If your existing exchange server requires extensive time management, a high level of skill and a large cost of use, it’s not serving your business well. Thanks to the cloud, there are a range of hosted exchange providers, all offering similar services to your traditional exchange server and for a reduced cost.
Benefits of Hosted Exchange
Because these services take place in the cloud, they are less expensive than dedicated in-house servers. Additionally, you can select a hosted exchange that offers a range of add-ons that allow you to leverage existing technologies. For example, a host may offer a chat module in addition to hosted email exchange, so that employees can choose to email or chat with clients and customers. Hosts generally offer linked calendaring, so that employees can easily schedule appointments from within the email server. Direct push synchronization lets employees receive email over mobile devices in real time, without workers needing to manually send or receive data. This helps all employees stay current and be more productive on the go, which can offer efficiency benefits over the existing exchange model. If being up-to-date is critical for your enterprise needs, a hosted exchange provides the power, flexibility and speed to keep all employees up-to-date from work and home, on a range of mobile devices and on their work computers.
Evaluating your needs
Before you browse the range of hosted exchange packages, give thought to your existing business needs. How much physical space do you need and use, and how much are you currently paying for with your dedicated exchange server? What level of customer support are you getting? What level of support do you feel comfortable with? What is your budget? As you answer these questions, you will come up with a baseline package that can help you evaluate different hosted exchange packages.
Not all exchange hosts are created equally: Some offer large mailbox sizes with few add-ons, while others give less space but greater extensibility. Others fall somewhere in between, and still others have a large add-on library but charge for the use of add-ons. As you review packages, ignore the baseline cost and determine what features you would actually use. Crunch those numbers to get an accurate cost of the hosted exchange package.
As you review options, pay attention to contract terms. If you are being locked into an exchange host, how long is the contract? If you migrate to a different package, how will you be able to extract your data? If you need a larger mailbox capacity or a plan that accommodates more employees, how much will it cost to upgrade your package to a larger size?
Next, review your enterprise goals and see how the specific exchange package can help you reach those goals. To do this, list the business’s existing services and see how the hosted exchange package can help employees provide these services more efficiently. The right exchange hosts will streamline your provision of service and be competitive with the cost of your other hosted exchange servers.
Asking these questions can help you begin the process of reviewing hosted exchange packages and switching to a cloud-based exchange. While this is a time-consuming process, it ultimately offers cost savings and efficiency benefits that justify the means.