A new frontier for Exchange was entered today, as we announced our intent to acquire FrontBridge Technologies. They are one of the leading providers of managed services that address corporate email security, compliance, and availability requirements. We’re really excited about this acquisition because now Microsoft will be able to offer these services to compliment the Exchange servers our customers run (and even Notes or any other SMTP server). You can read more marketing stuff here.
This new frontier, of delivering software services over the Internet, to compliment self-hosted servers is going to be very interesting – ie consider how should we maintain systems mgmt coherency or seamless security between solutions which span the hosted and self-hosted world? We’re not sure yet, but we are eager to dig in and figure it out with you.
My hope is that, in due time, our customers will be able to choose self-hosted “server” or hosted “service” for all Exchange functionality. The analogy that comes to mind is my frequent trips to Home Depot, where I can choose to take on projects myself, or hire the plumber. This is my choice for each project, as to what provides me the optimum result vs investment of my time.
I look forward to discussing this new frontier with you.