Microsoft Exchange keeps employee communications online no matter where employees may be physically, and it’s this lack of tethering that makes the hosted Exchange server so desirable in business. Constant accessibility to communications means work never has to stop, whether in or out of the office. Without proper hosting, the accessibility of Microsoft Exchange falls through, though, and the virtual platform becomes more burden than benefit. By knowing what to look for in Microsoft Exchange hosting, a business owner can ensure that Exchange works for his or her company, instead of against it.
What features are Being Hosted?
With hosted Microsoft Exchange, Outlook emails, calendars and contacts are stored in a single place, just as they are in the desktop version of Microsoft Outlook, making it easy to manage everything. Some companies use more or less features of Exchange than others, and the more features utilized, the more resources the company needs. So the first important factor a company’s leaders need to determine is which features of Exchange their employees will use.
How Big is the Company?
The size of the hosting package required for Microsoft Exchange hosting depends largely on the size of the business. More users means more emails and contacts; more emails and contacts means more gigabytes. Figuring out how many people will be on the server is the second important factor in choosing the right hosting package. Looking ahead to the future and knowing how big a company may become are also crucial. Scalable hosting solutions ensure that a company can expand its allotment of resources as soon as the need arises.
Internal or Customer-side Communication?
Deciding how the Exchange server will be used in the course of business is the third factor in deciding which hosting package a company needs. With content filtering designed to scan and monitor communications as part of its top features, Exchange helps prevent the accidental sending of sensitive information to the wrong recipients. This safety net makes it possible to use the Exchange server mailbox as a customer-side email system, as well as for internal business communications. Extending the platform to the customer side means it will handle more messages, thereby increasing the need for storage space on the server.
Choosing a Plan
Once a company’s IT leaders have determined which features of Exchange they’ll widely use, how many inboxes will be hosted on the server and how they intend to use Exchange to do business, they’ll have an idea of the best Microsoft Exchange hosting package required to meet those needs.
How much bandwidth and memory will get the job done aren’t the only factors in choosing a hosting plan, though. They’re not even the most important. Before considering packages, those who will make the ultimate decisions should research prospective hosts. Some hosts may have fancy commercials but surprisingly bad reputations amongst entrepreneurs due to poor pricing, a poor interface and poor load times. Any one of these things can make Exchange hosting a hassle and put together they make the experience downright painful.
Switching onsite Outlook to virtual Exchange takes some time, but it doesn’t take as much faith as some business leaders might think. Good integration with Outlook makes the process efficient, and the right hosting company will keep things running just as smoothly.