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Exchange Issues Spawn Services

If you're among the many enterprises contemplating a move to Microsoft's Exchange 2007, you won't need to go far for advice and counsel. A range of suppliers and service providers see the issues involved in moving from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 as a stepping-stone to near-term riches. (See Users Cautious on Microsoft Upgrades.)

Network Appliance, for example, is planning to goose its channel partners into doubling as providers of Exchange advice and even hosted services, through use of NetApp's StoreVault NAS gear and email appliances from vendor Azaleos.

At NetApp's North America Partner Summit in San Francisco last week, Sajai Krishnan, general manager of NetApp's StoreVault Business Unit, made reference to the possibility of bundling NetApp's NAS and Exchange management hardware for use by VARs. A NetApp spokesman later acknowledged that Krishnan's reference was to Azaleos, which has been packaging NetApp StoreVault S500s as part of a "complete Exchange solution."

While not acknowledging any formal arrangement with NetApp, Azaleos co-founder and CTO Keith McCall, who was formerly director and product unit manager for Microsoft Exchange Solutions, says about 70 percent of Azaleos' customers are using the company's products with NetApp's StoreVault NAS. Further, he says many are looking for help with a move to 2007.

"Our belief is that many customers are looking for other managed services companies to help them make the leap," McCall says.

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