This past weekend I was forced to buy new running shoes. I run 3-4 times a week, and my philosophy had always been if not’s broke, don’t fix it. Recently, my shoes started to feel heavy, my feet started to hurt, and I knew it was my body telling me to change (something). After googling (sorry binging) different causes for running pain, one of the top results came up “change your running shoes.” I then proceeded to look at my shoes more closely and noticed the bottoms were worn, the shoe itself was very flexible ( bends easily – a bad thing) and realized my shoes were no longer the shoes I once I loved. It was time to upgrade. In a strange way, my buying decision is similar to most IT departments. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it until we absolutely have to. For consumers running older versions of Exchange, that time is now. This past week, Exchange 2007 support has gulp…ended.
One (of the many) reasons customers move to the cloud is outdated technology. When something as critical as security updates, product updates, etc. are no longer available, customers start looking for other solutions. In the case of Exchange, customers either upgrade on premise (which also means upgrading their hardware) or finally start thinking about the cloud. Now that can mean good news for you (if you are an Exchange hoster) or bad news if you haven’t started the conversations with your potential clients. It’s also great news for Office 365.
I would guess that Microsoft is looking at all end customers who purchased Exchange 2007 but haven’t upgraded to Exchange 2010. Those customers are all prime for Office 365 conversations. Every Office 365 distributor and reseller are also reaching out to these customers. Check out Sherweb, Intermedia (one of Microsoft’s largest Exchange hosters), and Rackspace Every single one of them are not saying “go to our cloud” when exploring migration options, the top reason is “Migrate to Office 365”
If your company has not investigated getting into the CSP game or partnering, the time is now. I’m not selling you on Office 365, I am selling you to watch out for the competition. As mentioned above – SherWeb, Intermedia, and Rackspace are all hosting Exchange but they are also promoting Office 365 through product support life cycles. One way to stay ahead of the competition, is to know when product life cycles end and which products are impacted. For a list of product support updates and life cycles check out https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/search
Thanks for reading,