"Customers are juggling tight budgets, while at the same time under pressure to strengthen their network infrastructure and find new ways to serve their users. Messaging is the lifeblood for businesses; it's the way people work and collaborate. With the increasing dependence our customers have on e-mail today, we were driven to make Exchange more reliable and accessible than ever," said Paul Flessner, senior vice president of the Server Platform Division at Microsoft. "Exchange Server 2003 is the result of three years of customer feedback and it will deliver to our customers the best payback to date on their messaging investment."
The META Group study looked at the potential cost savings a company could achieve by migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2003 with a focus on operational costs. Analysts determined that a 45,000-user enterprise could generate about $600,000 in total annual operational costs. The savings are based on the elimination of 54 percent of an enterprise's servers and an additional 51 percent savings in server management, administration and maintenance costs, mainly through site consolidation. Such reductions are possible with the enhancements in Exchange 2003 and Outlook® 2003, including Cached Exchange Mode, which improves the user experience especially for remote users with slow network connections; more efficient communication between client and server, which increases network bandwidth efficiency; and Volume Shadow Copy services, which deliver faster backup and restore capabilities. The META Group's calculation is a mainstream average, and companies will see a variance based on labor costs, geographic distribution, product configuration and other variables. Furthermore, these savings reflect only a portion of the total cost of ownership of an Exchange e-mail infrastructure. The complete Exchange Ownership cost study is available to customers free of charge at http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/ExchangeScenarios.asp.
In the less than four months since Exchange 2003 was released to manufacturing, customers are already reaping the benefits of increased productivity and reduced costs.