Exchange 2010 Support is Ending: Here’s How IT Resellers Can Make It a Sales Opportunity

In this post, we’re going to cover three things in particular: why your customers should care about this looming milestone, what alternatives there are to Exchange 2010, and how you can maximize the extent to which you benefit from its obsolescence. Let’s begin:


Despite its name, Microsoft Exchange 2010 was actually released at the tail end of 2009. In the years since — despite the release of three newer versions — it has remained in widespread use, with many businesses continuing to rely on it for their email operations (and having no great eagerness to make any major changes).

Even so, their hands may soon be forced. This is because Microsoft confirmed towards the end of 2019 that its official Exchange 2010 support will end on the 13th of October 2020. At the time of writing, that point is months away, but the message is clear: move on.

Will those businesses listen? Possibly. Should you make an effort to guide any of your clients still using Exchange 2010? Yes. Not only is it a smart time for them to move away from this system, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to show your worth and make some sales.

What this means for your customers

There are two elements that go into Microsoft’s official support: technical assistance provided to users upon request, and general maintenance of the software. The first element likely seems insignificant for your customers (they might simply come to you with their issues), but the discontinuation of the second constitutes a major problem that will only get worse.

Even after years of work, Exchange 2010 isn’t perfect. Outside of systems developed to perform specific life-or-death functions, code never is. That means there are probably bugs that are yet to be discovered and security vulnerabilities that still haven’t been patched. And once Microsoft stops even trying to update it, hackers will see greater value in searching for those issues.

There’s also the inevitability that its basic functionality will start to degrade in the near future. Cross-system compatibility is increasingly important, and it’ll only get more inconvenient to be reliant upon a solution that doesn’t really work with anything else.

It certainly isn’t very appealing compared to the utility and efficiency of the increasingly-dominant cloud system model. Moving your customers to the Microsoft cloud with either Office 365 or Microsoft 365, means they will benefit from the massive $1billion investment into cloud security that Microsoft is making every year as standard.

The associated cost of ownership for your customer to maintain this on-premise environment can be eye-watering and be massively reduced when they’ve migrated to the cloud.

The ability for you to remotely triage and fix issues, without having to physically wire into an on-premise service can be game-changing for your customers business continuity, and for the hours you invest in travelling. These hours can be spent nurturing, developing and upselling new cloud-based services, that will take your customer to new operating efficiencies.

For all these reasons (and more), it’s clearly a sensible move to consider replacing Exchange 2010 as soon as possible, and at least start preparing to swap it out for a more modern solution with years of support ahead of it.

Where can they go from Exchange 2010?

Regardless of the specifics, there are three viable routes for moving away from Exchange 2010 with minimal disruption:

Stay on-premise but upgrade

This simply involves replacing Exchange 2010 with one of the newer releases. The most logical move is to Exchange 2019 (for reasons that should be obvious), but Exchange 2016 could be licensed at much lower cost if necessary as a reasonably stopgap solution.

Move to a hybrid setup

Any company that has a strong hardware setup in place and wants most data stored locally but also wants to benefit from cloud storage and scaling can adopt a hybrid setup. Exchange versions can be mixed (e.g. Exchange 2013 on-premise with Exchange 2019 in the cloud) but the most sensible option is to use the latest version for both parts. This is a strong middle-ground option and can pave the way for an eventual move to a secure cloud solution.

 

Migrate entirely to the cloud

For full future-proofing and convenience, an on-premise installation of Exchange 2010 can be migrated entirely to Exchange Online (usually as part of an Office 365 plan). This can be done through painstaking manual exporting and importing, or much more easily through a cutover migration (more on this later).

 

You’ll need to assess each client’s individual needs before making a specific recommendation, because there may well be situations that practically necessitate stopgap measures. That said, a full cloud setup is going to be easier, cheaper and more secure for almost everyone, so it’s the option you should push for whenever appropriate.

Learn more about the different types of migrations on our Exchange Server 2010 EOS webinar

How to take advantage as a reseller

If you have clients still using Exchange 2010, then this looming milestone isn’t just a reason for them to be concerned: it’s also a reason for you to feel inspired in your capacity as a reseller. In the months ahead, you’ll have some golden opportunities to make some new sales.

 

The main opportunity lies in explaining why making a change is a matter of some urgency. You’ll need to detail the various dangers of continuing to rely on outdated software, and be very clear about the wide-ranging benefits of migrating to a newer system.

 

If you have a Microsoft silver or gold level competency or are working towards this, you will have requirements you need to meet. Moving your customers from an Exchange 2010 server to Office 365 or Microsoft 365 will count towards your net new customer additions and gaining or renewing your competency.

 

Most notable, of course, is the prospect of moving to the Microsoft cloud as part of an Office 365 plan. Any customers looking to adopt Office 365 Business Premium could work a lot more efficiently and save money by integrating their email systems with it — and any not using it and focusing on keeping their systems on-premise could no doubt benefit from a general software overhaul.

 

It is also important to note that while your customers are consuming email through an on-premise service, their anonymized cloud usage and adoption data is unavailable in our digital transformation tool, Partner Insights™. Once you have migrated them to the Microsoft cloud, you will be able to leverage their usage data to open up new conversations, identify sales opportunities and take your relationships to new levels with actionable insights.

Speak to us about Migrations

intY has a team of experts ready to support your email migrations. Contact us if you want to discuss a possible oppertunity.

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