Some IT managers dismiss cloud because it’s a threat.
Many prospective customers I speak to on a regular basis tell me they have never had any issues with their on-premise server. So why should they change to Exchange Online where they have no control?
It’s a fair question and one that has many different answers, most of which are aimed at a business decision maker. If stability is not an issue then the discussion can be around staying current, improved productivity, decreased IT costs and even something other than email.
From time to time I come across an IT manager who thinks their Exchange Server is perfect – it never has issues and they are adamant that surrendering control of the server will be to the detriment of the business.
Some of the objections I’ve heard are:
- “What aren’t you telling me?” (I couldn’t understand this one)
- “I need granular control of my servers” (understand, but how often and for what purpose?)
- “How do I know some junior in the Microsoft data centre won’t delete our mailboxes?”
If it weren’t in the cloud, businesses wouldn’t be discussing Exchange vs Notes vs GroupWise vs POP3. They would simply discuss which features they want, how they want it to work, and the IT person would go out there and implement Exchange Server.
Some IT staff feel threatened by Microsoft Exchange Online because they are quite comfortable spending their days working under the hoods of servers and take pride in having their systems hum along. Moving to Exchange Online takes away part of their control and could potentially threaten their job.
And really that’s why some IT people are against cloud services like Exchange Online – not because they don’t have enough control, but because they will have less to justify their employment or consulting fees.
Sure, IT consultants and managers may be highly certified and experienced. I come from this background myself and while I’ve worked on hundreds of systems over the years with very few issues, there have been a few times where I’ve needed to create a support case with Microsoft and escalate the issue. Unfortunately when this occurs the customer is out of pocket for an additional support charge and the chances of getting their Exchange Server working again seem further away.
Why did I choose to start Paradyne and recommend cloud solutions like Microsoft Exchange Online to customers? Because I know that no matter how experienced or knowledgeable an Exchange Server administrator is, how big the IT team or support organisation is, or how certified they are, Microsoft wrote the product and are in the best position to support it.
Case in point
One of our customers started the migration from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Online. Shortly into the migration we discovered an issue and raised it with Telstra who subsequently passed it on to Microsoft. Microsoft discovered a bug that had never been seen before.
Microsoft teams took action and investigated the bug, engineered a solution and after thorough testing deployed it to Exchange Online. It took a few weeks but is now a known issue that has been resolved – and because Microsoft updated its cloud suite Office 365 it shouldn’t happen again for any customer on Exchange Online (a part of Office 365).
Had that been an on-premise server Microsoft may have made a hotfix but it would have taken even longer. Any other customer experiencing the same issue with their server would have to find their way to the same conclusion, support case and ultimately hotfix – spending more money and time offline in the process.
With Exchange Online the issue was fixed once and for all customers.
You think you can run your Microsoft Exchange Server better than Microsoft? You arrogant fool.
Loryan Strant is a Microsoft Office 365 MVP (Most Valuable Professional). Follow him on Twitter @TheCloudMouth.