While text messaging, videoconferencing, instant messaging and other forms of communication have a come a long way, good old email continues to lead the pack as the most essential corporate communication tool. Think about how lost you would be without a properly functioning email service and all of the administrative tools that come with it.
First introduced in 1996, Microsoft Exchange Server continues to be the de facto standard for business-grade email service, with more than 170 million users around the world. However, Exchange presents a number of challenges for organizations that host their own Exchange Server, particularly for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs).
The in-house IT resources required to implement, maintain and manage Exchange Server can be cost-prohibitive for smaller organizations. Because these IT resources are typically in short supply, many organizations are turning to a hosted email model to reduce costs and simplify management. Hosted email shifts the management and maintenance burden of all backend services to a third-party service provider.
Hosted email offers the following benefits:
- Lower, More Predicable Total Cost of Ownership. Instead of purchasing, installing, configuring and maintaining your own email infrastructure, hosted email allows you to utilize a service provider’s hardware, software and expertise for a monthly fee. Migration to a new version of Exchange, a costly proposition when hosted in-house, is automatically handled by the provider at little or no cost.
- Deployment and Scalability. Hosted email can be deployed in a matter of hours, compared to an average of 30 days for an in-house solution. Users can be added easily and inexpensively without the need for additional hardware purchases.
- Anytime, Anywhere Access. All email folders, contacts, calendars and data can be accessed and shared from virtually any Internet-connected desktop or mobile device, allowing for greater productivity, flexibility and collaboration.
- Software Licensing Costs. Hosted email allows you to upgrade to the latest version of the software without paying for a new license.
Although hosted email is an appealing option, moving email to the cloud isn’t the best strategy for every organization. For example, if email is truly mission-critical, a lost Internet connection can prove very costly. Also, if your email system is highly customized and integrated with a number of applications, keeping email on premises is most likely the better choice.
In this case, a local outsourced IT provider such as Atlantic-IT.net can help you overcome the complexity of email management by handling the monitoring, maintenance and administration of your on-premises Exchange Server. This approach not only frees in-house staff of routine management tasks but provides greater reliability and security and 24×7 technical support. We can also help you customize your email environment to support mobile devices and enhance your business processes.
Let us help you determine if hosted email or on-premises Exchange Server, managed by Atlantic-IT.net, makes the most sense for your organization.