Is it the Right Time to Move to Microsoft Hosted Exchange?
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? A salesperson is on the road and can’t find the client’s location, because the e-mail with the directions is back at the office. A critical planning meeting is rescheduled for the 3rd time, because it’s almost impossible to sync up schedules between the engineering and marketing teams. A customer is disputing the requirements for their project, and you can’t find the e-mail with their original project details and worry that it was accidentally deleted. Spam mail and viruses are a constant nuisance in the workplace. If you find yourself running into these or similar situations, it’s time to consider hosted Microsoft Exchange.
Organizations of any size can benefit
Most people think of hosted Exchange as an enterprise class solution for companies with dozens or even hundreds of employees. That generalization is half right- Exchange is an enterprise class solution, but it’s not just for large organizations. In practice, the benefits of Exchange start to manifest once you hire your second employee. With document sharing, calendar synchronization, and access to e-mail and contact information from any web-capable device, Exchange can be a tremendous boon for teams as small as 5 people.
Flying without a net
Automated e-mail archival and retention tools are another crucial benefit for SMBs of any size. There are 2 basic approaches to e-mail for small businesses. One approach is to configure POP mailboxes using a shared web hosting account. This is the simplest solution, but the most risky. Management and retention of e-mail is solely the responsibility of the employee, there is no safety net.
On the other end of the spectrum, a company will purchase and manage a mail server in house. This allows for things like improved backup capabilities, but it’s expensive and still is subject to single points of failure- hardware breaking, network connectivity, or human error just to name a few.
Exchange makes sense
Hosted Microsoft Exchange dodges all of those issues. There are no cost of entry barriers like hardware purchases and software licenses. Backups are automatic. Users have access to e-mail and contact lists from any web browser, and there’s also native support for popular iPhone and Blackberry devices. Built-in anti-spam tools stop 94% of all spam before it reaches your employees.
The question isn’t really whether or not it’s time for hosted Exchange. Focus on the bigger questions: do your employees need anywhere access to e-mail and the ability to share calendar information? Do you have a bulletproof, automatic e-mail archival solution? Do you need better spam protection? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then hosted Exchange makes a lot of sense.