Why Use Hosted Exchange

With this week’s launch of hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010,  Intermedia commissioned two white papers from industry research firms in order to provide additional tools to the marketplace regarding Exchange 2010 and in particular, hosted Exchange 2010. The below is the second in a series of excerpts from the white paper, “Why You Should Consider Migrating to Hosted Exchange 2010” by Osterman Research, Inc. – available on Intermedia’s web site.  


Although there are many reasons that organizations should consider the use of hosted Exchange, perhaps the most important reason is its ability to significantly reduce the cost of overall Exchange management.  This has traditionally be a chief argument used in attempting to convince very small organizations of the need for hosted Exchange given that the smaller the organization, the higher their per-seat costs for Exchange and other messaging functionality.

However, the ability to cut the cost of Exchange management through hosting is by no means limited simply to small organizations.  Much larger organizations – those with hundreds and even thousands of users – can also realize significant cost savings by migrating to hosted Exchange and away from an on-premises Exchange environment.  While the cost differences may be most pronounced for the smallest of organizations, even large organizations can see significant reductions in their total cost of managing Exchange by moving to a hosted model for some or all of their users.


Closely related to the overall cost savings available in a hosted Exchange model is the more predictable nature of costs with hosted Exchange.  Because virtually all hosted providers commit to a fixed cost per seat over the life of an annual or multi-year contract, decision makers can know what the cost of Exchange management will be over the life of the contract.  On-premises deployments, on the other, hand, can sometimes necessitate new servers or appliances as a result of rapid increases in the volume of spam or the addition of new users.


A hosted Exchange model can also make best use of scarce IT staff members, allowing them to be used for projects or initiatives that can provide more value to an organization.  For example, despite the mission-critical nature of messaging, using seasoned IT staff members to manage Exchange servers, apply patches and the like may not be the best of their time or talent.  Instead, using these staff members for initiatives that can provide a differentiation for a company – such as using them to deploy customer-facing technologies to shorten tech support wait times – might be the better choice.


Osterman Research has found that many organizations do not achieve the 99.9% uptime that most hosted Exchange providers guarantee as part of their Service Level Agreement.  Hosted Exchange providers can offer a very high level of uptime, usually exceeding that of most on-premises deployments.


Leading hosted Exchange providers typically offer very robust security capabilities through the use of multiple malware- and spam-filtering technologies, carrier-grade firewalls and other security measures that often would be cost-prohibitive for their customers to deploy and support.  The result of using a hosted Exchange provider is typically (but not always) a higher spam and malware capture rate, lower false positives, and a reduced possibility of malware infiltration.


Another important benefit of using hosted Exchange is that leading providers will back up their customers’ data and provide rapid data recovery in the event of a server outage or other unforeseen problem.  Further, hosted Exchange can provide protection against natural disasters, fires, power outages, floods and other disrupting events that can knock on-premises email systems out for days or weeks.  This is particularly true for hosted Exchange providers that operate multiple data centers and replicate customer data to at least two geographically distributed data centers.


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About The Intermedia Team

Intermedia's Office in the Cloud™ delivers essential IT services for SMBs and the partners who serve them — including hosted Exchange, Hosted PBX, SecuriSync file sync and share, security, mobility and more.