#1 Technology synchronicity

Smartphones and tablets are a feature of the modern IT landscape, and they’re not going anywhere. More and more employees are using one or both of these, in addition to their desktop and/or laptop, to access email, calendars and contacts on the Exchange server. The more data and messages you need to sync across all these devices, the more likely it will be that you’ll need to invest in more servers and licenses to manage.

#2 Access problems

For security reasons, many small businesses limit remote access to Exchange servers. Remote access can be difficult to manage, especially with the number of employees and devices you need to consider, and so it’s often easier not to allow it. But with an “always-on” culture, a generation of workers who are used to being able to get what they need when they need it, and a workforce that accesses data on the move, it can be extremely limiting.

#3 Outages

Unplanned email outages are not only frustrating, they can have an impact on your bottom line if your business is on hold and people can’t do everything they need – Exchange server outages always seem to have a ripple effect that affects the whole business.

#4 Backup disasters

The more data you manage, the more important it becomes to backup that data, and emails are no different. With billions of emails sent every day, being able to access the ones you need is vital. What happens if you have a failed backup (we’re assuming you are already completing regular backups)? For some businesses, a single failed backup can be a complete disaster

#5 Lack of storage

Do you have to constrain the size of your employee’s mailboxes? Do you ever have to ask an employee to delete some emails to make room on the server? It’s not uncommon for businesses to have to impose limits on the size of mailboxes, or implement a regular archival process. The problem is that your employees may lose access to emails that turn out to be valuable – sometimes even a years-old email contains much-needed information.

What to do about it?

Although you may not experience all of these issues, just one can result in significant costs. Costs that are avoidable. So, what’s the solution?

Office 365.

Not to be confused with Microsoft Office, Office 365 is a hosted solution that includes secure email in addition to the standard Office productivity suite products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) – so for one cost, you get all of the apps you need, plus email.

  • You don’t have to worry about server infrastructure – no costs for buying new servers, or for maintenance
  • Using a cloud solution means the likelihood of outages is minuscule, far smaller than for an on-premise server – Cloud providers have plenty of redundancy built in to prevent outages and downtime, and the uptime for 365 is 99.9%
  • You’re always running the latest version, so security patches aren’t a concern. In fact, it comes with anti-spam filtering and anti-malware, so security is covered
  • Each user can access Office 365 on up to 5 devices, so you don’t need to worry about additional licenses for those who wish to use tablets, smartphones, laptops, and their home computers to access their emails
  • Each user gets a 50GB inbox, far higher than the vast majority of businesses can provide using Exchange, so lack of storage isn’t a worry
  • Office 365 does not specialise in backup and recovery – data is colocated and has various redundancies in place so that there isn’t the need for you to manage backups or worry about data loss. You can even upload your archive to the cloud to keep everything in one place. If you do want a backup, we’re more than happy to manage that for you.

Hosted solutions and cloud solutions are the perfect way for small businesses to avoid the pitfalls of Exchange servers, allowing you to grow without growing pains.