The time to move over to Exchange 2016 is NOW!

We previously blogged about our brand new SMB User Interface initiative around Exchange 2016 hosting – we aim to simplify the management of Microsoft Exchange so that any white collar employee can manage business email administration end to end.

But what about Exchange 2016, what is so great about it? Truthfully (and this will not make our MSP friends happy) bulk of the Exchange 2016 benefits are really centered around making our life easier as the service provider – we’ve never been able to say this about ANY Microsoft product in the two decade history: we’ve had 0 issues. You read that correctly, we’ve had absolutely no problems with Exchange 2016 so the primary benefit is the overall reliability and flexibility of the platform. It’s solid.

But if you want to sit with a client and walk them through a set of features that are new and compelling – and a good reason to upgrade to our Exchange 2016 if they are still on another provider or earlier version of Exchange – here are some talking points.

P.S. We recommend getting a demo account with our sales team and discussing how we often position these services to win business. You can talk about it till you’re blue in the face but just showing them the feature live might make them not want to live without it.

Exchange 2016 Notable Features

Expanding Archives – When an archive mailboxes reaches 50 GBs, the archive mailbox expands. Under the covers, once the mailbox reaches a size of 50 GBs, another archive mailbox is automatically created and linked together to form a chain of mailboxes that acts as one logical mailbox. As archive mailboxes are added, the content is distributed across the mailboxes to even out the load. Keep in mind that auto expanding archives still don’t auto expand your storage backend. Make sure you have adequate storage to accommodate such growth.

Calendar – Do Not Forward: This is similar to Information Rights Management (IRM) for calendar items without the IRM deployment requirements. Attendees can’t forward the invitation to other people, and only the organizer can invite additional attendees.

Calendar – Better Out of Office: Additional options when you won’t be in the office. Key options include: add an event to your calendar that shows you as Away/Out of Office, and a quick option to cancel/decline meetings that will happen while you’re away.

Calendar – Remove-CalendarEvents cmdlet: Enables administrators to cancel meetings that were organized by a user that has left the company. Previously, conference rooms or meeting attendees would have these defunct meetings permanently on their calendars.

Outlook on the Web (Formerly known as OWA)

When you use Outlook on the Web you have access to powerful collaboration tools that help to improve productivity.  As an end user, you can easily engage in document collaboration, URL and video previews in email messages, and access advanced search functions. These capabilities have been especially enhanced for the most recent web browser versions including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, IE 11, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Additionally, there is now a productivity toolbar that appears in the top of your web browser for easy access to the functions you frequently use such as calendars, reading and composing email messages, searches, accessing files and documents, and more.

Pin: This function allows you to highlight a message and pin it to your inbox so you can easily locate important messages.

Undo: The Undo function helps you recover messages that were inadvertently deleted and undo actions you accidentally executed.

Sweep: This capability allows you to easily manage messages you frequently receive by configuring the settings for the messages. You can choose to keep messages for a specified number of days, automatically delete certain messages, keep the latest messages, and more.

Emoji’s: The Emoji’s provide enhancement to expressions in your email messages.  Since contact is not face to face, you can use this function to display emotions.

Organised Archiving: Exchange 2016 allows you to easily organise old email messages into designated folders with one click of your mouse. This helps to reduce inbox clutter.

Personalisation: A series of new themes have been added to Exchange 2016 to provide a more personalized experience when working with email messages.

Outlook 2016

As mentioned earlier, Outlook 2016 offers enhanced features for collaboration in addition to a few other functions mention here.

Quick Access to Recent Files: This feature allows you to easily access recent files stored in OneDrive for Business, SharePoint

Online, and OneDrive using a convenient dropdown menu.

Improved Screen Resolution: The intuitive DPI support features provides you with enhanced screen rendering when using Outlook.

HTML Format for Appointments and Meetings: You can now use rich HTML for email messages and attachments.

TellMe: The TellMe feature prevents you from having to search the productivity ribbon for a function you want to use.

Smart Lookup: Helps you to locate information on the web related to content in an email message. This feature places the information in directly in your inbox from sources such as Wikipedia, Bing, and others.

Small Screen Support: Enhanced support for small screens allows you to automatically adjust Outlook to adapt to your device screen. A back button allows you to easily switch screens to easily work with your message list and reading window.

Enhanced Multilingual Support: Exchange 2016 offers more international characters to support messages and documents in different languages.

Better Storage: Exchange 2016 offers improved settings that allow you to specify how long you want to retain email on your device.  Outlook is designed to monitor disk space.  If your space has become reduced, it will automatically set a smaller timeframe for syncing.

More Office Themes: A new Colorful theme has been added to Outlook 2016 while maintaining the previous white and dark grey theme options.

Improved Email Performance: With Exchange 2016, the time it takes to download and display messages as well as wake after hibernation has been reduced.

Outlook for iOS and Android

Early last year, Microsoft introduced Outlook email for the iOS and Android operating systems. This move helped to expand Exchange capabilities to more devices and operating systems.

Some of the features include:

Quick File Access: This features allows you to easily separate important emails from less urgent ones by using the double tab feature.

Calendar Availability Notification: The Calendar feature allows you to easily send the times you are available to your colleagues, friends, and co-workers.

Schedule Emails: This function allows you to remove an inbox message and schedule to appear at a later time when it is more convenient.

Directory Search: The Directory Search function provides a way to quickly find people and their location.

Automatic Replies: Exchange 2016 allows you to set messages to let others know you are out of the office. An icon remains on the screen to remind you this function is activated.