Is a hosted email solution right for your business?

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Q.  I have a small business with 25 employees that rely heavily on email as a communication method with our customers and business partners.  We have been struggling with managing our current email system that is running on a server in our office.  Should we spend the time and effort to upgrade our server and email software or is a hosted email solution a good alternative ?     -  David B, Philadelphia


A.  The biggest drawbacks in the past for using a hosted email application were the limits on functionality and losing control of your ability to customize your configuration of the application.  That has all changed in the past couple of years with the latest release of certain email applications, including Microsoft Exchange 2007, which a lot of the email hosting providers are now offering.  As a matter of fact, many larger companies with 200 or more mailboxes are using a hosted email model with great success and cost savings.

If you factor in the continual costs of software licenses, hardware, maintenance and system administration, the time and cost savings can be substantial.  In these tough economic times, we are recommending that organizations of  all sizes look at hosted email as an alternative to their current in-house system. 

There are some complexities involved when looking for a good hosting vendor so feel free to contact Tim or James directly if you need any guidance in this area. 



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Email Advice August 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Hosted email makes sense for SMBs any way you look at it. You dont have to manage email servers, you get enterprise class features thanks to the SaaS approach, and can also get integrated collaboration features. One good option is HyperOffice’s hosted email service (http://www.hyperoffice.com/business-email-service/). For a low monthly charge, you can get all of the features of enterprise email – custom email addresses, web mail, mobile mail, Outlook integration, shared contacts/calendars/tasks and also get integrated collaboration features like document management, forums, polls etc.

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AaronR July 30, 2009 at 12:47 pm

I see this all the time… more and more companies are moving towards outsourcing technology like email simply because it’s more cost effective than maintaining and administering such a system in house… I find that this makes sense for almost any business up to about 3000 users.

Something that shouldn’t be over looked is that there’s lots of other options beyond hosted Exchange, like Zimbra for example. Zimbra is by far one of the most comprehensive collaboration products on the market and is also the most cost effective because it’s open source.

Admittedly I work for a Zimbra hosting provider, http://www.specialai.com, but the only reason why I’m biased towards zimbra is because I used to work with Exchange, Scalix, Novel, and basic systems like SquirrelMail… and have come to the conclusion that none come close to Zimbra…. it’s hot.. check it out.

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Email Marketing Expert July 30, 2009 at 11:22 am

Email Marketing is a very complicated marketing tool and most people don’t fully understand what is acctually involved to be succesful. Take a look at this article which explains just some of the things you probably never thought of, http://blog.bocanetworks.com/pt/blog/default.aspx?id=49&t=The-BIGGEST-mistakes-when-starting-up-an

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Cameron Nouri July 30, 2009 at 11:15 am

Couldn’t agree more. Most businesses, especially SMB’s, should not be hosting email in-house. Why deal with the headaches and high costs?

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