Exchange 2010 Is Being Retired

Many business leaders went into panic mode when Microsoft announced that support for Exchange 2010 would be phased out. For businesses who rely on Exchange 2010 for daily team communication and collaboration, the phasing out of support can seem overwhelming. However, Microsoft is in no way leaving their trusted business leaders high and dry. We’re on a mission to explain what the end of Exchange support means and outline the different options businesses have for moving forward.

Microsoft Exchange 2010 Support Is Ending in January 2020 – What You Need to Know

On January 13th, 2020, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 support will officially be off the market. But what exactly does end-of-support mean? Simply put, like most Microsoft solutions, Exchange 2010 has a support lifecycle. Microsoft support lifecycles last an average of ten years after the product’s initial release. When it comes to Exchange 2010, the support lifecycle will end January 2020.

When the Exchange 2010 support lifecycle closes in January 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide:

  • Technical support and troubleshooting
  • Bug fixes for issue identification
  • Security patches for identified vulnerabilities
  • Ongoing time-zone updates

Needless to say, without these critical Exchange support services from Microsoft, businesses who rely on the platform will definitely experience hits to functionality, productivity, and security. So, if you haven’t started planning for the phase-out, read on to consider the options available to your business.

Options for Moving Forward: Office 365 or Exchange 2016

Don’t panic – here’s where the doom and gloom stops. Microsoft has multiple solutions in place to help businesses transition from Exchange 2010. If your business or organization relies on Exchange 2010 and you don’t have a plan for transitioning before January 14th, 2020, check out the two options available to you, explained in detail below.

  • Migrate to Office 365

This is by far the easiest and fastest option for transitioning from Exchange 2010. It’s also the most innovative option that will position your organization perfectly to take advantage of Cloud technology for business. Office 365’s line of Cloud-based subscription services is fully equipped for automatic updates and patches meaning your organization won’t have to worry about updating any of your long-trusted Microsoft software products.

Other benefits of migrating to Office 365 include:

  • Anytime, anywhere access to all the Microsoft apps you love and trust including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and more
  • Not having to purchase and maintain expensive and tedious hardware
  • Cost reduction via the elimination of on-premise servers
  • Compliance management and optimization resources
  • Analytics and machine learning tools

Businesses who want to migrate from Exchange 2010 to Office 365 have a few options including cutover, express or hybrid migration models. Businesses will also have to make considerations for the number of users and mailboxes they require on their Office 365 platform as well as taking account for the length of migration and the potential downtime that could accompany it. Consulting with a professional IT service company can be very helpful to ensure a seamless migration.

  • Upgrade to Exchange 2013 or 2016

For some organizations, Office 365 may not be a suitable transition option. For instance, some businesses are legally required to maintain on-premise email servers and data storage to mitigate security concerns. If your business falls into this category – or if you just prefer an on-premise solution – you can update your Exchange platform by transitioning to Exchange 2013 or 2016.

However, it’s important to note that you’re not required to first upgrade to Exchange 2013 before upgrading to Exchange 2016. In fact, if you’re going to upgrade your Exchange platform, we recommend upgrading directly to Exchange 2016. By upgrading to the newest version, you’ll be positioning your business for more long-term sustainability. Even better? Exchange 2016 is designed to be ultra-compatible with Office 365, so if you’re considering a hybrid migration, Exchange 2016 is your best option by far.

Hiring an IT Provider: Finding Reliable Support for Your Transition

Now that we’ve gone over the details about Exchange 2016 end-of-service and explained your options for transitioning, it’s time for our biggest recommendation of all. If your organization has been relying on Exchange 2010 and you’re trying to make a plan for the transition, you should find a managed IT services provider to help you migrate at smoothly as possible.

Finding the right provider doesn’t have to be an uphill battle, either. Go into your search with a clear idea of which migration option you think would be best for your business. Explain your needs to different providers and ask them how they can help make the transition as smooth as possible. Above all, invest in a provider who is committed to helping you migrate with as little business disruption as possible.

The right provider will:

  • Offer strategic consultation and explain your options to you clearly. They’ll also be able to make recommendations for which migration option is best for your business.
  • Work carefully to migrate all your business data and will do so in a way that prevents downtime and disruption.
  • Be willing to offer ongoing support and consultation to help you optimize your new platform from end-to-end.

If you’re already on the hunt for a migration support partner, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team of IT professionals at Right Hand Technology Group. Our team has extensive experience with Microsoft migrations and optimizations and we will work alongside you and your team to ensure your transition from Exchange 2010 is as stress-free as possible.

Don’t forget – support for Exchange 2010 will be completely phased out by January 14th, 2020. Don’t wait until the last minute to migrate! Reach out to our team of professionals at (412) 254-4448 or via email at info@rhtg.net. The Right Hand Technology Group team is ready and waiting to help you put your migration woes to rest.