Microsoft's (News - Alert) October product use rights (PUR) are now available and show the company has made some major licensing changes that could have an impact on IT professionals and how they manage real-time communications, particularly email hosting.
The company has eliminated a number of key External Connectors from its offerings, including those for Exchange, Lync and SharePoint Servers. According to Microsoft, with the 2013 versions of Exchange Server, Lync Server and SharePoint Server, the company is "consolidating the right for external users to access the server under the server license assigned to the server on which the software runs. There will be no 2013 version of the External Connector License for SharePoint for Internet sites."
Sounds pretty ominous, right? Of course, how this announcement impacts your business depends on how your IT environment is set up as well as the Microsoft licensing structure you have in place. External Connectors give users access to Microsoft applications, through Microsoft's servers, and are mostly used within customized or highly distributed IT environments. This is especially true for setups that require outside parties like vendors and partners to access these systems to conduct business. With the elimination of these External Connectors, every outside user will require a new license, which could become extremely costly, particularly for simple applications like email hosting.
Companies like SherWeb, a provider of cloud-based email hosting and collaboration tools, are stepping up to mitigate this major challenge to IT departments. The company recently debuted its Hosted Exchange 2013 solution, a completely hosted environment that offers a 100 percent redundant architecture. It also offers a fixed price per user, per month, and eliminates the hassle of having to host and maintain costly on-premise solutions.
All software is hosted on the company's SSAE 16 (SAS (News - Alert) 70 Type II) certified servers, offering a redundant architecture with online backup to SAN and weekly and monthly backups to tape and off-site tape vaulting. Additional features include quick deployment, seamless mailbox migration and best-of-breed equipment from vendors like Dell, Cisco (News - Alert) and Compellent. SherWeb also offers 24/7 customer care.
The email hosting provider officially went live with its Hosted Exchange 2013 solution last week, with its first hosted e-mail sent on October 24. The company is offering businesses a free month of the Hosted Exchange 2013 Plan to celebrate the milestone.
“Our Exchange 2013 plan is already available in both French and English, reaffirming our position as a leader in hosted services for SMBs,” said Rima Hatoum, product manager at SherWeb. “Not only were we the first to launch, but our customers were up and running that same day.”
“As a long-time hosting provider, we know just how damaging it can be for businesses to be stuck in waiting mode, especially resource-strapped SMBs,” added Eric Gauthier, VP of Sales & Marketing at SherWeb. “That's why we ensure our customers are fully operational the same day they sign up.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein