Intermedia First to Host Exchange 2010 Beta

Giving businesses the opportunity to try out the beta of Exchange 2010 as a hosted service, Intermedia ( has become the first hosting provider to offer Microsoft’s latest collaboration suite as a hosted service.

Promising to lower costs, improve productivity and integrate email archiving, Microsoft’s ( Exchange Server 2010 beta, released in April as the first part of Microsoft’s upcoming suite of unified communications products, has been rebuilt from the ground up, and is designed to work in both on-premise and online applications.

BT to resell Microsoft’s business cloud suite

BT is to resell Microsoft’s cloud-based business messaging and collaboration suite, the company announced on Monday.

The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) will be available to BT’s business customers as a fully hosted managed service, including features such as performance management, maintenance and software upgrades.

The enterprise applications suite, which includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting, will be integrated into BT’s 21CN network, the British telecommunications and IT supplier said in a statement.

Microsoft Online and BPOS – Welcome to Software plus Services!

"The Business Productivity Online Suite (or BPOS for those of us who like shorter conversations) is a hosted offering from Microsoft Online.

Before we dive head first into the world of BPOS, it’s important to understand  Microsoft Online. Microsoft Online is software hosted by Microsoft and available for customers to use on a subscription based service. Essentially, it’s a Software plus Services offering from Microsoft – Microsoft hosts software and data in our data centres, which customers can access via the web (using either a web browser or a desktop software application) from their own machines"

New Microsoft Partner Network Site Launches

Vist the New Microsoft Partner Network site…..
"…The Microsoft Partner Programme has evolved. We’re proud to introduce the Microsoft Partner Network, a community born from our continued commitment to serve the needs of our partners and to help them reach their full potential…."

Microsoft UC Platform powered by Ensim Unify Service Provisioning

Microsoft has deployed the Ensim Unify powered UC platform in their labs and will run live demos from it.

It can be found here:

This follows on from earlier post…
Easynet Global Service are an Ensim Partner and have deployed ‘Unify’ to deliver their own Partner Hosted Microsoft ‘Hosted Messaging and Collaboration’ Solution.

Ensim launch full Unified Communications support from the Ensim Unify platform at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC)

Ensim and BroadSoft to Deliver Complete Unified Communications Solution Integrated with Microsoft Applications for Telecommunications Service Providers
Companies to demo first customer implementation at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2009


"…Ensim Corporation, the leading provider of change management, user provisioning and access control software, together with BroadSoft®, today announced a collaborative demonstration of a new unified communications (UC) solution based on Ensim Unify, the leading provisioning platform for automating the creation, activation and configuration of hosted IP, SaaS and application services.

Based on Ensim’s latest release of Ensim Unify Service Provider Edition, 4.7.0, the production-ready system features support for BroadSoft’s BroadWorks® VoIP application platform, the Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration (HMC) 4.5, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 to provide a robust solution for service providers looking to deliver a complete “Unified Communications Solution as a service” offering to small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Creating a comprehensive hosted UC solution presents a unique set of challenges due to the complexity of integrating multiple applications from multiple vendors in a unified and turnkey manner,” said David J. Wippich, president and CEO of Ensim Corporation. “Ensim Unify enables service providers to quickly, easily and inexpensively launch and manage a hosted UC offering that combines state-of-the-art, self-management capabilities with unrivaled flexibility.”

The companies will host a demonstration of the UC solution during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, July 13-16. The demo includes the following features:

  • Ensim Unify BroadWorks Manager – gives service providers enhanced capabilities to automate provisioning and integrate with their existing Operational Support System (OSS) to rapidly introduce, deliver, and manage VoIP services.
  • Ensim Unify Exchange Manager – allows service providers and resellers to flexibly combine Exchange Server 2007 functions into a full range of custom service plans.
  • Ensim Unify OCS (R2) Manager – a complete, role-based access management solution that can be deployed just for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 or across the entire unified communications infrastructure; enables self-service for management of features like group chat lists.
  • Complete UC functionality — integrated business telephony, video telephony, collaboration, call centers, mobile/wireless integration, and CEPBP/enterprise application integration for key business tools like CRM and ERP.
Full press release here….

Power of Choice … BPOS / HMC / On-Premises


On-Premises vs HMC vs BPOS

…its all about the power of Choice.

Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 4.5 gives hosting providers the tools and guidance they need to easily deploy revenue-generating services such as enterprise-class e-mail, calendaring, contacts, and real-time collaboration

Business Productivity Online Standard Suite (BPOS) delivers hosted communication and collaboration tools

"…The Business Productivity Online Suite includes Enterprise class products made up of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Live Meeting. The Business Productivity Online Suite is delivered as a subscription service hosted by Microsoft and sold with Partners. There are two versions of the service: Business Productivity Online Suite Standard primarily targets small and mid-market customers, whereas Business Productivity Online Suite Dedicated is for customers with 5,000 seats or more…"

In essence its ‘Solution formerly known as HMC’ and is HMC hosted @ MS and not @ Service Providers/ Hosters. Ok, so thats not strictly correct but you get the idea if you are familiar with the HMC Solution.



….Who will be Successful Running Hosted Messaging and Collaboration

There are two types of service providers who can make money from selling Microsoft Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 4.5 based services, those who run the service themselves and those who are resellers.

This is taken from the article

"…Research shows that achieving a customer base of several thousands MAPI seats with monthly growth rates of 100’s of seats is the minimum level to achieve profitability in running the hosted Exchange platform as a commercial service provider and partners that will not achieve this level of customer adoption would be significantly more profitable through a reseller arrangement with a large scale white-label provider.

For service providers that run the services themselves, to run the service profitably, the key points are:

  • To be able to invest enough money and people to run a high quality service with at least a 99.9% uptime SLA
  • To be over 10,000 mailboxes soon, and expect to grow significantly over time
  • To have a plan for how they are going to differentiate their service from others in the marketplace (probably through bundling other services together with the Hosted Messaging and Collaboration based services)

For service providers who are not going to have the scale identified above, Microsoft strongly encourages service providers that cannot achieve at least a 10,000 mailboxes customer base to seriously consider shifting away from the operational aspect of the hosted Exchange business and explore working with one of our white-label exchange service providers that can be found at Hosted Exchange Server Partner Directory. This means that they will not run Microsoft Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version 4.5. Instead, they will find a provider with whom they can partner and sell the service run by that partner…."

ISA vs TMG vs IAG vs UAG – Are you confused?

Alphabet Security for Exchange. Microsoft product placement and strategy is not great at the best of times and the future direction of ISA is no different.
In a nutshell….
If you want a reverse proxy, such as publishing OWA, ActiveSync, OA and Sharepoint to the internet, you will now use UAG. Yes, TMG can technically do both just as ISA can, but this is no longer a Microsoft recommended configuration.


ForeFront Threat Management Gateway (TMG, formerly ISA) is now being positioned as an outbound internet proxy for internal corporate users. It will include advanced anti-virus, anti-malware, and intrusion detection features.
While you can still use TMG as a reverse proxy for publishing internal web sites to the internet, that is not the recommended use. This is a big change from ISA, which is very commonly used as a reverse proxy.
ForeFront Unified Access Gateway (UAG, formerly IAG) is now the preferred solution for inbound access to internal corporate resources. This includes acting as a reverse proxy for applications such as OWA, Sharepoint etc.
Like IAG which included ISA under the hood, UAG will also include the TMG engine. Like IAG, in UAG you will not directly configure TMG. TMG is merely there to protect the UAG, not to provide TMG functionality for other applications.