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Whether you call it Software as a Service (SaaS), Managed Service Provider (MSP) or On-Demand Services, your organization uses the service running “in the cloud”. This blog will discuss these services, their benefits, drawbacks and operations. Are we biased? Yes. We believe that some services make sense for most organizations. Email security is one of those. However as Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, even this one.” Each Tuesday we will post information and questions about Software as a Service. Occasionally, we will have a "Guest Post" from either a consultant or vendor posting her/his thoughts on Managed Services generally as well as some degree of specificity based on her/his unique perspective. We encourage your insights, comments and feedback. Welcome.

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Hosted Email – Pros & Cons – Part 1 of 2


btn_reqInfoWe know that email is mission-critical to your business. It’s so important to the workflow that we even check email during our off hours — at home, on the road, on vacation. Since email is the way in which you handle so much of your business, you want to protect it and to ensure its reliability. Perhaps one of the best ways in which to satisfy those needs is through the use of hosted email. Today we’ll take a look at the pros of using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) such as hosted email.

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The Pros

Usually, there is no difference between the features available from a hosted solutions than those available from an on-premises solutions. Hosted solutions are often the same email system (e.g., Microsoft Exchange) used in-house or allow a familiar end-user client such as Microsoft’s Outlook to interact with the hosted solution’s email servers.

  • A predictable monthly fee per user
  • No upfront capital cost or cash flow hit from buying a server or software
  • Hosting company takes care of installation, maintenance, upgrades and patching
  • Mobile and Web email access
  • Spam and virus filters
  • Secure storage on a central server
  • Wireless synchronization
  • Multiple access methods
  • Web-based control panel
  • Disaster recovery and regular / secure backups
  • 99.999% uptime
  • SAS 70, Level II (audited) security
  • “24/7” technical support
  • Technical support burden is reduced
  • Setup is done online as is new user administration

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages to hosted email is that this solution reduces your IT department’s role as it relates to email. This in turn allows your IT staff to focus on other critical business needs.

In addition, outsourcing may be an excellent cost-savings alternative for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) that can’t afford an in-house email system. In terms of savings, the costs of software licensing, upgrades, patches, backup servers, and related infrastructure are alleviated. Pricing for a hosted email solution will vary as there are a range of options available. Everything from simple email to all-inclusive anti-spam and anti-virus solutions is at hand. With email moved out-of-house, your IT department can handle frontline help desk and basic mailbox administration, as well as concentrating further on your businesses infrastructure.

In our next installment we’ll take a look at some of the cons of hosted email so we can compare the pros and cons. After all, as email is mission critical, it’s of great importance to ensure that you are safeguarding and controlling your business information in the best way possible.

Next blog topic: Hosted Email – Pros & Cons (Part 2 of 2)


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