May 20, 2016 13:54
Published: May 25, 2016 13:36
If you’ve ever worked in a corporate environment, chances are you’ve been exposed to a very particular kind of email system. It was likely run by the Microsoft Outlook engine, and it managed your email, calender, notes, and the like.
Now you’re running a business and that little Gmail account doesn’t seem robust enough for you. But you only have yourself and two employees, and buying your own mail server seems like a crazy investment. You’re not a Fortune 500 yet. You’re just trying to get your hustle on.
Then you hear your provider talk about Hosted Exchange. Or, at least that what you think you heard through all the techno-babble.
Basically, this is a miniaturized version of the monstrous network that large corporate companies use to power their own internal email systems. An “exchange” is just a techie word for the server that actually does all the data and file transmission. These servers usually have their very own room in big companies, along with their very own personnel, constantly monitoring the network and fixing issues as they crop up.
On the flip side, a “hosted” exchange is a server that is managed off site by a VoIP service provider. The management of that email network, the maintenance on the server itself, and other related troubleshooting are all handled by someone that you do not employ. Clearing out broom closets to make room for stacks of servers isn’t even on the agenda.
So why, you might ask, would this be good for my business? Well, there are many reasons, most notably cost and functionality.
Almost across the board, costs on a hosted exchange are going to be drastically lower than a more traditional on-site system. Seriously, guys. Have you seen what servers cost these days? And that’s just the hardware. Then you have to buy “licenses” for each employee that you have, some costing upwards of $1000… each.
Much of the time, these networks are ridiculously over-sized for smaller companies. And they are definitely over-prices. A hosted solution provides you with all the same benefits of an on-site exchange network for a fraction of the cost. Licensing on one of these networks can be under $100 a year!
For a long time, going off site for something like this meant that you didn’t have the functionality you needed in your business. Not any more.
Hosted exchange will provide you with many of the exact same features that you have in the larger on-site exchanges. You’ll still be able to have all your email, calendars, notes, and contacts in one place that can be easily accessed by you and your employees using internal equipment or even mobile devices.
You’ll also get what’s known as Direct Push synchronization. Basically, this means that you won’t have to constantly be refreshing your email on a mobile device if you want to check your mail. It will push that information to you, letting you know in nearly real time when you have a new message or a meeting.
Conclusion? For most businesses, a hosted exchange is a more cost-effective and lower-stress addition than adding your own on-site email exchange. Your VoIP provider can fill you in deeper on how to implement this in your business.