Earlier, I talked about the differences in email protocol, here. I walked through the pros and cons of POP3, IMAP and ActiveSync with Microsoft Exchange. You may be scratching your head wondering what the best fit is for your company. That’s a good thing as these decisions are important. Or, you may be sold on the countless benefits of ActiveSync and Exchange right off the bat which is often the case. The bottom line is that Exchange will eat POP3 and IMAP’s lunch any day of the week – but like I said earlier, it has to be a right fit for how you see your company’s communications operating. So, let’s say you’ve opted for Exchange and are eager to reap the benefits of seamless syncing and on-the-go enhanced productivity. Next, you’ll want to decide if you want hosted Exchange or On-Prem(ise). Let us help you understand the difference.
Hosted Exchange implies a third party is managing your server(s), whereas with on-prem, you are responsible for implementing, purchasing and managing both the hardware and software from beginning to end.
Here is breakdown of hosted Exchange benefits:
- You are not reliant on hardware so scaling up or down is easy to do. If there’s a need for another server, your time will never be spent procuring or implementing one.
- You didn’t get your degree so you could be on the front line of email defense, did you? Rely on the big dogs with unparalleled resources to manage this for you.
- There’s no need to buy servers or licensing. Hosted Exchange is subscription-based so you’re essentially leasing the license and hardware.
- You don’t have to manage the environment. When updates or service packs are needed, your time won’t be on the hook.
- Your Exchange provider will provide all the servers and data centers needed to provide a highly available environment.
There are three major hosted Exchange providers: Microsoft Office 365, Intermedia and Rackspace.
I recommend Microsoft Office 365 for obvious reasons. Not only is it the most reliable since Microsoft wrote the software, but it’s also less expensive. Intermedia and Rackspace have to pay Microsoft fees when selling their software; Microsoft doesn’t so you don’t feel the net impact as a consumer. Rackspace and Intermedia are quality providers – no question about that; however, when it comes down to which provider will stand by Exchange and ensure your satisfaction, Microsoft will win every time.