For those of you pondering whether to attend Burton Group's Catalyst Conference in Prague (April 19-22), you should know that we will be spending half a day on a track called: Microsoft 2010: Pros, Cons, and Alternatives.
Microsoft customers have always had to deal with forklift upgrades: "OK, let's see, the new version of Exchange is out. How does that impact the versions of Windows Server and Outlook that I'm running? Also, there's a new OS; should I refresh Office as well or leave it be?" So it's always been complicated. Now it's become extra complicated because of two new delivery options: virtualization and SaaS. So it's not just, "Should I upgrade to the new version of Exchange?" it's also, "Should I run Exchange as a virtual machine or should I run it in the cloud?" A complicated set of decisions had morphed into a three-dimensional complicated set of decisions.
Furthermore, it's not just the Microsoft products that makes it difficult to figure out. Enterprises now have more options. A number of our clients are looking at using Google Apps Premier Edition (GAPE) or Lotus Symphony. Add those options into the mix, and CIOs are now staring at a Rubik's Cube of decisions.
We're going to spend half a day walking through the alternatives. For example,
- Is it worth upgrading to Exchange 2010?
- Is it worth upgrading to Office 2010?
- Is it worth upgrading to SharePoint 2010?
- I'm looking at BPOS--how strong or weak is that, compared to running it in house?
- Can I run Exchange as a virtual machine? If so, which hypervisor should I use?
- I'm looking at alternatives to Office--which ones should I investigate and which ones should I dismiss out of hand?
- Is moving to GAPE worthwhile?