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Mailbag: Sun’s alternative to Exchange

Feb 24, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* Readers respond to ‘Sun takes aim at Microsoft Exchange’

I received a lot of e-mail in response to my article on Sun’s announcement of an Exchange alternative. Here’s a sampling:

* “In my opinion, any offering which offers the same functionality as Exchange 2003 without the Active Directory (AD) requirement will be attractive. Especially if some sort of global directory such as Novell Directory Services can be utilized to provide the global access to resources of AD without the extreme pain and tie-in to Microsoft.”

* “The pace at which Microsoft continues to upgrade Outlook and its functionality… will make it difficult for competitors to fully integrate with it. Microsoft enjoys a wide technical support base for Exchange, and if a company were to run into problems with their Exchange servers (or if they wanted to outsource this function) there is host of companies and individuals who can help out.”

*  “One of the major Exchange alternatives is GroupWise. Why do you never mention this product?”

* “I manage a multi-server Exchange 5.5 environment. Frankly, we are rather budgetless (if that’s a word) but realize that we NEED to upgrade our messaging infrastructure in the near future. If the desktop clients can remain Outlook (with the same features of Exchange clients) and if the server can remain on an Intel platform, then we would probably investigate a move away from Exchange.”

* “Unfortunately, sometimes sticking with the existing vendor and doing a painful upgrade is easier than switching platforms for less cost and pain.”

* “In your article you place a lot of importance on total cost of ownership. While we always run such analysis for capital investment budgeting, the fact is that initial cost of purchase continues to be the most important purchasing determining factor.”

* “From my experience, tech vendors would do well to look beyond the total cost of ownership or [ROI] arguments when proposing technological change. Organisational factors and characteristics will mean the difference between successful or unsuccessful implementation and adoption.”

Thank you to all who responded to the article.