Microsoft Oversells E2010 Archiving

The archiving features of Exchange 2010 are attractive, and will be welcomed by most customers.

However, Microsoft is sometimes overenthusiastic. For example, consider this Microsoft blog, by Julia White, director of Exchange marketing. Speaking of Exchange 2010, she says: “It archives and discovers… At a regional healthcare group, they are able to use the integrated archiving, retention and discovery capabilities of 2010 saving them the cost and maintenance of using third party solutions that resulted in $250,000 they didn’t have to spend – and that was just the first year savings.”

It’s very hard to see how the retention and archiving features of Exchange 2010 could satisfy the compliance requirements of the health care industry, especially in terms of end user involvement. Health care compliance rules require tamper resistant email retention, a requirement that Exchange 2010 does not satisfy.

Of course, a certain degree of hype is to be forgiven in launch copy, which is trying to drum up excitement. The trouble is, Microsoft field personnel will pick up the message and mis-sell Exchange archiving.

If you want to learn more about Exchange 2010 archiving, attend our Wednesday webcast, Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Archiving: The Complementary Role of Third-Party Solutions. It’s on November 4 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific. Go here to register.

Microsoft Response

We asked Microsoft if it would like to comment on this bulletin. Ms. White responded as follows:

“I understand the point you are making and don’t want our field overselling, but the language in this post feels overstated. The customer sited is from our early adopter program and this customer reference data is not exaggerated. I think it is very reasonable to provide clarity about what Exchange 2010 archiving and discover is capable of vs other vendors on the market. And, I think it is fair to make the point about HIPAA compliance and needing more specific functionality than Exchange 2010 will natively provide. But, net/net, the tone of this essentially feels that you’re calling me/MS intentionally misleading which is not correct.

I do think we have a challenge providing clarity about what Exchange archiving offers, what it doesn’t and how our partners extend / compliment the native capabilities. Anytime you have a nuanced technology stack like this, it can be difficult for general sales people. The last thing I want is customers being oversold and then disappointed – that’s not good for anyone. I very much appreciate the feedback in this post and take it to heart. The intention was not to suggest the native Exchange archiving capabilities will solve high-end compliance requirements in healthcare – this was simply quoting an actual customer reference.”

David Ferris

One Comment

  1. Posted November 2, 2009 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    Hi David,

    Great post as I think any new Microsoft release can create great opportunity for clients and confusion at the same time. I think the Exchange team has done an admirable job adding to the platform but as you point out, there are a number of customer scenarios that will still require third-party archiving functionality.

    Nick

  2. David Nicoll
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    So Ms White claims to realise that Microsoft “have a challenge providing clarity about what Exchange archiving offers, what it doesn’t and how our partners extend / compliment the native capabilities”. And yet she is quite happy to publicly state “they are able to use the integrated archiving, retention and discovery capabilities of 2010 saving them the cost and maintenance of using third party solutions”.

    Not really rising to the challnge there is she?

    If this is the sort of chat we are going to see from Microsoft regarding Exchange 2010 archiving then we are in for a dangerously confusing period of time for customers, and a very tough time for 3rd party vendors of Exchange archiving solutions.

    Keep an eye out for the “top 10 reasons to upgrade to Exchange 2010” materials that are bound to follow. We’ll see just how “nuanced” they are in their description of the archiving capabilities vs 3rd party solutions.

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment. To comment, first join our community.