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Hosted Exchange Office 365 EmailYour organization may be tempted to migrate mail services over to Office 365, especially if you’re looking for maximum availbility when it comes to e-mail services. While it’s true that Office 365 is being used by some of teh largest organizations in the world, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for your business, too.

Out of the box, Office 365 offers businesses a secured email environment that can be configured to meet the compliance standards of almost any industry. With so many organizations adopting cloud based email solutions, CIOs must weigh the pros and cons of using an on-premises Exchange Server vs SaaS email solutions.

Consider the following scenarios when making your email hosting decision:

The Costs

There’s no definitive answer to the question of whether on-premises Exchange is more cost-effective than Office 365, as it depends entirely on your individual business. Each enterprise has different requirements, and your industry, organization size, and objectives may tip the scales in favor of either solution.

In terms of on-premises Exchange performance vs. that of Office 365, system administrators can configure their local mail server with the exact specifications they require when hosting on-site, whereas Office 365 has a speed heavily dependent upon factors like your ISP and the overall current performance of the Office 365 system.

The Control

Seasoned Exchange Administrators are able to exert maximum control over their email services using the Exchange Management Console. This PowerShell based command line interface gives administrators the ability to script commonly executed tasks.

While Office 365 also has its own set of PowerShell cmdlets, on-premises Exchange provides businesses with the ability to control every facet of their email environment. This can prove to be advantageous when your organization needs a problem fixed ASAP. With Office 365, some issues may require you to submit a ticket or call Microsoft’s support phone number to resolve.

Even if you have a dedicated email administrator, some tasks could become bottlenecked when your administrator has to reach out to Microsoft for support.

The Concerns

When Office 365 encounters some sort of outage, the incident is magnified given the amount of organizations that have migrated to the SaaS email service. While Microsoft’s SLA guarantees 99.9%+ uptime for Office 365, the service has had its fair share of high profile outages over the years.

In June of 2016, ZDNet reported on an Office 365 outage that left some users unable to send or receive emails for several hours. In the article, one administrator helplessly posted a screenshot of their message queue, which illustrated the fact that email was not leaving the Office 365 servers.

If your business requires maximum email uptime, having an on-premises Exchange Server that is managed by a team of qualified technicians is an absolute necessity.

The Comparison

Organizations that strive to provide maximum uptime for their email services may choose to host their own Microsoft Exchange server.

For many types of businesses, Office 365 may not be an option. In this case, Exchange becomes the natural choice. When you begin making the comparisons between Office 365 and Exchange Server, you’ll notice that the biggest difference is the pricing.

With Exchange, your organization will pay for the server and the licensing fees upfront. With Office 365, the infrastructure and the licensing costs are rolled into a monthly, per user fee. With Exchange Server, you’ll be responsible for backing up for your mail and performing maintenance tasks on the server.

Office 365 is gaining popularity for a reason. One solution isn’t necessarily superior to the other in terms of whats under the hood; Making the decision to deploy Exchange Server or Office 365 is typically a business decision. For many organizations, the pay as you go method is an attractive model.

The Conclusion

Regardless of the email platform that your company chooses, it is imperative to have a skilled IT staff in place to manage the day to day tasks associated with your email service. Finding a trusted partner to help your organization manage its email services is essential for unimpeded email flow.

Core responsibilities of your email engineer consists of managing Exchange databases, overseeing mail flow and customizing the server to meet your organization’s specific goals. Even if your business chooses Office 365, a qualified Office 365 engineer will be a necessary addition to your staff.

With so much on the line, it is imperative for businesses to implement reliable and secure email services. While Office 365 provides businesses with a lower upfront costs, organizations that require compliance, support and uptime will continue to weigh all factors and pick the email hosting solution that suits their enterprise the best.

If you’re searching for IT professionals who can provide high-tech solutions to get your business back on track, BACS is the company to call. We can work with specialized industry requirements and provide high-level Managed Services, including server management, managed IT, data protection, disaster recovery, and more. Reach us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.

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Published on 7th November 2016 by James Berger.