Safe, Simple & Supportable – IT Support & Managed Services for Business
It is widely accepted that Microsoft Exchange Email, with Outlook and Outlook Web Access, is the best solution for email, calendar, task and contact sharing and collaboration.
Many businesses have gained significant advantages in terms of efficiency and improved working practises by using MS Exchange services. For many years though this was only available if you had your own Exchange or Small Business Server.
Hosted Exchange solutions allow you to gain the benefits of Exchange without the complications and costs of having your own server. The hosting company look after the hardware and software, you just connect to it via the internet.
With Microsoft now offering hosted solutions through their Microsoft online offerings, and competitors, such as Google, selling competing products the cost of hosted services is falling. This means it has never been a better time to consider using a hosted solution.
To help people make a more informed decision when deciding if Hosted Exchange is right for their business we have compiled a Top 10 listing reasons for choosing Microsoft's Online Hosted Exchange over the established on-site server solution.
The cost of a single Hosted Exchange account is now under £4 per user per month. When you compare this with the cost of the server hardware and required licenses to run your own Exchange, or Small Business Server, this is great value for money.
When you also include the hidden costs of running your own server, hosted solutions become even more cost effective. These hidden costs include power, racking, support, system admin time etc.
Simplicity / Quick Deployment
An on-site server solution needs to be installed, setup and configured. These tasks could take an experienced professional a day or more to complete.
With a hosted solution there is no server to setup. You just create the user accounts via the control panel and they are ready to use.
If you have an on-site server solution when the next version of Exchange is released your server may need to be upgraded. This costs more in terms of licenses, engineer time etc.
With Microsoft Online services when the next version is released you receive it. No new licenses, no engineer time, no hassles.
MS Partners can help set it up
Setting up a hosted solution may be something you don't feel comfortable doing yourself. By opting to use the Microsoft Online solutions you can easily find trained and certified experts who will help you with any setup and support issues.
Monthly Payments are easy to budget for
Having your own on-site server can make budget time difficult. Unless you have an unlimited remote and on-site support agreement any problems that your server experiences is probably going to cost you more money resolve it. Not forgetting the cost of any down time to your business.
With Microsoft online products you pay a set monthly cost, making budget time simple.
We all know that we should think about Disaster Recovery. What would you do if your on-site server refused to start up, or worse still it was destroyed in a fire? Well as long as you have good backups a restore is possible, although it will cost time and money. If you don't have good backups there is a good chance that you will never get your data back.
Using Microsoft's Online Hosted Exchange disaster recovery is not an issue. Why? These services are provided by geo-redundant datacenters. What does that mean? That your data is not restricted to a single server in a single physical location. So, even if Microsoft lost one of their data centers (as hard as that would be) your data would be safe and your service uninterrupted.
Business Class Security
Having your own server, or a hosted solution provided by another supplier means you have to think about Anti Virus and Anti Spam solutions. Various options are available for both and may incur additional costs.
Using Microsoft's Online Exchange gives you Anti Virus and Anti Spam by default. Nothing for the client to do, or worry about.
Up time (99.9% Up Time Service Level Agreement [SLA] )
If you have your own server is it always running? If you have any issues or problems you are going to experience down time. This costs you money in support (to get the issue resolved) and loss of earnings.
Microsoft's Online Hosted Exchange solution comes with a 99.9% up time SLA (Service Level Agreement). An on-premise server solution would struggle to reach this up time.
If your requirement for the number of user accounts you require changes does your solution scale with it?
With an on-site solution you purchase server hardware that can cope with the number of users you expect. Of course there is room for some scalability but at some point the physical hardware is going to be to slow for additional users. If you are using a Small Business Server solution there is also a limit on the number of devices and users it can support. Reaching either of these limits is going to cause you to have to re-evaluate the hardware and software your on site server is using. That is going to mean more expense.
With a hosted solution scalability is easy. Need another account, or another 100? Either way just create the accounts and you are done.
We all need our email, calendars etc. on a variety of devices. Full Outlook client on a main computer, Outlook Web Access from a personal laptop, iPhone, Blackberry etc. The list goes on.
An on-site solution can do all this, just as well as a hosted solution. What happens when a new "must have" device is released, that only synchronises with a newer version of Exchange than the one you have installed? Do you upgrade your exchange server at a cost just to support this device?
With MS Hosted Exchange you know you are always going to have the latest version, meaning that you have the best connectivity options possible. Therefore, your new device won't create any extra expense.
We all want to help the environment, and as hosted solutions are ‘greener' than the other options they can help. How?
If you run your own Exchange server for a few users it's likely that the server hardware utilisation is not running at a high percentage. This means there is power being used to keep the server up and running, but a lot of that power is being wasted.
Using a hosted solution means the provider can "load-balance" services across their hardware. This allows for efficient use of server hardware and power across their services.
Considering all the above, and taking into account the low cost of fast internet connections for both business and home use, hosted services are proving to be a real success. With companies such as Glaxo Smith Klein and Royal Mail moving their mail infrastructure to Microsoft Hosted Solutions isn't it time that smaller business took the step too.