Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition--Exchange 2007 UM: Branching Out--March 22, 2007

-------| Exchange & Outlook UPDATE |-------

IN THIS ISSUE
*Commentary: Exchange 2007 UM: Branching Out
*Editor's Note: TechX Web Site and Email Newsletter
*Exchanging Ideas: Free/Busy Differences in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2002
*New and Improved: Migrate Directly to Exchange 2007

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***COMMENTARY: Exchange 2007 UM: Branching Out
by Paul Robichaux, Exchange Editor, [email protected]

I’ve written a lot about Exchange Server 2007’s unified messaging (UM) feature set. This is due to three things: the number of reader questions about it; the fact that it’s an interesting piece of technology; and my belief that better integration of voice, fax, and email offers huge potential for making individuals more productive. As Exchange 2007 becomes more widely adopted, the market for devices and services that work with it is changing rapidly, so this week I'll cover some of the adaptations and changes that are taking place.

First, the number of software-based IP PBX systems that work with Exchange has grown. I’ve already written about Asterisk, the Linux-based Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) over UDP system that doesn’t work with Exchange 2007 ("Getting Exchange and Live Communications Server Together on the PBX," July 6, 2006). However, a couple of intrepid people have figured out how to use SIP Express Router, a Linux-based freeware product, to make the two work together; check out this blog for configuration information.

Unless you’re already using Asterisk, or have a hankering for tinkering, you might want to consider some of the growing crop of software PBX systems that run on Windows. You might have seen ads for 3CX's software PBX, but there are other systems out there. As far as I can tell, 3CX doesn’t yet support Exchange 2007, but I just learned—courtesy of UPDATE reader Charley Lanusse—that pbxnsip's PBX system supports Exchange 2007, although I haven’t tested it yet. There are probably other Windows-based systems that work with Exchange 2007, too, so if you’ve found one, please let me know! Of course, it’s worth pointing out that Microsoft doesn’t officially support any software-based PBX for use with Exchange 2007, so you’ll have to be fairly knowledgeable to troubleshoot any problems you run across.

Second, the number of hardware PBX systems that support direct interoperability with Exchange 2007 is also growing. Almost all hardware PBX vendors sell voicemail capability, either as stand-alone systems or as a PBX feature. When Exchange 2007 was first introduced, some vendors were slow to announce support for it; my guess is that they were afraid Exchange 2007 sales would cut into their voicemail sales.

However, this fear appears to have given way to a perfectly natural desire to grab as much Exchange 2007 business as possible. Mitel Networks announced on March 21 that it's now shipping updated firmware for its 3300 series of IP communications controllers that allows direct communication with Exchange 2007. This is big news for two reasons. First, it removes the requirement for an additional, expensive, hard-to-configure gateway. Second, it removes the uncertainty about whether PBX vendors are likely to support direct interoperability. Mitel’s move is a good step for everyone: it helps Mitel sell 3300s; it helps Microsoft further establish Exchange 2007 as a solid UM choice; and it helps administrators deploy Exchange 2007 UM without unnecessary complexity and expense. I’m looking forward to seeing which other PBX vendors will provide direct interoperability now that Mitel has broken the ice.

Of course, one unanswered question is exactly how Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 will work with Exchange 2007. Microsoft has been mum on the details, but look for more information here after the company releases a public beta of Communications Server 2007 later this spring.

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***Editor's Note

TechX Interoperability Web Site and UPDATE Email Newsletter
Do you work in a mixed environment? Visit TechX World for information about Windows interoperability. The TechX World community gives you access to interoperability articles that aren't available anywhere else; news, tips, and tricks from interop experts and other users; and forums and blog posts by other community members.

Join the TechX World community and sign up for the TechX Interoperability UPDATE email newsletter:
http://techxworld.com/community/reg

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***EXCHANGING IDEAS

Focus: Free/Busy Differences in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2002

Learn why Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2002 show different free/busy information for the same user.
http://www.windowsitpro.com/Articles/ArticleID/93900/93900.html

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Have a question? Got answers? Join your peers in the Exchange discussion forums:
http://forums.windowsitpro.com/web/forum/categories.aspx?catid=40&entercat=y
Current Threads:
Issue installing Exchange 2007 on x64 Server
Exchange 2003 FE OWA, SSL and NAT
SSL for Mobile Messaging

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Don't forget to sound off in our Instant Poll. This month's question is "What email client does your company use?"
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~~~~ Hot Spot: ~~~~

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***NEW AND IMPROVED
by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Migrate Directly to Exchange 2007
Priasoft announced Priasoft Migration Suite for Exchange 4.0, Exchange-to-Exchange migration software that now supports Exchange 5.5 users, letting them migrate directly to Exchange 2007 without the use of agents, SQL servers, or schema modifications. Priasoft Migration Suite for Exchange includes the Mailbox Migration Manager, which lets you choose one of five different migration scenarios, depending on your environment. The Profile Update Manager automatically updates Outlook clients' profiles post-migration and provides real-time Outlook client status reporting. The suite also features a Public Folder Analyzer and a Directory Migration Manager. For a complete list of features, visit Priasoft on the Web or call 602-801-2401.
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***EVENTS AND RESOURCES

These Windows-related events, papers, and resources will help you keep your knowledge and skills up to date and help you deploy, secure, and maintain the latest Exchange- and Windows-related technologies. For more Exchange related resources, visit
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