Criteria for Choosing a Business Email Solution

Recently, the General Services Administration (GSA) solicited bids to take care of their massive email system. They embarked on a process many businesses are familiar with – finding the right fit of features, security, and cost to support their users. The GSA selected hosted email to serve remote offices, streamline administration, and reduce future investments. Though you may not have the same concerns as a government agency, choosing the right business email system to accommodate users, fit the budget, and scale with growth is critical. We’ll help you narrow it down to the most important criteria consider when choosing an email system.

Industry Standards: Because a coffee shop isn’t bound by the same industry or government regulation as a law firm, industry standards are a major factor in your choice. This drives security and deployment options as HIPAA, FINRA, and other industry-specific regulations directly address email administration and availability.

Support Resources: Tomorrow you find that all of the invoice emails are bouncing, what would you do? If your IT staff lacks the experience or bandwidth to manage the complexities of an email system, like spam/virus control, storage, and troubleshooting, you could be down for days. With some hosted or free email options, support limitations may hamper your ability to quickly resolve issues.

Financial Investment: With competing business priorities, sinking thousands into hardware and software isn’t always practical. As attractive as an on-site email deployment with dedicated staff looks, typically, the cost outweighs the benefit when dollars could be better spent on marketing or product development to grow the business.

Business Use: An outage in an office that uses email infrequently has a different impact than in an office relying on system-generated emails from a website or accounting system to process orders. Understand the relationship between email and other systems to determine how critical email is to business operations.

Office Structure: If your business utilizes remote employees or employees that move between locations, your email needs to accommodate access. How messages are synced to other devices and locations governs how quickly users can access messages and respond to information.

Mobile Use: Even if you don’t officially support employees’ smartphones and tablets, that doesn’t mean they aren’t using them as a convenient way to stay in touch with the office. Know the difference between offering access to a mobile browser to check email and having a synced mobile email app with calendar, contact list, and folder access.

Once you’ve reviewed these criteria, you’ll be ready to decide between the convenience of a hosted email solution, an investment in an on-site solution, or a hybrid of the two. If you decide, like the GSA, to host your email, check out our planning tools to help you make the switch or contact us to discuss your options.

Lizetta Staplefoote is a Rackspace Marketing Copywriter with a decade of experience writing about small business challenges for healthcare, real estate, and technology. Her passion is researching and writing about the impact of cloud computing. When she's not wordsmithing, she enjoys hanging out with her sons, exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, and feeding her music addiction.


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