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This old standard doesn't support the way business is done today. To meet users’ basic requirements, businesses these days require 24/7 email uptime, complete mobile freedom, a half-dozen adjacent technologies, and protection against unprecedented levels of threat.
This is why email is moving to the cloud: a cloud email provider can offer far more functionality, reliability and protection than you could affordably deliver on-premises.
But not all clouds are created equal. Office 365 is the best example: while it does address the shortcomings of the old on-premises server and meets the needs of the most cost-sensitive businesses, it doesn't address the requirements of the New Standard.
Here’s what you need to meet The New Standard—and why each element is so important.
With on-premises email, reliability depended on the capacity of an internal IT team. If an outage happened after business hours, the server was usually offline until IT returned in the morning or after the weekend.
Office 365 offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. That could add up to 525 minutes—or over 8 hours—of allowed downtime per year.
You should accept nothing short of 99.999% uptime. This amounts to less than 6 minutes of unplanned downtime per year. The best providers offer around-the-clock monitoring and redundant ISPs to assure this level of uptime. And they back their promise with a Service Level Agreement.
With on-premises email, adding storage to the server was very complex. Administrators preferred to impose strict quotas on mailbox size. This often interfered with user work flow, led to the deletion of important data and made many users extremely frustrated. And with the ubiquity of smartphones and other devices, the storage requirements of email will only become greater.
Office 365 Business plans have 50GB limits on mailbox size and archive size. Heavy users who run out of space must choose to delete messages or upgrade to more expensive unlimited plans. Either way, you don't alleviate mailboxes quotas on users.
Exchange mailboxes and email archives should offer unlimited storage without any quotas. This lets users leverage email any way they want without incurring additional fees.
Gartner estimates that 45% of business emails contain business value.6 In court, these emails are invaluable and are often legally mandated. But many courts only admit email evidence if it can be proved it wasn't altered. With an on-premises server, this is hard—and costly—to demonstrate.
Office 365 offers tools for meeting litigation requirements to submit emails as evidence. For email attachments, Office 365 indexes mostly Microsoft® specific formats—fewer than 60 file types. eDiscovery costs will rise if supplemental manual searches are required for unindexed files.
Tamper-proof email archiving makes eDiscovery much less costly. To prepare for potential legal inquiries, make sure your archive is simple to search, and that a minimum of 500 diverse file types can be indexed.
Regulations like HIPAA, FINRA and SOX require companies to store data for 2-7 years.7 This creates and imposes significant data storage and maintenance requirements on on-premises deployments.
Office 365 retains a user's data if their mailbox is still active. For regulated businesses, the choice is to keep paying for an ex-employee's mailbox for 2-7 years after they leave the company or risk fines. And with an average 15% yearly employee turnover, your costs will increase (and compound) significantly over time.8
Look for a provider that lets you remove user mailboxes while retaining the email archive for as long as you need it. This reduces the cost of storing user data to facilitate compliance.
It administrators weren't available on the weekends or after business hours. Users who needed help had to fend for themselves.
Office 365's Business plans offer live support during business hours. For any issues after hours, Microsoft gives users access to web-based support or you need to upgrade to Enterprise plans.
It's impossible to resolve all issues during business hours. The New Standard for business email is 24/7 phone and chat support for any issue, with phone calls typically answered within 60 seconds. And most issues should be resolved on the first call.
On-premises Exchange offers a completely dedicated email solution providing the flexibility and control many businesses need. However, on-premises doesn't provide all the benefits of the cloud—reliability, 24/7 support, unlimited mailbox storage or compliance.
Office 365 offers dedicated cloud solutions but typically for very large enterprises with tens of thousands of seats. Most businesses don't meet this criteria and are left with only a multi-tenant option.
The provider should allow you to meet your businesses security, disaster recovery, data replication and mobile device management needs. The provider should also give you a migration path to and from private cloud when you are ready.
1. Global Data Protection Index Global Key Results and Findings, EMC 2015
2. Intermedia Exchange data 2015
3. 2015 Litigation Trends Annual Survey, Norton Rose Fullbright, 2015
4. Global Data Protection Index Global Key Results and Findings, EMC 2015
5. 451 Global Infrastructure Report, 451 Research, September 2015
6. Best Practices for Using Email Archiving to Eliminate PST and Mailbox Quota Headaches, Gartner, Sept. 2012
7. 2013 Privacy and Security Solutions for Interoperable Health Information Exchange: Report on State Medical Record Access Laws, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Aug. 2009
8. 2013 Turnover Rates by Industry, Compensation Force, 2013
The benefits of moving to the cloud will be lost if your new service doesn’t meet the New Standard of Business Email. Here’s what you need.
Beyond delivering high reliability, better security and lower startup costs than an on-premises deployment, Exchange Email also provides:
Deploying integrated email security keeps your business safe from threats that can disrupt your users, damage your hardware, compromise your security, and—worst of all—spread infections. Deploying advanced email security also provides:
Email Archiving ensures email is replicated and stored in a tamper-proof archive, so if you need to restore or locate it, you can. Deploying Email Archiving also provides:
Intermedia’s HostPilot control panel gives admins control over the mobile devices that are used to access Intermedia services. Allowing them to set security and management policies and manage devices for virtually all mobile devices. Mobile Device Management also provides
Intermedia’s HostPilot control panel provides a single source of management across 30 business IT apps. This centralized control over your Office in the Cloud offers a number of key security features. HostPilot also provides:
Intermedia’s Cloud Concierge™ team of certified experts is available 24/7 by phone and chat to provide quick assistance and answer questions. And, on average, calls are answered in less than 60 seconds and we strive to resolve issues on the first call. 24/7 support also provides:
Intermedia offers a financially backed 99.999% uptime SLA for all its services. This means that you can expect less than 26 seconds of downtime a month—and that we back this promise financially.
Intermedia security and privacy controls address a wide range of financial services regulations.
Our Cloud Concierge™ experts implement a custom migration plan to move your existing users and data into the cloud with minimal interruption to your business—at no extra cost. We migrate an average of 15,000 mailboxes and over 5,000 phone numbers to Intermedia each month, so you know you’re in good hands. The Cloud Conierge also provides:
Intermedia is the world’s largest independent provider of cloud-based Exchange. Our Office in the Cloud™ suite of cloud IT services includes Exchange Email, Email Security and Email Archiving along with over 25 other essential business tools. Our services are fully integrated, secure and mobile, with management through our central HostPilot™ control panel and backed by our Worry-Free Experience™ that includes a 99.999% uptime guarantee and 24/7 support with typical hold times of less than 60 seconds.
HostPilot, Office in the Cloud, and Worry-Free Experience are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Intermedia.net, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Microsoft and Office 365 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.