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What is the extra value that would drive my clients to move from Hotmail to Exchange Online?
Thanks for the feedback.
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Andrew, I think a couple points that could help you to sell Exchange over Hotmail are:
1. Instant email delivery to Outlook. (outlook (hotmail) connector still uses an interval of time to Send/Receive... 30 min is default. TIME IS MONEY!)
2. Server-side Rules
3. Real Calendar sharing (not of this .ical stuff)
4. Instant delivery (push) and sync to mobile devices. (Devices that support Exchange Active Sync (EAS)) iPhones, Palm Pre and others for example can sync your mail, calendar, contacts, and tasks! OTA and not via USB cable sync.
5. Active DIrectory - Users have access to a Global contacts and distribution lists.
As a business owner, I have Office Live SB. Its based on hotmail/windows live. We also have Comcast businessclass and I have two exchange accounts included via comcast. I have for the last 4 or 5 months, began forwarding all my mail from the office live account to my exchange account on comcast. I had to do this because my mail was getting out of control. I would work out of office and get email delivered to my phone, open, read, and respond to it, only to get back to my office and outlook would download the same message in UNREAD-bold format. And my reply would be in my phone but not in my sent outlook folder. At least with exchange and my Palm Pre, I have true sync of my mail OTA. Not to mention calendar, contacts and tasks. For your customers that work out and about, this is huge.
Also, any of the owners that may have multiple PCs... i.e. desktop @ the office and a notebook... Exchange does the same thing between your PCs. Not to mention, if you create a rule to "move certain mail to a folder" on one PC, the next time you login to outlook on the other machine, the rules sync.
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Hotmail is a consumer based messaging system and Exchange Online is an enterprise messaging system that's based on Exchange 2007/2010. You can get a trial account of Exchange Online (that's based on Exchange 2007 for now) over at www.microsoft.com/.../exchange-online.aspx or www.microsoft.com/.../business-productivity.aspx to see the differences yourself. In a near future, people on Exchange Online (with Exchange 2007) will be migrated to Office365 (with Exchange 2010). If you like what you see in Exchange Online (Exchange 2007), you will like the Office 365 (Exchange 2010). With BPOS/Office365, besides email/calendar/contacts, it also comes with SharePoint and Live Meeting, and Communicator Online.
This is the link to sign up Office365 beta
I copied the features of Exchange Online below:
• 25-gigabyte (GB) mailbox allocated for each user
• Shared calendar, contacts, and tasks
• Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 and Outlook 2003 connectivity, including Outlook Anywhere
• POP client connectivity
• Browser-based Outlook Web Access
• Cost-saving "deskless worker" licensing for employees who use a company PC on a limited basis
• Virus/spam filtering via Microsoft Forefront™ Online Security for Exchange
• Push e-mail, calendar, contacts, GAL integration, and tasks for Exchange ActiveSync® enabled devices, including Windows Mobile® 6.0 and above, iPhone 2.0, and many Nokia phones
• Multiple support options for BlackBerry users
• Built-in business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities
• 99.9% scheduled uptime with financially backed service level agreements
• HTTPS connections to help keep Internet access more secure
• 24/7 Web form and phone-based Tier-2 support for IT administrators
• Sign In application for single sign-on capability
• Directory Synchronization tool to synchronize on-premise and Microsoft Online Active Directory directory service
• Email coexistence enables customers to maintain both on-premises Exchange Server mailboxes and Exchange Online mailboxes in an integrated email environment.
• Migration tools to help move your current mailbox data into the online environment
• Available in 20 countries
Can you please tell me what Exchange Online features are not supported by Hotmail?
Although we do not support Live mail(hotmail,msn) the only features that Live uses in any comparison with Office365 Beta, is:
POP, via the Hotmail Outlook Connector
https which Live must use for security (default)
My original question is what extra value that would drive my clients to move from Hotmail to Exchange Online. So are you suggesting that POP and https are the only extra features that Exchange Online has and Hotmail does not support?
Andrew, to clarify what David was stating, POP and https are the only features used by both Hotmail and Exchange Online. The rest of the list that you copied over are features of Exchange Online that are not present with Hotmail.
A few points to consider.
A few key points that come to mind
Mail is sent to their domain, instead of Hotmail.com So Jsmith@mybuisness.com VS email@example.com
Ability to create Any name they wish that they haven't already used.
The Mail in the accounts are owned by the business VS owned by who ever signed up on Hotmail. If a user leaves the mail doesn't go with that person.
Administrators can view users email if needed
Administration of all user accounts, settings, features such as SharePoint can be done in a centralized location
Direct integration and full use of Outlook, including Free/Busy, full calendar functionality, as well as Office communicator functionality with presence information.
I assume that there is no Active Directory on your side but if you did, we also support AD sync, making it very easy to administer.
Ability to add Contact that are outside of the Domain, available for all users to send to.
There are things like Distribution groups, conference room booking, Archiving, encryption, header and content filtering, as well.
Share point functionality
SharePoint as a whole is big feature.
All content is again owned by the business, it isn't in some person sky drive.
Easy administration again
Not knowing the size or business scope of your clients can make it a little harder to point out features they really might stand out as a major value. But administration, and ownership are some very key differences. If the Client is a 2 person business then yes a lot of these features are moot
I am an IT consultant and my target clients are other consultants, e.g. actuaries, accountants, financial advisors... etc. Their company size are 5 - 25 employee. The market is very slow and unless I can show them some REAL benefits, they don't want to spend any money to invest in their IT infrastructire.
You mentioned that POP and https are the only features used by both Hotmail and Exchange Online. Let's go back to the original list that I posted.
• 25-gigabyte (GB) mailbox allocated for each user - Hotmail has ever-growing storage space, so Hotmail is even better than 25 GB
• Shared calendar, contacts, and tasks - Hotmail also has shared calendar; its contacts and to-do list cannot be shared
• Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 and Outlook 2003 connectivity, including Outlook Anywhere - Outlook has Hotmail Connector
• POP client connectivity - Houtllok has Hotmail Connector
• Browser-based Outlook Web Access - Hotmail is native browser based
• Cost-saving "deskless worker" licensing for employees who use a company PC on a limited basis - Hotmail is free
• Virus/spam filtering via Microsoft Forefront™ Online Security for Exchange- Hotmail isalso virus/spam filtering
• Push e-mail, calendar, contacts, GAL integration, and tasks for Exchange ActiveSync® enabled devices, including Windows Mobile® 6.0 and above, iPhone 2.0, and many Nokia phones - both WP7 and iPhone 4 support Hotmail push as well
• Multiple support options for BlackBerry users - My BB can access to Hotmail without any problem
• Built-in business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities - Do you want to suggest to Hotmail users that Hotmail does not have disaster recovery capabilities?
• 99.9% scheduled uptime with financially backed service level agreements - Hotmail does NOT have financially backed service level agreements
• HTTPS connections to help keep Internet access more secure - Hotmail also have HTTPS.
Most of my clients does not have Active Directory, so they don't really care about directory integration.
I really want to sell BPOS or Office 365 to my clients but I really can't find a good pressure point to break in.
p.s. I am not sure if I am the only IT consultant who have such issue.
SharePoint Online is a great product and it would definitely helps me to sell Office 365; but I am hoping that I can also find some real value in Exchange Online. How about email encryption?
With Hotmail being based on a free consumer model, doesn't that mean all emails are appended with an advert of some kind in the body of the email? Sure your clients are getting a free solution with Hotmail but they can get an enterprise class solution for a few dollars (per user). One that does offer financially backed SLAs etc. Regarding email encryption - I understand that this is an additional service.
Andrew, I'm not knocking Hotmail, it is a very capable mail system for very small businesses who don't have enterprise needs. Ben is incorrect on one point, with the recent Wave 4 release of Hotmail, adverts are no longer appended to messages. You can also use your own domain and make it ad free with Hotmail Premium. However, it does not and likely will ever provide central management of individual account settings or control of your company communications: ex. add disclaimer to all messages sent, legal holds, retention. So while you could pay $2/mo for Hotmail Premium, $6/mo is reasonable to gain access to those features and more with Office 365 for Small Business.