This week, I am attending and presenting at the Burton Group Catalyst Conference. For my part, I really enjoy this event because of the great people I meet and the fantastic conversations I get the opportunity to have with many very intelligent people. I always learn more than I share.
A few observations from the event in my areas of participation:
- Continued high interest in software-as-a-service e-mail – Many of the folks I have spoken with at the conference are investigating SaaS e-mail as a way to supplement or optimize their enterprise e-mail delivery services, while cutting costs and management.
- Upgrading to Microsoft 2010 products is on the radar – Many enterprise architects/decisions makers are in full swing of deciding and planning their use, adoption, and deployment strategies for the Microsoft 2010 products (Exchange, Office, SharePoint, Office Communications Server).
- Organizations are trying to figure out how to make e-mail a utility – There is a convergence of events in the market that have many organizations revisiting their e-mail strategy. First, the availability of viable, enterprise-class, SaaS e-mail solutions. Second, the nearing of the release of the first service pack of Exchange 2010 (which makes it acceptable for many organizations to consider upgrading to it) introducing the question of whether or not the e-mail environment should be upgraded. Third, data center consolidation and virtualization efforts are providing compelling benefits for optimizing the production e-mail server environment by lowering costs and decreasing management demands.
The conversations have been fascinating and the efforts by organizations are really innovative.
As part of my research over the next several months, I am engaged in contextual research project that is exploring how organizations are handling their e-mail systems management. I am trying to identify and analyze the drivers, barriers, and approaches.The project consists of in-depth interviews that seek to discover how customers are approaching their strategy on turning e-mail into a utility. I am talking with people with real-world enterprise experience – people who have seen, firsthand, the business, cultural, economic, and technological drivers and barriers to e-mail systems management within their organization. The goal is to dig beyond what tools are being used and look at the processes and players involved, to find out how organizations are approaching this challenge. The output of the research will be documents published later this year.
Information obtained during the interview process will be held in confidence. If you are interested in participating, please contact me. You will have the option to take part in a peer review process prior to publication of the research, as well as receive a copy of the resulting research documents and discuss the findings.