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Email and sharing – technology planning

Aug 19th, 2009 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support

C level executives and small business owners don’t care to know, and don’t necessarily need to know, which mail server they’re running.  Fortunately, successful executives and business owners surround themselves with proven and trusted business advisors to help them implement the changes needed to achieve their business goals.  As always, email and communications are at the center of what drives business.

Email is still at the core of business communications providing exchange of information and documents.  However, document sharing and collaboration has taken on its own specialized applications, servers and platforms.  The biggest concern with collaboration is security and tracking.  In a previous post I wrote about Google Wave and their push to expand collaboration beyond document sharing to live sharing of ideas, text, photos, media… a digital conversation really.  Microsoft has been in this arena for some time and has an established solution in its SharePoint brand.  SharePoint services and SharePoint Portal Server allow for extremely customizable online sharing of documents, projects, teams and more.

Exchange Server 2010 - Unified Communications, archiving, flexibility, data protection and more

Exchange Server 2010 - Unified Communications, archiving, flexibility, data protection and more

Unified communications was a big buzzword several years ago; however, lately it is not thrown around in the media as much as it used to be but it is in practice at most businesses.  In fact Microsoft’s upcoming next version of it ubiquitous Exchange Server 2010 touts unified communications as one of it core features.  Unified communications allows for multiple communication channels to funnel to one platform to access, send and receive email and voicemail.

The recurring themes in this post and many of my previous posts are security and access to content.  As we’ve been hearing with cloud computing and hosted applications (Software as a Service – SaaS) security is an issue that is not fully addressed.  I recently read that even Amazon admits the platform is not compliant to store credit card numbers (EC2 and S3)…  In fact Amazon has come back to clarify their position on security in the cloud after the initial comments.  Hosted Exchange mail with Outlook Anywhere was the first widely accepted hosted solution.  It offers some good features for different businesses: remote access, web interface, mobile device integration, and more.  But there are some industries that cannot  (due to laws, regulation, compliance policies) move their entire organization’s mail to a hosted mail server.  So security will continue to be an issue that will garner much attention from the developers, CIOs & other executives, the media and the tech community.

Accessibility to data and ease of that access is the other theme that seems to play out in many solutions to business need and vision.  Users want to access their documents from the mobile device, whether it is a BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm Pre, etc…  They want to document and data to look and function the same on that mobile device (which is really a very powerful mini computer) as it does on their laptop and their desktop.  Something we’ve overcome for business recently was offering not just the ability to view data on mobile devices, but actually manipulate data, run applications and utilize the full functionality of the application from the mobile device.

I’ll trail off on that note for now.  There is so much common ground on the vision and implementation of technology driving business today.  Business evolves, and the businesses that adopt the right technology will reap its rewards…  waxing philosophic about technology, although, I am an engineer 😉


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