But the question most companies face is how they can save costs and yet maintain a professional email address. The answer is hosted exchange. But what exactly is hosted exchange? To put it in layman terms, this is Microsoft’s answer to cloud computing.
Let us simplify it further. When you set up a business, the most common tools you will use is the Microsoft Office range. This includes a number of tools like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook. We all know that Microsoft Outlook is the email client provided to us. This allows companies to have their own professional email ID.
However, this email ID needs to be stored and operated from a server. Ask any business owner about the cost of owning a server and you will be greeted with a cold disparaging look. Now in order to offset the cost of the server without compromising on the functionality, many different companies introduced cloud computing. Microsoft’s answer was the hosted exchange.
- No more physical servers – The biggest change from a traditional setup is that there are no physical servers needed. Under the cloud computing model, everything is replaced by a virtual setup. Companies do not have to invest money in buying space as well as employing technicians to take care of the servers round the clock. This takes the meaning of the word “online” to a whole new level and acts as a more than capable replacement to the offline model.
- No more waiting for synchronization – The biggest benefit of the hosted exchange is that you no longer have to synchronize your server setup. As soon as you login to your laptop or desktop, the emails sent by clients and employees have already been delivered into your inbox. This is similar to your personal email address where emails are delivered in real time.
- You can set reminders and other options – The second biggest benefit is the interface provided to you. There is no departure from the normal Outlook interface. You can set up reminders and meetings, compose emails and reply to emails just like in the traditional Outlook interface. You can also set up your smartphones to receive all emails sent to your email address. So in effect, you do not lose any functionality of the Outlook server.
- You have access to a much more secured service – The biggest drawback of a traditional server setup is that you need to have a robust antivirus system in place. This is to ensure that all your emails remain secure and are not compromised. With the hosted exchange setup, the security of the server rests with the vendor providing this option. Hence, the option provided to you will be more secure as compared to the traditional setup.
As you can see, there is no difference between the workings of a traditional exchange server and the cloud-based hosted exchange. The only difference is that the cloud operating system that reduces the cost but not the functionality. What are your views on this matter?