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Is it time to upgrade to Exchange 2016?

Now that Exchange 2016 has launched, I’m starting to get asked by IT Admins whether or not it’s really worth it to upgrade in the new year. I would say that anyone running Exchange 2003 or 2007 should plan to upgrade soon. But it’s a trickier question for companies running later versions like 2010 and 2013.

Should you upgrade? Here’s what the experts say…

Recently, Tayla Holman, Assistant Site Editor at TechTarget, wrote an article about precisely this conundrum. In writing her piece, she turned to Jonathan Levine, CTO at Intermedia for his take on the issue of Exchange security:

When securing email servers, features such as encryption or data loss prevention will become standard for business email next year, said Jonathan Levine, CTO of Intermedia, a cloud business applications provider based in Mountain View, Calif.

“[Managed service providers] that don’t provide these services to their customers will start to see lawsuits for malpractice [from] customers who suffer security breaches,” Levine said.

Enterprises will also need to be aware of shadow IT, and implement new infrastructure and tools to combat “rogue access” from sites such as Dropbox and PayPal.

If IT teams try to restrict the adoption of technologies such as Dropbox, then there is the potential for even greater security threats, Levine said. “If these issues are not addressed, IT departments lose control of their systems and network, and open up the possibility for the company’s assets to be compromised.”

And then there’s the cloud-based vs. on-premises argument. Holman asked Sean McNeill, Microsoft MVP for Office 365 and Technical Engagement Director at SkyKick why he recommends moving to the cloud:

“With Office 365 and Exchange Online, messaging administration is streamlined to the users and functionality,” McNeill said. “Gone is the need to manage servers, storage and availability at the local level.”

This is just a taste of what Holman has to offer. I recommend reading the full article, “Should admins consider an Exchange 2016 upgrade?” for more expert advice on the topic.

Exchange 2016 and the new standard of business email

Upgrading to Exchange 2016 is only part of the bigger picture. As Jonathan Levine mentions, encryption and data loss prevention are crucial elements, too. But trying to deploy those security elements on-premises takes time and money. You really have to invest in enterprise-grade hardware and provide your employees with 24/7 support, and that means having IT admins with expertise in a half-dozen new adjacent technologies.

The easiest way to get this enterprise-grade technology and 24/7 expert support is to move to the cloud.  In fact, we see the whole package as the “new standard” for business email. Cloud-based Exchange 2016 + tamper-proof archiving + advanced email security — all integrated in a complete cloud email solution to address today’s business environment.

Read our recent report to learn more about the new standard of business email.  And don’t forget to download our guide. It includes an assessment to help you understand gaps in your current email solution that might put your company at risk. If you have any questions, give our experts a call at 800-379-7729. We’ll be happy to help you bring your business email up to the new standard.


Office 365 is trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia