For organizations operating more than one messaging system, especially those as diverse as Lotus Domino and Microsoft Exchange, seamless messaging and calendaring coexistence between messaging systems is no longer a 'nice to have,' it's a 'must have.' The success of these initiatives is directly correlated to the experience of the end users and very often it's specific to how well the calendars work between users on different email platforms. Users can become quite vocal if meetings disappear from their calendar or they can't schedule a meeting because they can't look up the availability of the other users. As Vadim Gringolts discussed in his blog post last week on coexistence:
" ...users insist on perfect functionality of ALL calendar entries, complete and continuous synchronization of ALL directory entries, instantaneous and accurate free/busy lookup, and uninterrupted workflow of mail-enabled applications with their custom emails, forms, and approval buttons."
Keeping up with new software releases, features, and integrations is a constant challenge for IT Administrators. They need to be able to easily and efficiently perform smooth and seamless transitions from one platform/release/upgrade to another. Tack on the responsibility for establishing and maintaining interoperability between two different messaging systems, whether due to a merger, an acquisition, or a platform migration, and their job can quickly become overwhelming. Even so, it's vital that companies with differing email and calendaring systems are able to harmoniously coexist and that users are able to work without interruption.
So what should the end user experience look like when an organization is coexisting with Domino and Exchange? And what are the planning best practices for administrators to ensure that their hybrid environment is fully interoperable and their users are not disrupted?