Nearly 70 percent of the cost of on-premises Exchange is in maintenance. From a strategic aspect, email is a utility on par with having a dedicated phone number. Carrying the burden of deploying and managing this non-revenue generating system takes time and resources away from more strategic objectives. In order to deliver email more efficiently and reliably, business IT shops are turning to the cloud for Exchange. Exchange in the cloud delivers big benefits around the organization but is the most beneficial for IT. Here are a few reasons why:
Cost: According to the Osterman Research whitepaper, The Case for Hosted Exchange, businesses save $72 out of each $100 spent on email by moving from an on-premises Exchange deployment to a hosted solution. Along with cost savings comes predictable, per-mailbox pricing that mitigates cost spikes for expanding systems to accommodate business growth, implementing upgrades, or extra measures needed to stay up and running during a disaster.
Reliability: Enterprise email systems have an average uptime of 99.7 percent or downtime of a little over three days a year. Rackspace Hosted Exchange delivers 99.9999 percent uptime or downtime of less than an hour per year – without taxing system resources to keep it up. On top of saving about three days of downtime a year, businesses also benefit from avoiding the disruption to companywide productivity that comes with unplanned downtime. The reliability benefit extends to the ability to go through natural disasters or power outages without worrying about losing access to email.
Productivity: Hosted Exchange at Rackspace puts a team of email experts behind your messaging system to handle the admin tasks, like spam/virus protection, backups, mobile and remote access, upgrades and patches. That gives internal IT teams more time to do the strategic work that generates revenue instead of just keeping the servers humming. With a hosted Microsoft Exchange system, IT teams have the luxury of a phone number to call for instant answers when there’s a question around email instead of wasting time digging through manuals or paying expensive consultants.
Migration Ease: For many businesses, the decision to go with Exchange is easy, but the logistics, namely migrating or upgrading the current email system, is the only sticking point. A migration that could take months on-premise between procuring hardware, obtaining licenses and setting up user accounts can be completed in a matter of days by an Exchange hosting provider. The email data migration may mean moving from a completely different email system, for others it’s just the process of moving up from an outdated version of Exchange. Either way, there’s risk involved and this is one of the primary ways Exchange in the cloud benefits IT. By guiding the business through migration, the risk of data loss or extended downtime is mitigated. Your hosting provider also has the experience to help proactively identify potential migration problems in advance of the switch to ensure clean, usable data comes into the new system.
Security: Hosted Exchange is a business-grade email solution. Your provider doesn’t rely on selling ads or data to make money. A hosting provider’s reputation is built on keeping your email secure and private. As a result, Hosted Exchange keeps your company’s data free from prying eyes and protects it with enterprise-grade spam and virus protection. Other security measures include data centers with video surveillance capabilities, multi-factor authentication, tracking and monitoring tools and other capabilities to protect customer data. Since the hosting provider’s only job is handling email, they’re able to monitor email around the clock to identify issues and react to threats before the business is impacted.
Flexibility: Hosting takes the nuts and bolts of email delivery and puts it behind an easy-to-access control panel that technical and non-technical employees can use to make on-the-fly changes without the timelines associated with traditional IT. For example, when staffing up for a seasonal rush, a business may need to add dozens of mailboxes quickly to be used for a short time. Ramping that up requires putting money into servers and licenses that will only be used for a few weeks. In a hosted system, it takes just a few clicks to add or reduce capacity without wondering how to get it done.
For deeper analysis and cost comparison charts for cloud-based Hosted Exchange, read the full Osterman Research whitepaper, The Case for Hosted Exchange, or take a look at this infographic based on the whitepaper.