How Exchange 2003 SP2 can improve the productivity of some mobile users

With Service Pack 2 for Exchange 2003, Microsoft has made it easier for IT organizations to more inexpensively support certain mobile users.

There are some very good products on the market that help users maintain contact with their Exchange-based email, calendar, and contacts.

For example, when Good's GoodLink is installed in an Exchange environment, your handheld-toting (Treo 650, for example) users become walking mailboxes.

However, some of these third-party solutions can be somewhat expensive and may require a yearly, per-user licensing fee. With Service Pack 2 for Exchange 2003, Microsoft has made it easier for IT organizations to more inexpensively support certain mobile users. Users with mobile devices running Windows Mobile 5 with the Messaging and Security Feature Pack and the mobile version of Outlook installed enjoy complete synchronization of their mail, calendars, contacts, and can even make full use of the domain's Global Address List.

Even better, this enhancement includes some security features that make supporting these roaming devices a little easier for the IT security staff to handle. Using one of two methods, an administrator can make sure that data residing on a mobile user's device does not fall into the wrong hands. First, the service can be configured to automatically wipe the device in the event that an incorrect password is entered a certain number of times. Second, an administrator can deliberately send a command to a remote device instructing it to self-destruct and return itself to factory defaults.

No matter your reason for installing SP2, this Exchange 2003 enhancement provides the potential to greatly and reasonably expand your mobile offerings. Of course, not all handhelds are supported, including the aforementioned Treo 650, but with Palm's recent announcement that the Treo 700w will run Windows, even these devices will soon be supported.

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