Software manufacturers have been increasingly pushing towards cloud-based computing applications that use subscription-based pricing instead of purchasing perpetual licenses that you own outright as was the norm for many years prior. While our general feeling is that this trend benefits software manufacturers at the expense of the business owner, outsourced Email management aka “Hosted Exchange” has delivered considerable value to our clients who have migrated to this model.
What is Hosted Exchange?
Microsoft Exchange is an email administration platform. If your email address ends in your domain name, i.e. “@systemadix.com”, chances are you are using Exchange to manage your email, a program which needs to be actively managed, or as we say in the IT world, “hosted”. Hosted Exchange refers to where an outside vendor hosts your email for you instead of doing so on your own systems(a server) in-house.
Why would I want to migrate to Hosted Exchange?
Hosted Exchange has a number of benefits. First, as servers age and need to be replaced or updated with new software, the cost for a server and Exchange license start at around $10k and go up from there, and that doesn’t include setup and migration costs. Exchange has also become increasingly complex thus more expensive to configure and maintain, which can become a large burden for a smaller office. For a modest monthly fee, a cloud-based vendor maintains all the hardware and software for you, licenses and updates included. You either choose to administer it yourself going forward through a web-based portal for routine items such as adding/removing users, or we can do this for you. Conversely, if you have a few users and they are all using a generic account with a provider such as Gmail, Yahoo, etc., you may want to consider adding the professional touch of having your own domain now that its cheaper and easier to manage than before.
Is there anything else I should consider?
An ideal office environment would be 1-10 users, possibly more except where there would be frequent administration needs, such as recovering deleted emails, monitoring email traffic, etc. A reliable hosting vendor is critical as well, as you are reliant on them to administer your email and have support available if any issues arise.
Sounds great, what should I do next?
Contact us, of course! Our technicians can assist you with all phases of migrating to Hosted Exchange. We know which hosting vendors have worked well and which to avoid, and will continue to support you once the migration is complete for administration or contacting the vendor on your behalf if any issues arise.
Why are software manufacturers changing things from the way I have been used to for many years anyway?
Years ago, many of the software platforms that are now commonplace were new and consistently contained new functionality in subsequent versions, thus there was a strong incentive for businesses to purchase the software and upgrade frequently. Now that applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat have been industry standard desktop software for more than 20 years, manufacturers are seeing businesses hold onto older copies of programs as we see our clients do often. In response, manufacturers are looking to create a stream of ongoing revenue with subscription-based pricing models. Monthly pricing also creates incentive for businesses who want to match their operating expenses with their revenue, rather than put forth a large cash outlay for purchasing licenses outright.