For most of us, email has become our most critical business system. How many days without this critical communication medium could you last, without it having a real impact on your business?
With that in mind, more and more companies, both small and large, are moving this critical service to the cloud. With cloud-based email services, the same powerful collaboration software that you’ve come to know can now be accessed via highly reliable and redundant data centers.
Microsoft’s Exchange email system is the world’s most popular business messaging platform. It’s estimated that companies that provide hosted email solutions powered by Microsoft Exchange hold 53% of the market share (according to a 2012 study by market research firm Radicati Group). Businesses of all sizes utilize Microsoft’s Exchange platform to power their email, and take advantage of the long list of features such as shared calendars, SmartPhone integration, and other collaboration tools.
Many Hosted Exchange providers ensure their Exchange servers and related infrastructure are designed with redundancy and business continuity in mind to protect your data. What does that mean for you? It means that those providers have the ability to redirect users and their data to alternate data centers, in case of disasters or equipment failure occurs at a primary data center. This is something all Hosted Exchange services should be able to offer. In addition, most providers offer compliance archiving and encryption services, as needed. Typically, these types of advanced email capabilities are out of reach for many smaller organizations.
Other advantages of considering cloud-based Hosted Exchange services include:
- On-demand mailbox size increases, without worry about disk space on your in-house server
- Service Level Agreements (SLA) that guarantee up-time (depending on the provider)
- 24/7/365 monitoring of e-mail systems and related infrastructure
- Automated patching and security auditing, performed and managed by the service provider
- Predictable software and implementation costs, as each users added only requires an small increase to the monthly fee (vs. purchasing additional user licenses, etc)
- Painless migration to new versions of Microsoft Exchange as they become available