For most companies, the time to upgrade from MS Exchange 2003 to MS Exchange 2007 is when the physical server is ready for replacement. In part, this is a necessity because Exchange 2007 only runs in a 64-bit environment and most servers running MS Windows Server 2003 are running on a 32-bit system.
Unless you have purchased Software Assurance for your operating system, Exchange, and the Client Access Licenses (CALs), you will have the following software costs when you upgrade from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007.
- Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition = $1000 per server and $40 per user
- MS Exchange 2007 Server Standard Edition = $700 per server and $67 per user
For a 20 person company, your software costs are $1800 for the server and $2040 for the Exchange server, a total of $3840. This assumes, of course, that you have already spent the $4000 to $7500 on an a 64-bit server. If not, your total cost is about $10,000, or $500 per user.
If you extend your analysis into the future, add costs for administrator time, hardware and software maintenance and updates, and the hard and soft costs of backup. Over three years, our 20 person company could easily spend $20,000 to $25,000 for email services.
This is the baseline. Add redundancy, collaboration, and other capabilities to your environment and you are buying more hardware, more software, and spending more on administration, support, and backups.
Email is critical to most businesses and maybe $500 per user per year is a good deal. Then again, maybe there is a better way. More to follow.