The most popular enterprise communication system on the market is Microsoft Exchange Server. By some estimates, the platform currently serves over 200 million users.
Digital messaging and communications are absolutely essential to the smooth operation of any company. Which is why organizations rely on specialized servers as a means of organizing and coordinating the flow of information through the company.
Part of Exchange's popularity is due to the fact it can do so much:
- Email Messaging
- Address Lists
- Document Sharing
- Task Management
- And many more collaborative functions…
Of course, smaller companies wishing to set up their own Exchange servers would also have to take on a lot of sunk costs in terms of hardware, maintenance, licensing, etc…
However, “cloud computing” has done a lot to give small businesses access to the same tools as much larger organizations. New companies have recently begun offering Exchange servers through an online rental model, allowing small businesses to pay a monthly fee for each user without having to make any further capital investments.
For cash-strapped smaller companies, this eliminates a lot of business risk by freeing cash that would have otherwise been locked into physical infrastructure. Now, this cash can be taken out of non-productive activities and moved into revenue-generating areas of the company. This is also an attractive option for IT departments who are constantly looking for new ways to free up time from regular maintenance tasks so that they can focus on new IT initiatives.
Also, hosted exchange eliminates the risk of unexpected emergency repairs or maintenance. One common example can be seen when a company expands beyond the capabilities of their Exchange server, requiring a sudden and costly investment in a second machine. By moving to a rental model, you can leave the maintenance, upgrade and replacement of servers to someone else. This way, you don’t have to worry about any unexpected problems eating up your “rainy day” fund.
Another big challenge with setting up an Exchange server is the high level of expertise required to install and maintain it. With a hosted Exchange provider, you don’t have to hire and train any specialized or certified personal to maintain your servers. This is all taken care of for you by your hosted Exchange provider. And as opposed to a 9-to-5 in-house tech support employee, many hosted exchange providers have support staff on call 24/7.
As you can see, businesses have a lot to gain from Microsoft Exchange. And by starting out with a hosted Exchange solution, they can eliminate a lot of potential business risk, gain access to expert staff, and free up capital to maximize growth.
For any company looking to get their feet wet with Microsoft Exchange, the hosted approach has a lot to offer.