MS Exchange on-prem. The real deal.
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November 06, 2019

MS Exchange on-prem. The real deal.

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Exchange

We currently use MS Exchange as our collaboration software for staff and faculty. It addresses meeting scheduling, room bookings, personal calendar and email communications for the business.
  • Seamless integration with MS Outlook, client for Windows and Mac, Mobile devices and Web access.
  • Incorporates calendar, email, contact list and tasks within the software. All information is kept in the mailbox database on the Exchange servers.
  • High availability. The clustering that MS uses for Exchange has come a long way. Their Database Availability Group technology keeps a copy of the database(s) on each host within the cluster. We have not experienced an outage since implementing Exchange 2010, over 6 years ago. We are now running Exchange 2016 without issues.
  • Some of our customers have asked for a feature called 'plus addressing'. This is widely used in the Linux/Gmail email systems but is not available on Exchange.
  • Inbox rules. The basics are there, however, there is some need for a more robust method of catching and sorting email. Some rule editors include a RegEx editor that would allow for this.
  • As of a few years ago, MS has been focusing more on their development efforts on their cloud solution and now so much on the on-premises application. Most feel that the new features do not make it to the on-prem application, forcing corporations to migrate to the cloud.
  • Anti-SPAM and AntiVirus. MS Exchange has never done a great job of keeping the bad email out of the system. This has opened up an opportunity for other companies to take advantage of selling an email firewall to catch a bad email before reaching Exchange.
  • Search engine capabilities. Being able to search for an email in your inbox since the day you started your job, is essential to fast and efficient business needs.
  • Reliable email delivery and meeting bookings.
  • Zero downtime for maintenance. Customers come to rely on the fact that our Exchange system has not been down since its implementation.
There used to be more competition for the email space on-prem. Products like Lotus Domino and Novell Groupwise were major competitors quite a few years ago. Unfortunately, neither of these products exists any longer and Microsoft has dominated this space for a few years. Now, that 'cloud email' is more accepted from a business perspective Microsoft is in direct competition with Google's GMAIL and its own Office 365 product. In my (slightly biased) opinion, the on-prem version of Exchange is the more stable and secure product as privacy concerns escalate with companies like Google. Yes, the cloud version of these products gives you additional features for real-time collaboration integration and metrics on accessed documents, but unfortunately that all comes with a cost to the business from a data privacy concerns.
Microsoft support has generally been good as long as you reach the right people. We haven't had the need to call into support in quite a while due to the stable nature of the product. We have used the Office 365 support personnel, which unfortunately I cannot give a good rating to. The 'cloud' support has been basic at best.

Do you think Microsoft Exchange delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Microsoft Exchange's feature set?

Yes

Did Microsoft Exchange live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Microsoft Exchange go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Microsoft Exchange again?

Yes

Microsoft Exchange is well suited for an organization of over 1000 employees. The cost of the physical servers, Exchange itself and a full-time admin, is not feasible for a smaller organization.

Microsoft Exchange Feature Ratings

Anti-malware
1
Cusomizability
4
Data Loss Protection
7
Threat Detection
1
End-to-End Encryption
9
Management Tools
8