Microsoft Introduces Exchange Hosted Services

New licensing model and road map for hosted solutions offering unveiled.
(PresseBox) (REDMOND, Wash., ) Microsoft Corp. today announced new branding, a new licensing model and the road map for Microsoft® Exchange Hosted Services (EHS), formerly known as FrontBridge Technologies Inc. EHS is composed of four distinct services including Hosted Filtering, Hosted Archive, Hosted Continuity and Hosted Encryption. These services offer cost-effective hosted solutions to help ensure the security and high availability of an organization’s messaging environment while satisfying internal policy and regulatory compliance requirements. In addition, Microsoft today unveiled a new per-user licensing model for all the services as well as road map details, including information about the upcoming EHS 5.3 release and the 6.x series of releases that will align with Exchange “12” availability. EHS is the latest addition to the Exchange Server solution portfolio and a key offering in Microsoft’s software as a service strategy.

“We’re driving to deliver world-class software any way customers choose,” said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Exchange Hosted Services will give customers more flexibility in how they deploy, manage and maintain technology.”

EHS Offerings

EHS helps reduce large upfront capital investment and free up IT resources, empowering companies to concentrate on areas most critical to their business. Operating over the Internet as a service without any hardware or software to install on premise, EHS enables organizations to better protect against e-mail-borne malware, satisfy retention requirements for compliance, encrypt data to preserve confidentiality, and help preserve access to e-mail during and after emergency situations. These services include the following:

• Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering, available with a free 30-day trial, incorporates multiple filters to actively help protect businesses’ inbound and outbound e-mail from spam, viruses, phishing scams and e-mail policy violations.

• Microsoft Exchange Hosted Archive is an advanced message archiving system for e-mail and instant messages that helps enterprises meet a variety of regulatory and legal demands placed on their electronic communication systems.

• Microsoft Exchange Hosted Continuity is a security-enhanced Web interface that allows ongoing access to e-mail during and after unplanned outages of an on-premise e-mail environment.

• Microsoft Exchange Hosted Encryption helps preserve e-mail confidentiality by allowing users to send and receive encrypted e-mail directly from their desktops.


Exchange Hosted Services Road Map

With quality of service a leading priority, Microsoft will continue to innovate on these services with the next release, EHS 5.3, scheduled for April. Key features will include the following:

• Continued optimization of filtering effectiveness with improvements to real-time recognition and alerting of spam bursts improves the ability to block new spam attacks.

• Faster full-text archive indexing provides an improved indexing process that allows users to search e-mail based on keywords for queries that produce up-to-the-minute results.

• Added language support for Spam Quarantine provides EHS Spam Quarantine for end users that now support 13 languages, including Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Korean, Portuguese, and traditional and simplified Chinese character sets.

• Directory Services usability enhancements deliver a new process for moving and managing directory information, enabling a simplified process for account creation and management.

• Admin Center security enhancements includes added options to enforce additional password policies, such as requiring strong passwords and forcing password expiration.


Following the release of EHS 5.3, Microsoft will continue to provide regular updates that focus on active protection, confident compliance, and reduced cost and complexity. Microsoft will deliver the 6.x release series to coincide with Exchange “12” availability, and will include support in it for calendar and contacts in the Hosted Continuity and Archive services, better directory integration, and broader support for languages in Spam Quarantine and the Admin Center.

Broad Industry Adoption

Since the acquisition of FrontBridge Technologies Inc. in August 2005, Microsoft has experienced a 25 percent growth in its customer base and 20 percent growth in the number of partner resellers. Companies ranging from small businesses to enterprises are realizing the benefits of a hosted solution to help protect their messaging environments and adhere to compliance regulations. These companies include 3D International, Allen Matkins Leck Gamble & Mallory, Georgia-Pacific, Los Angeles World Airports, McLarens Canada, Montgomery & Co., RSM EquiCo Capital Markets and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“As a registered broker/dealer and a member of the National Association of Security Dealers Inc., we are required by law to be in compliance with its rules and regulations and, therefore, we rely heavily on Exchange Hosted Services as a key component in running our business,” said Sandra Grinker, vice president of administration at Montgomery & Co., a leading investment bank for emerging growth companies. “The Hosted Archive and Filtering services offer a simple and cost-effective solution that not only gives us peace of mind that we are remaining compliant, but has also greatly reduced the amount of time managing our messaging environment.”

In addition, Microsoft continues to work closely with industry partners worldwide including AT&T Inc., Equant, Logicworks, NuSoft Solutions, Peters and Associates, Softchoice Corporation, Sprint and TELUS., enabling them to deliver Exchange Hosted Services to their customers.

“E-mail is a mission-critical application for our customers, and they are looking for solutions that will help them ease the time and challenges in managing their messaging environments,” said David Ball, Messaging Solution Manager at Equant. “Exchange Hosted Services is the perfect solution for many of them, providing a simple yet reliable solution that helps alleviate their security and compliance concerns while allowing them to focus on their core business.”

Availability

On April 1, Exchange Hosted Services will be available in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. These services will also become available in the Asia Pacific region later this year. More information about Exchange Hosted Services and how to contact a local partner can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/....

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