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In the Cloud or On-Premises
Rivals such as IBM and Google, which have been attempting to coax large enterprises to move their e-mail systems into the cloud , have their work cut out for them now that Microsoft has introduced its first platform designed to run equally well in both on-premises and cloud-based environments.
"The real threat with enterprise web-based e-mail is Microsoft," noted Ted Schadler, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. Therefore, the software giant's rivals will need to "compete aggressively," Schadler noted in an e-mail.
Exchange 2010 will make it easier for a large enterprise to split a domain and run a single managed environment across on-premises and cloud-based implementations. The bottom line is that any Fortune-class company will be able to "keep its high-volume mailboxes on-premises while taking advantage of the higher degree of automation, direct-attached storage, and new functionality," Schadler explained.
What's more, large businesses will be able to move "occasional users that can get by with a small mailbox and web e-mail client -- which they are probably using at home anyway -- to a cloud provider," Schadler observed. Though larger enterprises always have the option of moving all their mailboxes into the cloud, Exchange 2010 means they won't have "to take that leap in order to get the benefits of cloud economics," Schadler said.