To absolutely no ones surprise Microsoft last week announced the death of Small Business Server. SBS 2011 is going to be the last version and that will stop shipping in June 2013, so you have just about a year to place last orders.

Ever since Steve Balmer came over and announced that we – Microsoft resellers – were out of a job unless we changed and embraced the (Microsoft) cloud it wasn’t going to be long until on-premise Exchange was phased out for all but enterprises.

Of course to many this thinking makes perfect sense. The cloud provides a steady subscription revenue, it kind of simplifies management and customers are probably going to be ‘sticky’ as moving large amounts of data in and out of different vendors platforms is not for the faint hearted. We at Thompson Consultants have happily fully embraced the cloud and we now have all our systems up in the cloud.

However as professional consultants we also fully recognise that the cloud and specifically hosted Exchange is certainly not for everyone. If you use Public Folders heavily you are left out of the Office 365 roadmap. If you don’t have excellent internet you can’t host 25 mailboxes (or pick your own number) in the cloud and keep people happy. That is quite aside from any security concerns you may have.

You might also quite reasonably ask what is the difference between Office 365 and any other IMAP based mail system when you drop Public Folders and all those other on-premise Exchange features. Good question.

Which leads us to think that Microsoft is becoming a whole lot less relevant as a choice these days, especially for the SME. Want an on-premise mail server? Going to choke at the expense of full fat Exchange + Server 2012 Std + mega hardware? Then look at Kerio Connect. Far cheaper, supports public Folders, runs on Windows, Mac and Linux, requires a far lower h/w spec and a heck of a lot easier to back and recover. Your mileage may vary but we find Kerio Connect an excellent Exchange alternative particularly the cross platform support and low hardware requirements.

Once applications disappear into the cloud who cares what platform it is running on in the background? What does Hotmail run on? Exchange? I doubt it.

Office 365 is a great product and we sell a lot of it but we’re perfectly happy to sell you the client what you want and need. And with SBS disappearing from our armoury I foresee  a whole lot more non Microsoft product going in.



by hostadmin on Jul 16, 2012 at 11:18 PM


Comments are closed.