What is Exchange Hosting?
What is Exchange? Exchange refers to Microsoft Exchange which is the most popular email and collaboration platform for mission critical business. Together with the Microsoft Office range of products they deliver a best-in-class enterprise messaging and collaboration solution.
In the past, many MNC and large corporations have their own in-house Microsoft Exchange server. While Microsoft Exchange has proven to be the best and most reliable email plus collaboration system, the cost of ownership is high and maintenance is complex. For most small and midsize businesses (SMBs), the cost of running an MS Exchange server 'in-house' is too much. Setting up cost is very high not to mention the cost of staff to keep the server running at all times. It can be a big headache.
With hosted exchange, small and medium size companies can now enjoy the benefits the best of class Microsoft Exchange without any investment in hardware and software. They can simply open an account with an Exchange Hosting provider and start using Exchange. A specialist IT firm runs the technology and charges businesses a small monthly fee to use it. This allows them to enjoy the same enterprise-strength IT that Fortune 500 companies have, but at a price they can afford.
Even larger corporations can benefit from Exchange hosting. In many cases it has been proven it has been proven to be less expensive that upgrading their outdated system and having a team of IT personnel to maintain it.
Benefits of Exchange Hosting
Hosted Exchange works just like an in-house Exchange system. It delivers the enterprise-grade security and reliability that businesses require. It boosts company productivity through advanced features like always-synced email, files, calendars and contacts; mobile access on devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Treo or Motorola Q; advanced Web-mail; shared calendars that let employees see colleagues' availability to schedule or rearrange meetings, book conference rooms and plan projects; shared task lists that allow 'to do' lists to be created and assigned, then shared with team members; and shared contacts which guarantee that customers' contact details will never be lost or misplaced.
Most Exchange hosting provides built-in anti-virus and anti-spam filters protect your information and help you focus on what's most important. It allows mobile sync to hundreds of devices means you can access and update your info while on the go. And live phone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, not to mention a high uptime guarantee.
Your data is more secured as they are likely to be hosted in geographically-distributed datacenters with continuous data backup and premiere disaster recovery capabilities. Your also get a team of security experts that monitors Exchange around the clock and updates anti-virus and spam filters to address new threats as soon as they appear.
How much does it cost and what do you get?
Prices vary but at the time of writing, users can get control of a rich hosted Exchange environment with 25 GB mailboxes without having to manage a server for approx $4/user. The large 25 GB mailboxes allow every user to store and access all essential information in one place. You also get an easy-to-use web administration interface that lets you manage your online environment from anywhere. Live phone support is also available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
Exchange hosting allows seamless integration with Outlook so your users can enjoy a rich, familiar email experience and offline access. Calendar sharing allows users to see free/busy information with colleagues, even if they work at another company. Email archiving, eDiscovery Search, retention policies, and optional legal hold help preserve and discover data while security policies let you create approved mobile device lists, enforce PIN lock, and remotely wipe data from lost phones.
Difference between Exchange vs. POP
POP3 (Post Office Protocol) provides a basic solution for individual users, with no inherent functionality for dynamically sharing information; it is inexpensive and best suited for non-mission-critical communication. Alternatively, Exchange provides users the ability to collaborate through a comprehensive, integrated system, with collaborative features that give your business a competitive advantage over standard POP3.
A word about SharePoint
SharePoint is a browser-based platform from Microsoft that allows for easier, timely and effective documents management. In many cases, it can be used to facilitate business collaboration between an enterprise and the web. Once used in a business, it comes along with several benefits that every person going to use it will enjoy because it allows the user to gain access to a lot of information. Therefore, the installation of SharePoint in an organization enables individuals to easily manage their joint websites, eases sharing of information by people across boundaries, is independent and does not make reference to any form of technology, its usage is not different with that of Microsoft word and refers to many solutions based on the website.
Some Exchange Hosting provider provides free SharePoint hosting when you use their Exchange Hosting services. So if you use SharePoint in your organization, you may wish to seek out those providers that do offer free SharePoint hosting.
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