Will Hosted Exchange Save You Money?

JPEG image-063D6255745C-1We usually think of email as a free method of communication, but it can actually be a huge drain on resources. If you currently run an Exchange server in-house, you might be surprised how much you could save with a hosted solution.

In a climate of cuts and efficiency measures, public and private sector organisations are looking for ways to reduce cost. Maybe it’s time to re-think your email strategy and redirect the wasted cash elsewhere?

The real cost of email

For a business, the main cost of email is running a server in-house, and providing all of the infrastructure that goes with it. You need a secure network, reliable power, storage devices, and possibly air conditioning to keep the room cool. Some businesses have a small on-site server room that has to be maintained and secured, with fire suppression and alarms to protect the data.

Additionally, there’s the cost of keeping all of your server software up to date. You’ll need software licenses for your servers and per-user licenses for software, and someone to monitor, upgrade and patch as required. If you have an external company providing backup services, this adds another layer of admin and cost.

So it’s not just a case of running a server. It’s the cost of running a secure, modern and up to date infrastructure, and making sure the data on the server is always available. It’s about preventing unauthorised access, paying for licences and coming up with a workable support framework.

Even for a small business, this can cost thousands of pounds every year.

The cloud alternative

Cloud computing gives small business access to business grade infrastructure, but at a fraction of the normal cost. If you’re currently running email servers in-house, outsourcing could be a more affordable and sensible way to run your email.

With hosted Exchange, we offer a simple pricing model. Just pay for every mailbox you need. There are no licenses to run, and no servers to maintain. All of that is included in the price.

You might be concerned about having your email hosted by another company, but there’s no need to worry: all of our servers are located in a secure data centre in the UK, backed by a robust cloud infrastructure. Your users won’t see any difference in the service they receive, but they might notice that we offer superb uptime and speed, so your email is always available, 24/7/365.

Managing the cost of IT

If your IT department is struggling to access the funds it needs, streamlining your email service could be a great way to make some savings. We can offer hosted Exchange for any business, from micro-businesses and startups through to large corporations. We’ll also migrate all of your old data, so your users don’t notice any downtime.

Cloud4 are experts in business cloud services. Talk to us today about Hosted Exchange. The days of running expensive servers are over. It’s time to make the move to the cloud.

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Will Hosted Exchange Survive in a Crowded Market?

When Google announced its Gmail back in 2004, you’d have been forgiven for thinking email would be free forever. For consumers, Gmail certainly changed the way we thought about this vital service, and we have come to take messaging for granted.

In a highly competitive market, Exchange’s continued popularity is testament to its market position as a leading email solution. But can it continue to dominate business communication with Google For Work breathing down its neck?

Why Do We Still Use Exchange?

In truth, Exchange is more than just an email service, or a mailbox. It’s a complete business management system that incorporates calendars, tasks and other functionality. Exchange also ties in seamlessly with other Microsoft technologies, such as Sharepoint. If you’re in the Microsoft ecosystem, it certainly makes sense to stay there.

One of the pain points that businesses experience is the Exchange server itself. It’s a server that comes under serious load during peak business hours, yet it needs to be up 24/7. Without the Exchange server, the whole email system falls flat.

Hosted Exchange allowed businesses to stick with the Exchange system they depended on, but to outsource the management of the server. This is a much more efficient way to run a business email service because the pain, management and availability is placed in the hands of a third party provider. This means you can cut support and stop over purchasing, one of the key reasons for overspend in IT.

Looking Ahead With Cloud

The hosted element of Hosted Exchange takes advantage of cloud infrastructure, and it allows businesses to tap into a scalable and highly available method of provisioning. As long as small businesses need cost-effective services, hosted Exchange will be a popular email system.

As businesses become more collaborative, and more geographically diverse, the popularity of systems like Exchange will only grow further. The foundations are already in place, and the hosted element means employees can connect securely to collaborative and communication tools wherever they are.

Consider also the popularity of mobile computing, and the way that faster internet connections are changing the way we work. When everyone was sitting in one office, it made sense to place the server close by. Now, we can connect to a server from anywhere, and a 4G connection makes remote connections quick and easy. The user just has to change the server details on their device.

Now’s the Time to Move to Hosted Exchange

Hosted Exchange is a secure, convenient and cost-effective way to modernise your Exchange email and cut back on unnecessary spend. With easy accessibility and instant scalability, it’s no wonder businesses are doing away with their server rooms and switching to hosted solutions.

If you opt for hosted Exchange today, you’re essentially future-proofing your business email, ensuring it’s always accessible by employees working on site or far away. Microsoft has heavily invested in the Exchange brand, and we’re looking forward to years of additional innovation that shores up Exchange’s capabilities.

Could You Cope Without Business Email?

Four long years ago, Mark Zuckerberg famously claimed that email was on its way out, and messenger services – specifically Facebook’s Messenger – would change our communication habits. This has certainly proven to be true on consumer mobile devices, since we are increasingly moving towards messenger apps that use data services, rather than SMS messaging. But it hasn’t proven to be true in business.

In the corporate world, email still tends to be mission critical. Few businesses would be comfortable without it. Indeed, email’s dominance as our primary communication medium is one of the reasons we need to maintain service quality.

When choosing a Hosted Exchange provider, it’s important to balance cost with availability. A low price is no good without a decent service level agreement, which details the provider’s commitment to you, and the expectations you should have of it.

Availability and Downtime

Business critical services have to be provided to a robust SLA. It’s services like email that keep a business profitable and responsive, and poor availability could bring a business to its knees within hours.

Email is vital to internal and external communication. Client meetings, sales, marketing and support all rely on email to maintain momentum. If any one department cannot access their mail, the impact on the rest of the business is immense.

Clearly, not having a functioning email account is a productivity drain, but it can also have a ricochet effect on other areas:

– If an email bounces back to a client, they may question your professionalism and commitment

– Failing emails mean that messages are delayed, which can affect sales and marketing activity

– Employees that are unable to email will find it impossible to keep track of team activity

– Many services that rely on email will be crippled by the outage, too

Let’s be clear: sometimes downtime is avoidable, and sometimes we can’t prevent it. Faulty hardware, or an ‘Act of God’, is difficult to prevent. But that should never be an excuse for short-sightedness, or accepting a poor quality of email provision in the longer term.

Cloud4 is proud to offer highly reliable Hosted Exchange services to our many business clients. We don’t just market an SLA: we stick to it, too.

Over the last two years, Cloud4 has consistently achieved outstanding service levels. On our Hosted Exchange service, we have maintained a 99.7% uptime figure for more than two years.

Like For Like

Remember that uptime figures are often manipulated by marketing teams, and a high percentile does not necessarily mean that the service is reliable.

Take the ‘99%’ figure for example. It sounds like a good uptime statement – just short of 100%. However, 99% essentially means that the service could be down for almost 15 minutes each day, and the company would not be in breach of its SLAs. In actual fact, 15 minutes of email downtime would be enough to slash productivity and give your customers real doubts about your commitment.

When looking at hosted Exchange providers, make sure you’re comparing like with like, and ensure the provider gives you an uptime SLA that you can live with.

Find Out More About Hosted Exchange

Cloud4 is committed to offering quality Hosted Exchange email services, as part of a holistic group of services that make business IT simple. With our support, you can ditch the expensive server room and prevent infrastructure over purchasing. And with our commitment to quality service, you can be confident of 99.7% service uptime, keeping your employees connected.

Hosted Exchange 2013 – is it an ideal solution for my businesses?

Email is the most integral part of most modern businesses, acting as a main source of both internal and external communication. As such, it’s important for businesses to have a substantially reliable email service so that they can focus on their business strategy over their IT infrastructure.

Forum discussionOne of the main reasons many small businesses adopt Hosted Exchange, or migrate their existing Exchange data to the cloud, is to improve the mobility of their business. Continue reading Hosted Exchange 2013 – is it an ideal solution for my businesses?

Hosted Exchange – A Buyers Guide

Hosted Exchange user numbers continue to grow.

Hosted Exchange for Business
Hosted Exchange Continues to Grow

The growth of Hosted Exchange as the preferred business email solution was predicted by Microsoft several years ago, and now in November 2012 there seems no end in sight to the ever increasing number of businesses going hosted. It has been widely predicted that around 70% of small and medium sized business in the UK will adopt hosted email over the next few years, with up to 30% by the end of 2013.

 

Continue reading Hosted Exchange – A Buyers Guide