Azaleos Offers Financing For Bundled Exchange Services

The bundle's financing, underwritten in part by ePlus Group, was constructed to help end users migrate to Microsoft Exchange 2007, which requires 64-bit hardware and more robust attached storage than many customers may have in place, according to Scott Gode, vice president of marketing and product management at Azaleos.

Azaleos' OneStop managed services offering is a hybrid of in-house and hosted Exchange models, according to Gode. Customers' e-mail and data still reside on servers in the company's data center, but Azaleos manages the solution remotely. The service is targeted toward the millions of customers that haven't migrated to a hosted model and want to keep their data in-house for security, policy or other issues, he said.

"The data stays on-site at corporate headquarters, but management of that server takes place by Azaleos. We take the headache out of the product, but do not force the customer to push the data up into the cloud," Gode said. "The other thing we get are customers looking to migrate from a [lower] level of Exchange, 2000 or 2003, to 2007. As part of that migration, they don't want to do it themselves. Or they're migrating from [Novell] GroupWise or [Lotus] Notes and they don't want to do it or they don't have the expertise in-house. They don't want to hire or train for Exchange," Gode said.

Azaleos' offering can cost about half the price of a corporation managing its own e-mail and about 5 to 10 percent less than the hosted model, he said.

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"It gives us a degree of optical price parity with a hosted solution. Just like hosted, there is a single price for hardware, software and services," he said. "Also, rather than putting the IT person, the CIO, in a situation where they spend [a capital expenditure] on hardware, whether it's for a server or a SAN, we can turn that into an [operating expense] equation. That makes it an easier pill to swallow."

The list price for the managed services portion of OneStop is $12 per user per month, but Gode said a customer's total cost varies on volume, hardware and other services.

Azaleos also has the Azaleos OneServer for Microsoft Exchange 2007, a high availability e-mail appliance that is managed remotely by experts in the Azaleos network operations center. A virtualized edition of OneServer is also available that reduces the number of physical servers required to deploy Exchange 2007 from four to two.

OneStop services include ViewXchange, a realtime monitoring and reporting system for Exchange and its associated IT infrastructure; ManageXchange, a remote command and control service that allows Azaleos technicians to monitor, manage, patch, troubleshoot and fix issues in a customer's Exchange environment on a 24x7 basis; MobileXchange, a mobile device management and monitoring solution for the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES); ProtectXchange, an antivirus/antispam service powered by MessageLabs; RestoreXchange, a dual-site disaster recovery service that handles both dial-tone and mail-storage restoration; and ArchiveXchange, an automatic e-mail archival and storage service for Exchange server.