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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 2 of 2


btn_reqInfoAs we discussed in our last post, email is mission-critical to your business. One of the best ways in which to you can balance the needs of your business is through the use of hosted email. We previously took a look at the pros of using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution like hosted email, including what are some of the considerations you should make when thinking of moving to hosted email or even when you’ve reached the point where your company is ready to compare hosted email providers. Let’s now take a look at the cons — or, better yet, let’s call them “decision factors” — to see how they compare with the pros.

Want more information on Hosted Email?

Decision Factors (a.k.a. “The Cons”)

  • If you have changed email solutions (Exchange to generic email), a hosted email solution may require training your employees on new software.
  • Depending on the hosted solution, moving email out-of-house may complicate bringing it back in-house, should the need or desire arise. With a good Hosted Solution vendor, you will be able to export email in a form capable of migration.
  • Hosted email does not alleviate Sarbanes-Oxley (Sarbox) or other regulatory compliance such as HIPAA and GBLA. Regulatory compliance is still the responsibility of your company and, in the event of an audit, compliance failures will fall to your company, not the hosted email provider.
  • Depending on the level of service and the number of options, the hosted email solution may not include advanced scheduling or calendaring features. This is especially true if you move towards a generic email solution.
  • If you company has a great deal of email correspondence, and you are in need of additional storage space, more storage usually costs extra. Check with your potential vendor. Good solutions are available with 25Gb/user (pooled among the users) at a minimum.
  • In terms of operations, your company has to manage another supplier relationship.
  • You may need to keep your data in-house for legal or other business reasons, making hosted email not a viable option.
  • Then there is the double-edged sword of web accessibility. As much as having instant access via the web is a pro, this level of accessibility can also be a con without Internet access. Checking a hosted email account without either a web browser or an Internet connection is practically impossible.

While there are several points you should take into consideration when thinking about hosted email, the explosive growth for wide-spread adoption of businesses using hosted email services is an indication that the pros far outweigh the cons.

In light of this growth, perhaps the biggest decision factor for hosted email is to be sure that your company performs a thorough review of the qualifications and business history of any potential hosted email provider. Both the quality of service offered by the hosted email provider, as well as specialization and experience in the hosted email function, are as critical to your business as email itself.

What do you think? What “Cons” did we miss?


Posted on : Aug 12 2008
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Posted under Email, Managed Services, SaaS |


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