from £9.99

per mailbox per month

25GB or 50GB mailboxes
Outlook 2013 included
Easy migration service
Volume discounts
99.9% up-time

Microsoft Exchange Email 2013

In today’s modern organisation, email is central to running the business on a day-to-day basis, and keeps people in contact when the telephone or a meeting is not convenient. In fact, according to a 2013 report from Warwick Business School, British workers each send 10,000 emails per year, with almost 3 in 5 (57 per cent) workers claiming to log into their email inbox outside of work hours. Further, 85 per cent of those who do, say that it makes them more productive.

So it makes sense that one of the key areas of cloud adoption among organisations, as discovered by CIF, is email services. Over the last 18 months, email is the third most used cloud or hosted service by companies of all sizes in the UK with almost a fifth (17 per cent) of organisations, ranked only behind web hosting (40 per cent) and niche vertical applications (25 per cent).

What could hosted email do for my business?

So why are organisations picking email over many other applications, software, systems and resources, to migrate to a hosted model? What value does it truly bring to businesses, particularly SMBs? The aim of this paper is to bring together the key benefi ts that your business could experience from moving to a hosted email service, in a clear and easy to read format, so that you are informed enough to decide whether hosted email is right for your workforce.

1. Reduced capital and operational costs

The benefits of hosted and cloud services in general have been well documented, but the biggest benefit that most users cite above all else is the flexible payment options.

Email is always on, and heavily relied upon by the business; therefore it can be a huge strain on an on-premise server. After capital expenditure on hardware, licenses, servers and firewalls, operational fees such as support and on-going maintenance ensure that the corporate wallet is tied into a constant drain on finances.

Hosted email gives your SMB enterprise-grade infrastructure at a much more cost effective price point. As with all cloud services, hosted email is very much ‘pay for what you use’, and there is a variety of cash flow-friendly options when it comes to subscriptions. Even adding new mailboxes – for new starters, for example – is inexpensive, since there are no hardware, labour or technical installation costs.

Support and maintenance costs are also near eradicated, since your email service is hosted remotely by a third party, which means that updates and fixes are their responsibility and covered in the cost of any subscription as standard.

In addition, since the email platform is hosted remotely, there is no need to purchase and maintain annual software licenses. As a direct result, you can ensure that your company remains fully compliant with copyright and software licensing laws and regulation.

2. Increased productivity

With new UK fl exible working laws coming into play, a raft of bad weather, unreliable public transport and the increasing value placed on customer service, British productivity has never been so focused on. We can now work when, where and how we want to, because the tools are there to enable us to do it.

When combined with ActiveSync, hosted email ensures that all employees’ devices – from desktop computer to mobile device, with any client – are constantly synced with the data centre, delivering real-time email, calendar, contacts and document updates as they happen. As long as your workforce has access to an Internet or mobile data connection, they will be fully updated and informed at all times.

With this in mind, critical business decisions can be made more quickly; information gets to the right person at the right time faster than ever, and bad weather or travel problems need never be an excuse again. With smartphone ownership in the UK now hitting 75 per cent of the population in 2013 (according to a report from IAB UK) and 80 per cent of organisations expecting an increase in employees requesting BYOD schemes in the workplace (Vanson Bourne, 2013), not being in the office is no longer a hindrance to UK Plc.

Managing your email service is also no longer the labour- intensive administrative slog it would be in-house, since hosted email enables you to confi gure your set-up via any major browser and a web connection, no matter the device.

Collaboration is also fi rmly supported, as employees are able to share diaries, address details and other business information in real-time. Shared mailboxes, calendars and tasks also ensure that less time is spent on administration time as colleagues can access relevant information at the touch of a screen.

3. Easy to use

Hosted email is as easy to use and intuitive as the desktop version most of the UK’s workforce is familiar with, but with even more added benefits. The user interface enables your employees to keep all of the most important data in one, central location, including archiving. The user interface enables workers to access, read and write email, set up and accept calendar invites, access, add and amend contacts, and tasks – and when you use another device, such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone – even a palm computer – it’s perfectly synced!

It can also cope with multiple and different operating systems, from iOS and Android, to Windows and Linux.

Employees are able to scan and prioritise responses, preview the first lines of email in a pane, access conversation view to keep email threads tidy and easily found and automatically archive based on business rules, just like a desktop email client.

4. Security

Hosted email in its nature always uses a secure, encrypted connection, even when a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is unavailable. In fact, it is more secure than a traditional in-house IMAP or POP3 connection. Yet security still remains organisations’ number one concern when it comes to cloud and hosted services. CIF’s 2013 research found that over half (56 per cent) of businesses are subject to specific regulations around IT services and data, and of these over half (54 per cent) again are required to store email data in a specific location. More than three quarters (76 per cent) of organisations of all sizes say that their number one driver for storing data in a specific location is due to security concerns, including Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. A vast majority (90 per cent) believed that they had a restriction or obligation that required the data to be stored within the UK.

Ensure that your business’s emails are within regulatory guidelines, selecting a provider with secure data centres that are fully staffed with experienced, audited IT experts. And since both the physical and virtual safety and security of your email data is the responsibility of the provider, ensure that it is using the latest in anti-malware, anti-spam and content filters, and the highest level of anti-virus software available.

Look for data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities so that individual users are unable to accidentally (or maliciously) send sensitive business information outside of the allowed access roles. Since the email data is in the cloud, managers can also remotely delete it or wipe mobile devices from any Internet browser, should there ever be a data breach or a device is lost.

5. Business continuity

Cloud services are frequently turned to for back up, disaster recovery and business continuity, because it offers a cost effective, on-site solution and an alternative to traditional tapes and disks.

Hosted email providers will ensure continuous data backup and swift recovery, whenever you suffer from any potentially damaging incident, from natural disasters to fi re. Ensure that your provider supplies 24/7 surveillance from backup specialists and consistent monitoring so that any issues can be caught early. In an ideal scenario, data will be replicated for double protection, meaning that in the highly unlikely scenario of loss of data from one location, it is still 100 per cent backed up and up-to-date to restore your business’s email straight away.

Look for data centres with extensive experience of managing hosted email services, and certifi ed engineers for complete peace of mind. Hosted on fully redundant infrastructure, all data is replicated and exists in two separate data centres guaranteeing 99.99% uptime and business continuity.

6. A more robust mobile strategy

As previously mentioned, SMBs are a growth market for mobile working, from home-based employees to hot-deskers. Recognising that embracing mobile working at the smaller end of the corporate scale is an important step in realising maximum productivity in an austere economy.

Your hosted email services will be remotely accessed from an array of different mobile devices, often cause for concern for IT managers, especially those companies that are relaxed about employee-instigated BYOD schemes. Hosted email can in fact help you to create approved mobile device lists – a must for a basic mobile strategy.

With hosted email platforms, employees can access all of the functionality via a mobile application, including calendars, group scheduling, tasks and publicly shared folders.

7. A tablet for an IT headache

One of the major benefits a lot of businesses experience when migrating to a cloud or hosted email platform is the reduced pressure on the in-house IT team, or if you outsource to a managed service provider, being able to divert all of the users’ and management’s attention to the business.

Business managers do not have to worry about maintaining and updating physical hardware, because there isn’t any on-premise. Third party IT professionals are able to take care of your email needs on-site, enabling you to concentrate on the bottom line. Look for 24/7 telephone support from experienced IT professionals that are proficient in your hosted platform and certified where appropriate.

A good hosted email provider will also manage the switch from in-house email for you, with no downtime or data loss. On-going maintenance and fixes are also managed by the provider, but ensure that this is included as part of the subscription fee, to reap the cash flow benefits.

Seamless integration with your other business applications is also much easier with hosted email. From Microsoft SharePoint and Lync through to and more, all applications are synced simultaneously with updates as and when they occur.

8. Complete control and scalability

Hosted email also means that you have complete flexibility and transparency when it comes to storage capacity, mailbox numbers and individual configurations. Adding space or mailboxes, scaling up as your business grows, is as easy as a couple of clicks.

Start with as many or as few mailboxes – up to a huge 50GB in some cases – as your business needs (for any period of time – even temporarily), and some providers will even offer discounts for volume purchases and a wide choice of subscription contract lengths.

One of the primary benefits for SMBs when using hosted services is the 24/7 access to enterprise-class technology and resources. Smaller businesses also benefit from extra agility compared to their larger competitors, so reacting in line with market changes is swifter.

Email tools can be completely customised to each business, user group or individual user based on requirements. From control panel to features, reporting and more, hosted email ensures all preferences are synced across multiple devices.

What happens next?

For more information on our email packages and how we can help your business please contact us.

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