What Customers Want

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-12-15 Print this article Print

Scalixs Farris said the jury was still out on whether unified messaging is a big draw for customers. The top priority for customers today is getting to a secure, reliable messaging environment that is cost-effective and efficient in terms of the human capital required to support it, she said. "Time and again, weve had customers tell us that more features, bells and whistles are not what they want," she said.
What customers want, Farris said, is greater simplicity, reliability and security, and Scalix already supports unified messaging and has been monitoring customer demand in this arena for some time.
"We havent seen it bubble up as a priority for most organizations to date. I believe that the time for unified messaging will come when VOIP [voice over IP] is more broadly deployed behind the firewall," she said. While Microsoft is still looking at plans to unify the SQL Server and Exchange Server database stores over time, this will not happen in Exchange 12, which is based on the Extensible Storage Engine, a derivative of the Jet database store, Microsofts Ressler said. "A lot of the original advantages that we were going to get from going to a SQL-type store we already have in Exchange now. While this was very attractive five years ago, the bar has been set higher today, as we will have 64-bit in Exchange 12, we will have better failover and disaster recovery and we have a Web services API," he said. But Scalixs Farris disagreed with that, saying that the underlying architecture of Exchange suffers from more than its fair share of reliability and security problems, the fundamental causes of which have not been addressed in Exchange 12. The Exchange message store, based on the Jet database, is prone to corruptions and is difficult to manage and maintain, she said, adding, "This is a long-standing, known problem, and plans to replace the Exchange message store have been iteratively postponed." At the same time, Exchange upgrades have come to mean a perpetual rearchitecture of customers e-mail environments, she said. For example, with Exchange 12, the requirement for 64-bit hardware means that customers will once again have to upgrade their hardware to use Exchange 12, she said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel