With email more important to business operations than it was back in 2010, many companies can benefit from the key improvements present in Exchange 2013.

New functionality to expect from Exchange 2013:

  • Support a multigenerational workforce - Smart Search learns from users' communication and collaboration behavior to enhance and prioritize search results in Exchange. Also, with Exchange 2013, users can merge contacts from multiple sources to provide a single view of a person, by linking contact information pulled from multiple locations.
  • Provide an engaging experience - Microsoft Outlook 2013 and Microsoft Outlook Web App have an interesting new look - both come equipped with a variety of design choices, but some may prefer the more traditional look of 2010. Also, Outlook Web App emphasizes a streamlined user interface that also supports the use of touch, enhancing the mobile device experience with Exchange. 
  • Integrate with SharePoint and Lync - Exchange 2013 offers greater integration with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Microsoft Lync 2013 through site mailboxes and In-Place eDiscovery. Together, these products offer a suite of features that make scenarios such as enterprise eDiscovery and collaboration using site mailboxes possible.
  • Help meet evolving compliance needs - With improved search and indexing, you can search across Exchange 2013, Lync 2013, SharePoint 2013, and Windows file servers. In addition, data loss prevention (DLP) can help keep your organization safe from users mistakenly sending sensitive information to unauthorized people. DLP helps you identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data through deep content analysis.
  • Provide a resilient solution -  Exchange 2013 builds upon the Exchange Server 2010 architecture and has been redesigned for simplicity of scale, hardware utilization, and failure isolation.

Exchange 2013 also helps employees to increase time-on-task by reducing the incidence of inbox overflow, and providing for a quicker disaster recovery time in the event of downtime.

IT solutions such as Exchange 2013 are best installed and maintained through a managed programs model of IT support. Managed services aren't right for every business - however if efficiency (time + money + bandwidth) is a factor for your IT organization, consider evaluating potential solutions with an MSP.

IT is a good investment