Exchange Email 2013 keeps YouthCUE focused on the music


Next time you think you hear angels singing, you should thank YouthCUE.

Based in San Antonio, YouthCUE fosters and grows student choirs across North America. With just 7 remote employees, YouthCUE helps close to 1,000 schools and churches get the resources they need to create such heavenly music.

YouthCUE recently launched an ambitious 5-year growth plan to add a few more people—and a lot more work. And this created an IT issue: because the person who was managing their IT infrastructure, Preston Edwards, also happened to be their Executive Director.


Company Profile:
Founded in 1990, Youth Choirs, Inc. is a non-profit multidenominational organization which seeks to foster the growth and development of church and school youth choirs.

Industry: Non-profit

Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas

Intermedia’s customer since: 2012

The Challenge

Edwards needed to reclaim the time that Exchange demanded for maintenance and upkeep.

"I was personally managing our server in-house," Edwards told us. "And while we were spending $400 a month, it was the INDIRECT cost that I was worried about. It fell to me to make backup plans, to worry about scalability and flexibility, and to stay up at night considering what I’d do if something went down. Managing all that was draining a lot of my creative energies."

The Solution

As an IT veteran, Edwards knew his answer lay in the cloud. And as an Executive Director, Edwards knew exactly what he was looking for in a cloud provider. When we spoke to him, he laid out the three criteria that led him to choose Intermedia:

  • Criteria #1: Trustworthiness. "The fact that Intermedia took Exchange 2013 to market first was huge, because it shows a high level of competence,” Edwards told us. “What’s more, with other cloud providers, it was clear that Exchange wasn’t even their core business. That made me much less comfortable with them."
  • Criteria #2: Cost-effectiveness. "With Intermedia, we can easily match cost forecasts to our needs. As we look to our growth plan over the next five years, I can easily attribute a cost to getting all those people connected."
  • Criteria #3: Flexibility and scalability. "We’re a very small organization. But Intermedia allows us to utilize a full suite of features, whether we’ve got one user or we’ve got 1,000. And that’s huge for us. It doesn’t put any artificial boundaries on our growth."

The fact that Intermedia offered the very latest version of Microsoft Exchange was also very important. "In terms of feature sets, Exchange 2013 is a huge move forward—in a bunch of ways," says Edwards. "We're constantly on mobile devices, and OWA really helps us stay in touch."

For this choice, it came down to support. I saw this in the reviews that I read, and it even came across in how you communicate.

PRESTON EDWARDS, Executive Director, YouthCUE,

Products They Use

The Results

For YouthCUE, the Exchange 2013 experience was pitchperfect from the word "go."

"Intermedia allows us to focus 100% on our mission," says Edwards. "We're a small organization. Each employee is in a virtual home office. So that makes Intermedia’s offering even more important—because we can go anywhere and still access our email."

We asked Edwards to detail some specific aspects of his Intermedia experience.

As YouthCUE moves forward on its 5-year growth plan, they’re happy about the cost savings. And they’re overjoyed about the time and energy they’ve reclaimed.

Today, YouthCUE is communicating and collaborating better than ever. As more and more young people discover the joys of singing in harmony, YouthCUE is singing the praises of Intermedia’s cloud-based Exchange 2013.

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