November 6 , 2007

In this Issue:

  • Perspective: Changing the Status Quo
  • New on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Forum
  • October 2007 Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Articles in PDF
  • Coming this Month

Perspective: Changing the Status Quo

It’s human nature to get so used to a situation or routine that you miss signs that the status quo might be changing. For example: Many of us at Penton Media have for months endured a painful coexistence of our Lotus Notes environment and the Exchange Server 2003 environment of the organization that acquired Penton in early 2007. Forcing the two systems to coexist broke a Notes system that had worked, more or less, before the acquisition. As a result, the Notes side of the combined company—about 800 of us—started getting used to slow performance, lost messages, backed-up message queues, and the fairly regular loss of our email service. But after months of griping about email problems, this week IT is pulling the plug on Notes and moving us to Outlook Web Access (OWA) 2007—a transitional stage in preparation for a full-scale, companywide migration to Exchange Server 2007 and Outlook 2007 at the end of the year. I’m looking forward to the change but can’t quite believe we’re finally going to Outlook.

I should say that the Penton IT team, led by CIO Cindi Reding, has performed admirably well under tough circumstances, dealing with multiple layers of problems with our Notes configuration and network infrastructure, as well as delays in delivery of new equipment that would have enabled the full-scale migration to happen sooner. They’ve also been diligent about keeping end users like me informed, even when the news wasn’t good. And, when they realized that our email problems were starting to have a seriously detrimental effect on our business, within less than two weeks from idea to implementation, they rolled out a transitional OWA migration plan.

As a messaging professional, you’ve likely had experiences similar to at least parts of my story. Maybe you’ve had a migration delayed by unanticipated snafus, inherited a network rife with problems, or had to explain to end users yet another time why they can’t access their mail and when the problem will be fixed. And, I’m willing to bet you’ve had times in your career where the status quo changed, maybe dramatically. Perhaps you’re facing one of those turning points now, for instance, you could be evaluating a move to Exchange 2007 and how it (read: PowerShell) might change your job routine, or maybe considering scrapping your in-house email altogether because it demands too much of IT’s time and opting to use a hosted, managed email service instead.

Technology is constantly changing the status quo. Several months ago, I wrote a column about unified communications (see “Why Unified Communications Matters to You” and talked about why messaging professionals need to take note that Exchange is now a UC product and how that might affect their job descriptions. Last week, I visited a company not far from Penton’s Loveland, Colorado, office—a 290-person microbrewery that’s rolling out a real, live UC system incorporating Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 and Office Communicator 2007, Cisco Systems VoIP phones, and Microsoft Live Meeting, with Exchange 2007 providing the messaging infrastructure. The benefits of an integrated technology that lets you switch from an email or IM to a voice call to a Web conference as needed were clear to me as I watched the company’s senior systems administrator use the UC setup. The demand for UC isn’t just a possibility. It’s here, and it’s coming from people at all company levels who want to be able to easily switch among multiple communications modes from whatever computer or mobile device they’re using.

Covering Exchange Connections

By the time you read this, I’ll be at Windows and Exchange Connections in Las Vegas. My typical schedule at Connections includes about 25 percent of my available daytime hours visiting vendors’ booths at the expo, 20 percent attending sessions, 25 percent meeting with current and potential authors, and the remainder divided up between talking with IT professionals or helping staff at the Windows IT Pro booth and catching up on editing and emailing. This year, I’m adding blogging to that list. Monday through Wednesday, I’ll blog about that day’s Exchange- and IT-related events on Windows IT Pro’s Industry Bytes blog. I’m hoping to attend sessions such as Jim McBee’s “Exchange 2007 for Exchange 2003 Administrators,” Chris Scharff’s “Implementing TLS in Exchange,” and Devin Ganger’s “Exchange Management Shell Annoyances.” You can find out about upcoming Connections conferences here.

If you’ll be at Connections, stop by the Windows IT Pro booth and say hello. Or email me and tell me how the status quo is changing in your Exchange and Outlook world. Have a great month!

Anne Grubb, Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Editor

New on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Forum

Do you have experience with OWA and clustering? If so, check out GetSamir’s post on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Exchange Server 2003/Legacy Exchange forum. Samir is seeking guidance with implementing OWA on an Exchange 2003 back-end server. If you have experience in this area and can provide help or point to references on this topic, lend your expertise to a fellow Exchange professional!

 

October 2007 Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Articles in PDF

If you're someone who prefers your newsletters in printed form, check out this .pdf. It contains all the scheduled feature articles posted on the Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP Web site in October. Print and enjoy!

Coming this Month

Managing Public Folders in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007,” by Tony Redmond
InstantDoc ID 97145

“The AD Administrator’s Guide to Exchange 2007,” by Tony Murray
Coming November 13

“Troubleshooting MAPI Client Connectivity with Exchange,” by Dmitri Daiter
Coming November 20

“Don't Let Your Messaging System Be the Source of Sensitive-Data Leaks,” by Paul Lucido
Coming November 27

Share Your Exchange Experiences

As a messaging administrator, meeting technical problems head-on is a regular part of your job. Share your Exchange and Outlook discoveries, comments, solutions to problems, and experiences with messaging-related products with your fellow Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP readers. Email your written solutions to r2r@exchangeprovip.com. Please include your full name and phone number. We edit submissions for style, grammar, and length. If we publish your submission, you'll get $100.