Exchange Online is Microsoft’s cloud version of its popular Microsoft Exchange Server which provides millions of businesses with email services, calendar software, and contact management capabilities. For years, companies had to install the Microsoft Exchange Server on an internal server which required either in-house maintenance or an outsourced service provider. Exchange Online does not require in-house maintenance as it is Microsoft’s (the “cloud provider”) responsibility to do so. Additionally, Exchange Online is available as a standalone service or as a bundled option with an Office 365 subscription which includes Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and Skye for Business (formerly Microsoft Lync).
So if a business is used to hosting and managing their Exchange server in-house, why even bother making the move to the cloud?
Here are 3 reasons why companies should consider migrating to Microsoft Exchange Online:
Every business is in the “business” of making decent profits. One way to accomplish this is to reduce the amount of money spent on business expenses (including software and hardware resources). Microsoft Exchange 2013 costs an average of $700 to purchase, which doesn’t include license fees, implementation fees and the additional costs for supporting Windows Server, which the Exchange Server runs on. Over time, these costs can add up to thousands of dollars spent to maintaining the company email and calendar systems.
With Exchange Online, you pay per user. For the basic level of service which includes 50 gigabytes of storage for email, it costs $4.00 per user, per month. For unlimited storage, there is an option for $8.00 per user, per month which also includes advanced features such as hosted voicemail and an enhanced data loss prevention features. In addition to having a lower price point than the standard Exchange Server, Exchange Online is a monthly subscription which means you don’t have to put all of the money up front. This way you can work your Office 365 or Exchange Online subscription into your company’s monthly budget.
Flexibility and Scalability
One could argue that the scalability of Microsoft Exchange Online is financial advantage, in that you only pay for the amount of users you need. Yet the flexibility Microsoft Exchange Online offers also provides a business productivity advantage. Say an organization decides to hire a few interns or brings some contractors to work on a project. In order to get them on the office email system, a work order would have to be placed with either the internal IT department, or the IT service provider to set up new accounts. After the employees finished their contracts, IT would then have to be called again to deactivate the accounts. With Microsoft Exchange Online, adding and removing users is as simple as logging onto a website. Accounts can all be managed via the Exchange admin center which features an easy-to-use web-based interface.
Mitigation of the Risk of Data Loss
As the entire suite of Microsoft Office 365 (including Exchange Online) have a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%, you can rest assured knowing that your data is safe in the cloud. Microsoft has enterprise level security protections as well as redundancy and back-up protocols in place. You and your company don’t have the added stress of having to manage physical server equipment and dealing with downtime should a server fail or the building experience a power outage. Microsoft manages your data in the cloud and has continuous fail-safes ensuring that your emails, contacts, and calendar appointments are available at all times.