Microsoft Exchange has become the main business class email and collaboration solution available to businesses. Without a doubt email is the most collaborative and communicative tool for businesses regardless of size. Microsoft Exchange is the most widely adopted hosted service; however, it’s also the most complicated and costly to manage.
That said it’s a powerful tool that can reduce costs from in-house servers and increase the saturation of newer business practices like BYOD. Hosted Exchange solutions provide a business with a flexible, secure, scalable, and mobile business email solution. This service is backed up, replicated, and available 24 hours a day.
Using a hosted Exchange solution can provide and allow a business real-time integration of business email, calendar, and contacts between different mediums including Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile. This means that Hosted Exchange mailboxes are available from any device and there is no need for a business to physically synchronise accounts.
Hosted Exchange allows a business to enjoy the services provided by Exchange without the costs and headaches of managing an in-house server. The Microsoft Exchange hosting company manages all of the software and hardware installation, management, and upgrades. Using an Exchange hosting service also allows the host company to “load balance” services across their own hardware. This means that businesses can more effectively monitor and control server hardware and power usage across its services.
The economical benefits are very advantageous to a business, as the cost of a single server is very low. This works for any size of business and can benefit large companies or small ones operating on a tight budget. Hosted Exchange offers a business great value for money, especially when compared to the cost of capital expenditure for server hardware and software, hidden costs such as maintenance, and the required licenses.
With hosted Exchange services a business is likely to only have to pay a small monthly fee, ensuring that it’s an affordable solution that many small businesses can fit within a monthly budget.
Using hosted Exchange can provide a number of benefits, including improved productivity. Task management is an advantage that accompanies the email solution as it allows a business to assign tasks to its employees. By using Outlook Web Access, you can provide users with secure access to email, calendar, and contacts from any web-enabled device.
Microsoft Exchange hosting also includes advanced features that can benefit your business. An exchange solution comes with tools to manage email, contacts, global address book, and calendars. Users can also benefit from increased collaborative potential through Outlook Web Access and Outlook. This allows users to securely share information among their Exchange contacts. In addition to the features mentioned, Exchange also provides users with secure, centralised access to key contact information, and effective content management. Add to this the Group calendar feature for scheduling and it becomes apparent that a hosted exchange solution is a full well-rounded package. Using and maintaining the calendar function allows users to check the availability of other users, book conference rooms, and utilise company resources to schedule meetings.
Users can use the Public folders to make data and file sharing much easier. This feature allows users to quickly upload and share documents and emails in a secure central location.
Eliminate hardware failures
Whilst it’s not really possible to eliminate potential problems entirely, using a hosted solution can provide a much better chance that things won’t go wrong. By using Microsoft Exchange hosting you don’t have to worry about disaster recovery problems as data centres provide these services. This means that your data is not confined to a singular physical location but instead is spread across a number of servers. This ensures that your data remains safe and your service continues uninterrupted.
Using hosted Exchange provides businesses with another advantage of more comprehensive security. The host company provides anti-virus and anti-spam solutions, ensuring that your company does not have to worry about online threats when it comes to email. Saying that, it doesn’t of course stop human intervention such as clicking on links or opening attachment, only training staff effectively can stop this.
Perhaps the best benefit in general is the huge increase in up time. If a company is running its own server, any number of things could cause unexpected down time such as power cuts for example. However with an off site hosted solution maximum uptime is guaranteed by most vendors at a level of around 99.99%.
If your company opts to use a hosted solution it’s good to remember that up-scaling is a simple task. All that’s required is for an administrator to add the necessary new accounts. This may increase the monthly cost of the service but it shouldn’t be by too much. Often, prices come in packages with a set number of users within a specific price range. Importantly, a business does not have to worry about purchasing new server hardware to manage the number of expected users. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to worry about a physical server slowing down when more users are added.
Remember that in the initial setup Microsoft Exchange can be deployed quickly and easily. There is no server to setup and all you have to do is create the user accounts through the control panel and they are ready to use.
Many new and improved features
Storage space varies depending on price and vendor, but you generally get more than enough for your needs. This allows users to send and receive emails without users having to constantly delete and clear email folders. This means that users can store important emails without the worry of running out of space and it allows users to access older messages. Another benefit is the ability for users to send emails that are as large as 50 MB. This means that large PDFs and spreadsheets can be shared easily with little constraint. Microsoft Hosted Exchange can easily handle user requirements and the 50MB file limit is large enough to send the entire works of Shakespeare.
Microsoft Hosted Exchange provides businesses with a simple tool that allows employees to communicate and collaborate well. It does this with near perfect up time and for a fraction of the cost of an in-house server. Big or small there is something in hosted exchange solutions for every business.