Email hosting is a great way for a business to improve professionalism, share information and reduce IT costs.
While there is usually a fee per user to implement and maintain a hosted email solution an IT consulting firm can usually facilitate this for a business. The resulting costs can be substantially less than that of personally hosting an email exchange and much more beneficial than a free email option.
There are three different options for business email hosting and determining the best email hosting solution is dependant on a businesses budget and needs.
There are a number of free email options available – Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc. These providers offer free email services and in turn generate revenue through advertising space sold on the respective webpage.
Being free, these offering are much more suitable for personal, rather than business use. One limiting feature of free emails is the use of the domain, for example a Hotmail account will use the @hotmail.com domain name. While this is a mostly aesthetic issue, it can detract from a businesses professional image.
Another very important consideration for a business is data back-up and disaster recovery. Free email services offer very little support – if any – in terms of data back-up and recovery services. Considering the importance of data in any business, it is extremely important to ensure appropriate disaster recovery and data back-up procedures are in place.
In a hosted email arrangement a business outsources the management of email hosting to a third party, usually an IT services firm. This firm would generally manage the infrastructure, as well as the software associated with hosted email hosting service.
There are many key benefits for a business to adopt a hosted email solution into their IT strategy. One of these is the option to include the business domain name as the email domain eg.
While this may seem like a small detail, it improves the level of professionalism portrayed by a business.
In addition to this, a small business may benefit from a hosted email solution as a result of increased flexibility amongst users. A hosted email solution allows for employees to share calendars, email access and contacts, within a secure environment. This can be beneficial for businesses who manage client appointments and/or where an administration team manages meeting times for other business employees.
Finally, a hosted email solution offers a much greater degree of data back-up/disaster recovery. By adopting a hosted email solution a business emails will generally be backed up at least daily, although it is not uncommon for data back-up to occur on the hour, if not to the minute. This is highly important, as emails can contain important information, such as sales prospects, client data, invoices etc.
Fully managed email
A business can decide to take on the responsibility of managing their email solution in-house. While there are some merits to this strategy, the costs associated with doing so are usually beyond what is acceptable for small to medium size business. The benefits achieved with hosting ones own email are similar to those of a hosted email solution, but would realistically require the full time management of infrastructure of an IT team and as such is usually suited to larger businesses.
A hosted email solution offers a business greater control over their email, higher security and flexibility, without the high cost of managing a fully managed email infrastructure solution.
To find out more about our email hosting services check out our Email Hosting page.
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