What is Microsoft Exchange Server?
Microsoft Exchange Server is a mail and calendaring server developed by Microsoft which runs exclusively on Windows Operating System. It enables digital messaging and email services in an enterprise IT environment. The emails received first reach the Exchange Server, after which they are routed to the destination client.
Apart from email services, Microsoft Exchange also provides other functionalities like Contacts Management, Task Management and Calendar. It can also be hosted as a cloud service – deployed and entirely accessible from the internet.
Microsoft Exchange Server is collaborative software from Microsoft that is comprised of an email server, email client, and several group ware applications. The Microsoft Exchange line is prevalent in large corporations and is frequently used in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook.
Exchange Server Services at Global Era Infotech enables a company’s users to securely access communications like e-mail messages, voice mail, instant messaging and SMS text messages from their desktops, Web browsers or mobile devices (Android and iOS).
The latest release of Exchange Server, Microsoft Exchange Server 2016, made its debut on October 1, 2015. Exchange Server 2016 features Microsoft’s Software-plus-Services strategy at its core, which gives companies the opportunity to choose from a combination of on-premises, hosted, cloud-based, and hybrid solutions.
Benefits of using Microsoft Exchange Services.
Traits of a good Exchange Services provider
As with any major IT project, advance planning is critical to ensuring a successful email implementation or migration. Businesses must work with relevant stakeholders to understand functionality, infrastructure, security, integration and reliability requirements — among many other requirements.
Businesses need to understand the various vendors on the market, as well as which features to prioritize. For example, most companies will need business-class support and SLAs. Once they narrow down their options, it’s important to ask a critical set of questions of each choice, such as whether the vendor has proven they can scale to meet their needs, whether their archiving solutions are easy to manage, etc.
Preparing to migrate
The actual implementation and/or migration process varies widely depending on the type of email solution and the capabilities of the chosen vendor. Based on the information gathered during the requirements process, businesses will need to consider a range of factors such as IT staff training, end user training and setting a realistic migration timetable.
What are your key email requirements?
It’s hard to compare email service providers unless you have some idea of what you need. Get started by thinking about:
Once you have some idea of these requirements, you can begin evaluating email service providers.
Support from your email service provider
Because email is usually a business-critical service, it’s important to check what support your email service provider can offer.
If most of your emails are sent and received during business hours then round-the-clock support may not be crucial. However, do look for a service level agreement that sets out support response times and acceptable levels of service availability.
Bargain basement email service providers may cut corners where support is concerned.
Email software and technology
If your business already has an email system in place, you’ll need to make sure you can migrate to the new email service provider. This can involve some downtime, so make sure you’re confident in the provider’s abilities.
Migration aside, your business email provider may offer services based on these technologies:
If you’re looking to access your email from more than one location, or want to use mobile devices to send and receive email, choose an email service provider that offers IMAP or Exchange. These systems offer much more flexibility than POP3.
Also think about whether your company needs new email software. Some email packages include professional software – most often Microsoft Outlook – as part of the package.
Mobile email access
Even the most basic email service providers usually make it easy to send and receive email from mobile devices such as smart phones. POP3, IMAP and Exchange accounts are all supported by most mobile devices.
However, it’s wise to check that your email service provider supports the mobile devices used by people within your business. Make sure clear instructions are available to get everything working.
Mailbox size and archiving
Most email service providers place a limit on the size of each mailbox in your business. This dictates how many messages you can keep stored at any one time.
If you send and receive lots of emails or work with large email attachments, it’s surprising how quickly your inbox can fill up. Make sure your provider offers a reasonable amount of storage – 5GB (gigabytes) is a good minimum.
Some providers also offer an archiving service, allowing you to make room in your mailbox by storing older messages separately. This saves you having to arrange and archive old email yourself.
Security and backups
As email is a critical communications channel, ask any potential email service provider how they protect and backup your data. Make sure their email servers have redundancy built in, and check they back your data up to more than one location.
Many providers also offer protection against spam, ransom ware and viruses. This gives you an extra line of defense, blocking suspect emails before they get close to your business.
Finding your ideal email service provider
Because email is so important to your business, it’s wise to seek expert advice to ensure your choice of email service provider fits your requirements. If you work regularly with an IT supplier or support company, their input can be valuable.
How to Choose a Provider and Type of Email
As you start researching email hosting providers, here are a few questions to ask yourself and your team to help you narrow down options that will work for you now and long-term.
By going with hosted email service, you do not need to personally purchase hardware, and you do not need to be a technical genius or security expert to implement tools that support your team and your business operations.
Redundancies and security are built in to evolve as the technology evolves, because the company you choose to host your email is in the BUSINESS of email solutions. As you start your search for the right provider, assess your business’ needs and where you want to be in the future to decide which type of service will best fit you and your business.