End of life for Exchange 2003

Exchange 2003, end of Microsoft support – what next?

From the 8th April 2014, Microsoft will no longer produce security patches or fix bugs for Exchange 2003. Effectively they will end their extended support of the platform.

If you’re a user of Exchange 2003 you need to know what this means for you and decide what your next course of action is, to prevent disruption to your business.

As an Exchange 2003 user, what are my options?

1.Migrate to hosted Exchange 2013
2.Upgrade to a newer platform- 2010 or 2013
3.Continue using Exchange 2003 (without support)

1.Migrate to hosted Exchange 2013

If you choose to migrate to Exchange 2013 you’ll get tools that enable you to increase business productivity and collaboration. When combined with leading service, support and technical expertise, the final outcome is best-in-class business email.

The costs associated with hosted exchange are centered more on operational costs rather than upfront purchasing and are significantly lower.

You would benefit from a flexible solution with the option to purchase per mailbox, giving you more control over your email hosting. Add to this a variety of payment and contract options and for this option, your business won’t need to make a long-term commitment or make a large upfront investment . You can even take advantage of volume based discounts when you require mailboxes for several users!

2.Upgrade to Exchange 2010/2013

Upgrading from 2003 to either 2010 or 2013 will incur significant costs to your company and require significant IT resource due to the fundamental differences in features.

However, if do you choose to move to Exchange 2010 or 2013 you’ll benefit from a product that works across all devices, increased reliability, simplified collaboration and you’ll also be able to access your inbox whether at home or on the move.

3.Continue with Exchange 2003

Anyone choosing to continue using Exchange 2003 will undoubtedly save themselves the costs associated with upgrading to Exchange 2010/2013 and it may well appeal if you’re stuck for time .

However loyal users will have to foot the bill for patching their own software, may experience heightened security risks and see an increasing number of bugs, because Microsoft will no longer be providing solutions for these.

As 2003 is being consigned to the past, it also means that compatible software won’t be supported. Your IT solution will fall further behind other platforms in terms of innovation and potentially end up violating regulatory compliance requirements in the process.

Make sure you are fully aware of the pros and cons of each of these options before making an informed decision. If you’re not sure what the best solution is for your company, get in touch with our sales team to discuss your options in more detail and find the right answer for your company and your budget now.

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