…We use email everyday across a number of devices, email has evolved to become the main method of business communication. In a workplace environment email services were delivered by network based servers and software applications that managed delivery and routing of email messages. The email systems of today have now evolved into document sharing and calendar management systems and have become the lifeblood of any organisation.
Simply described, hosted email is the removal of the hardware and software element from your premises to a datacentre environment hosted by the email provider.
Advantages of hosted email
There are some compelling advantages for users using a hosted email solution, using a SaaS model of accessing and running the software provides the use with the following:
Using a traditional commercial email application involves a large initial payment for purchasing the software and your rights to use it. You then have to provide the computing (server) hardware resources to operate the email software. With monthly recurring billing of managed cloud-hosted email, this benefits your organisation by reducing labour and capital expenditure costs needed traditionally to enable your internal staff to implement, operate and support an email application.
The traditional method of installing software onto a Server, PC or laptop relies on the stability of that computer. If – for any reason – your computer stops working, then you cannot use that software – and (subject to your backup policy) you may lose significant portions of your data. Traditional methods of software usage carries inherent risks in terms of data and productivity loss.
In a SaaS environment your hosted email supplier selects and builds your application using world class hardware and datacentres. This investment in operational hardware and system process ensures that your data and application is fully redundant and backed up.
Using a hosted email application requires no more than an internet connection. Administration of the software including backup and network drive sharing and initial configuration is completed by the hosted email / SaaS supplier. Being a SaaS based service provides the additional advantage of allowing access 24 hours a day 365 days a year from any supported device from any internet enabled location.
Regulatory and compliance legislation requires in some instances email to be retained for a 7 year period, and anything from 2 years to 5 years is sensible for the rest of us. The cost of managing, archiving and retrieving individual messages is substantial – and with a hosted email service your email retention and storage policy is able to be defined at contract creation.
By operating within a hosted environment your email hosting provider is able to deliver best-of-breed anti-virus and anti-spam services. Other common email threats such as directory harvesting will also be mitigated.As with all technology decisions, there will always be a certain amount of investigation required to determine a fit for your business.
And some things to keep in mind when choosing this service and a provider
Hosted email is delivered over the internet therefore it is essential to ensure that you have a reliable and stable internet connection. Whilst hosted email may not require significant amounts of bandwidth you should always provision according to your present and future needs.
Is your business or organisation subject to compliance and regulations in terms of data storage or location of data? If it is ask your provider where your data resides and what checks they have in place to ensure data security and retrieval.
Today’s hosted email suites are more than just simple email they have become complete communications management suites. Collaboration between systems with other applications such as calendars, CRM, and document management, with some suites even offering internet voice integration. Always check that your systems can easily integrate into the application.
At Compare the Cloud, we’re here to help you get started and identify suitable providers who will meet your needs. Take a few minutes tell us about your company n our Cloud Comparison tool, and we’ll present you with some informed options – and help your take full advantage of a hosted email service.