Emails come with different functionality for selecting a solution for your business, from basic function being able to send receive emails, which everyone providing an email solution does. However it is very different buying emails at low cost from your web domain or hosting company and a business solution you may need for better collaboration such as Microsoft Exchange.
If you get your email from hosting company most probably you are configured with POP3 or IMAP configuration. POP3 is where you download email from web host every defined interval in your email client or need to click on send receive when you want to check for new email. The second configuration most emails today can be configured is with IMAP. IMAP solves one major draw back of POP3 which is keep your emails synchronized over multiple devices, so when you check your email or make any changes it reflects across the computers and smartphones we use today.
The next level of email is using a protocol which does a lot more, MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface). This function is provided by Microsoft Exchange server, where you can have much better collaboration between your team and clients. You can opt to have this server in-house or now available over cloud, with Hosted Exchange you can opt for the service at a monthly cost.
If you consider either of the solution the cheapest is email which run over IMAP or POP3 from your web hosting provider. Hosted Exchange is a little expensive however gives you awesome feature to be productive, collaborate easier with team and share information. Some features you get additionally with Exchange are calendar for all your meeting appointments, tasks to schedule and keep a list of things you need to complete, your business or personal contacts. All of this additional functionality comes with unlimited mailbox for storage. All your information is always synchronized across any device you use for accessing your email system, so if you read email on your phone it shows marked read on all computers, laptops, or tablets you use to access your email. Similarly you have in-sync contacts, tasks and your schedule. You always have the most updated information.
Now you know what you get more with Exchange, lets see how it helps in collaboration. While working with your team you will need email accounts to be accessed by multiple people or distribute an email address to team, sharing your calendar with your team becomes easier for them to just schedule appointments for you or find time to meet you. You can share or access any part of each others mailboxes as you would require getting your tech team to configure it for you. Everything is based on your team profiling and how you would like to see your collaboration systems work.
With Microsoft Exchange you can even opt for other communication solution such chat within your team, voice or even video. All communication gets saved within your email account and with our Cloud File system you can also improve your business file sharing practice.
If you have decided and will like to opt for Exchange there are a few considerations. The first consideration is having an In-house server or buy it in cloud as a hosted service per user. If you think of getting a in-house server consider an ROI over 3 years as there are more expenses than just getting and installing a server. Considering in-house server would require, first hardware infrastructure. If you are small, one server would do the job finding min specification on Microsoft’s site. The server will need to host minimum two services to make exchange work. Active directory for team management and Exchange mapped to your team with Exchange mailboxes. Once you have the server, software and configuration completed; you will need to take care of backup of system in case of issues, get Exchange Essentials which includes in-bound and out-bound spam filtering, email continuity in-case if your server fails and is not accessible due to any reasons and URL protection to save your team from links which may lead you to a phishing or malware site causing security issues.
If you choose cloud Hosted Exchange, you would need to configure all of these options over a web interface from where everything can be configured, while all the considerations you had to think of while getting in-house already covered for you.
The next thing to consider are costs, there is a a lot of difference between IMAP or POP3 email systems and Exchange. To give you a ball park figure IMAP mailbox for user might cost $1 a mailbox, while Hosted Exchange starts from $4 a mailbox with add-on options. For cloud hosted Exchange mailbox you pay month to month a license cost and for in-house system you are signing up for one time investment with monthly maintenance which works out well if you are looking to have the system for minimum 3 years. With your own exchange server you can make as many user mailboxes you want not worrying about adding cost with each new email address you need to create.
The difference between cost of IMAP and Exchange, is due to the fact you get better functionality with all the in-house hassles covered for you and add email service as add-on for user collaboration or business compliance. To invest in business email solution, such as Exchange always pays off getting better productivity, collaboration and security. Emails over Exchange further assist you to meet compliance or internal security requirements for your business, if you need archiving, encryption or even data level protection.
At FixKar, we assist businesses implement in-house or cloud systems. We have options in our business cloud to provide IMAP, POP3, or Hosted Exchange all configured as per your convenience. It helps save cost depending on what features you want to give to different users or just have support or internal email address. Our business cloud covers team management for you as well, so you never need a in-house server and be able to control all your user devices and access over one console.
Backed by incredible support, all changes are implemented trying to achieve zero issues on migration or upgrades, with planning to work tasks after hours and no user intervention changes.
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