On Tuesday I spent the day at TNX: Exchange. TNX: Exchange was a full day event, hosted by Microsoft Technet, about their messaging applications and mobile workforce tools.
They covered some interesting areas – including using Sharepoint Services and Sharepoint Portal, Exchange 2003 (and SP2), Windows Mobile 5 and Live Communication Server.
While Live Communication Server really didn’t do anything for me, they had some really interesting information on Sharepoint. I hadn’t really spent much time looking into Sharepoint on a whole – but after their presentation I’ll be looking at it for a couple clients.
Sharepoint Services are available for free if you’re running Windows 2003 server (or SBS, where it’s preinstalled). It has some neat, easy to use technology to create team and project websites for information repository and basic document management. Having had far too much experience trying to use e-mail to ship around word documents, I’m definitely going to do some more research. As a matter of fact, I have at least two clients who could get a great amount of use from Sharepoint Services right now.
The other interesting bit as them showing off Windows Mobile 5, and its power when working with Exchange 2003 SP2 (and the push-enabled patch). When push-enabled devices are available here in Canada (end of this quarter), Windows Mobile 5 will finally be a product worth considering.
I don’t think it’s as simple/clear as a Blackberry (for e-mail) for all users, but it does provide the same functionality, and far more, right out of the box. The ability to work with meeting requests, for example, almost makes it worth the price of admission to many users. When you add the security features, including being able to erase all data on the handheld remotely or automatically if it’s lost or stolen, Windows 5 Mobile definitely becomes a strong competitor.
It’s too bad they haven’t managed to make it sync with Public Folders yet.
Now if there were only a way to have a smartphone that doesn’t need a data plan (or only a VERY VERY minimal one), I’d consider one.