Businesses may be eyeing the cloud to maximize their IT budgets and provide their users with bleeding-edge capabilities, but they might not be prepared for the aftermath.
GSX Solutions, a Geneva-based provider of monitoring and reporting solutions for enterprise messaging and collaboration platforms, is offering companies that are mulling a switch to the Office 365 cloud ecosystem a preview of the performance that they can expect. The release of the company's new product, GSX Monitor & Analyzer version 10.8 enables administrators to keep tabs on Exchange, Exchange Online or hybrid implementations of the two.
After all, Microsoft isn't going to face the wrath of an executive whose email and calendar isn't working. "If your CIO is not happy about Exchange not working, he's not going to contact Microsoft, he's going to contact you," said Jeff Piot, vice president of product management for GSX.
Microsoft's cloud data centers may be expertly and professionally operated, Piot said. However, countless factors, including Internet latency or local network bottlenecks, can affect the user experience of the software giant's cloud-based services like Exchange Online.
GSX Monitor & Analyzer supports Exchange 2007, 2010, 2013, Exchange Online and SharePoint 2013. Installed on a workstation, virtual machine "or even a tablet"—Piot recommends a dedicated system for large Exchange deployments, however—the agentless software determines the health of an organization's on-premise, cloud-based or hybrid Exchange environment.
Mimicking typical user tasks like opening a mailbox, sending an email or scheduling an event in the calendar, the software enables administrators to continually monitor the health of their Exchange environments and troubleshoot issues if the user experience begins to suffer. Administrators can configure actions to run on a preset schedule or customize their own.
Moreover, GSX's solution enables businesses to resolve issues before a planned move to the Office 365 cloud. Piot said one of the product's key benefits is the ability to "check the results of a migration before the migration" takes place. For instance, administrators can test how a user in another country would fare under a cloud or hybrid Exchange setup.
"More and more organizations are migrating their messaging to the cloud, for both administrative efficiency and reduced costs," GSX's CEO Antoine Leboyer, said in a statement. GSX ensures a smooth transition and the ability to "keep an eye on operations when running in the cloud," he added.
And the tide is also clearly turning in Microsoft's favor, Piot said. For proof, he had to go no further than his company's own customer base. The company has a long history (since 1996) of providing solutions for Lotus Notes, Exchange, SharePoint and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
"Every year, 20 percent of our customers are migrating from [IBM] Domino to Exchange," he said.