If you are in any way a fan of Microsoft Exchange Server or have been following the release of Exchange 2013 (Exchange 15) then you already know what Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) is and why it is so cool to have it back. As a product manager who has worked with Exchange and managed Exchange migration products for more than 10 years, I can’t be more excited!
I have always felt that Exchange Server does not get the recognition it deserves. It has always been about the Operating System, Windows Server, Identity and Security or Active Directory. Messaging always seems to get the leftover attention. I felt that way until I attended my first Exchange Connections event back in 2002 (which I think was the last one). It was the best tradeshow I had attended in my IT career because I learned more about Exchange Server and messaging in three days than I had in the entire year prior. I expect MEC this year to be a similar experience.
Now is a great time for MEC to make a comeback. Exchange 2013 (Exchange 15) is releasing as part of the Office 15 wave and Office 365 adoption is taking off and will be upgraded with new Exchange 2013 features. Customers of these platforms have a need more than ever to ramp up on their skills and plan for the new features and functions available in these two platforms in the coming releases. As you look through the MEC sessions you can see a majority of content will be focused around Exchange 2013 features and deployment. If you plan on deploying Exchange 2013 or Office 365 within the next year then I would say this conference is extremely important for your chances of success.
At MEC this year I will be looking for ways that Quest can make the transition to Exchange 2013 easier for our customers. There are so many different ways to go through a deployment and then migrate the mailbox data to the target server. If you work for a large organization then coexistence and project management will be critical. If you have a legacy version of Exchange or are coming from a competitive platform then you may be required to use a third-party tool for your migration. Microsoft typically does not offer upgrades or migrations from their platforms earlier than one version prior. There has also been a lot of merger and acquisition activity do to the economy. This presents a different challenge for customers that need to merge their AD and Exchange infrastructures. It will be great to talk to customers and get first-hand knowledge of the challenges they will face with Exchange 2013 and how we can assist them with their transition.
MEC is back and I am excited to attend! Be sure to check out the conference website and consider attending on September 24th in Orlando, Florida. If you are attending and see me roaming the sessions then be sure to say hello. I look forward to seeing you there!