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Hosted or Premises-Based Email Solutions: What’s Right for You?

August 27, 2014

Though it might be something you take for granted, your business relies on email. In fact, research has shown that the average employee sends and receives over 100 emails every day. Because a majority of businesses view email as the most important communications medium, it might be time to take another look at your company’s email solutions to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your unique needs.

Hosted Email

Pros: When you decide to employ hosted email solutions, you benefit from not having to buy or maintain the hardware that supports it. Instead, the vendor that hosts your email maintains that infrastructure and keeps it up to date, so your team doesn’t have to. Because your servers are hosted in a data center, you’ll still be able to access email in the event an outage affects your office.

Cons: It’s no secret that hosting providers are trying to push everything to the cloud. Once that happens, who’s to say they won’t try to increase their rates? Additionally, if an outage were to occur, there’s no telling how fast your email will be restored as you have no control over the equipment that supports it. A few years ago, one of the bigger email hosts, Intermedia, suffered an outage that lasted a few days. This has happened to Microsoft’s cloud products as well. When such an event happens, you become a proverbial flea on a water buffalo—if you need support, you’re just one customer of many. Hosted email also means that if systems fail, you’re at the mercy of your provider and could lose all of your data. Because your email traffic goes through the Internet, you’ll also need additional bandwidth to accommodate it.

Premises-Based Email

Pros: By choosing to deploy premises-based email solutions, you’re taking ownership of your mission-critical data that lives on hardware you control. Because you control it, you’re also able to map out a disaster recovery plan that’s specific to your business. In the event a problem does occur, your IT team is in charge of your systems and can work expediently to bring them back online. That compares to a hosting company that might have to recover hundreds or thousands of companies at once. What’s more, premises-based email sent internally is extremely fast. Premises-based solutions also give businesses the flexibility to switch providers if they want, as they own their own data.

Cons: While it might be nice to control your data, you’ll still have to invest in the infrastructure that supports your email, making premises-based solutions more expensive up front. To ensure business continuity, you’ll also need to consider disaster recovery needs. To accommodate those needs, you’ll need to invest in reliable and redundant Internet and power solutions. Your IT team will also be responsible for maintaining all of that infrastructure, as well as updating software as patches become available.

The bottom line is that both solutions have their pros and cons and no solution is right for everyone. The key to making the right choice is mapping out your business requirements and using those requirements to guide your decision. If you are unsure of what to do, Axiom’s team of IT Strategy professionals offers free consultations to discuss which solution is best for you.  Contact us now.


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