As technology continues to improve year after year, I think the one concept that will never lose its value is accessibility. Over the past couple of decades we’ve redefined what it means for something to be “accessible” and, with all of our IT toys seemingly on steroids, our day-to-day operations are constantly becoming more efficient.
Hosted exchange is one of my favorite examples of how far we’ve come. I firmly believe that any business—small or large—can benefit from this service in multiple ways. If you haven’t already made the switch, now is the time. Allow me to give you six reasons why:
1. Syncing of Resources
Modern business operations are all about riding on the “cloud”. If your data isn’t available to you any time of the day from any place you want, then you will always be one step behind your competitors. That’s why hosted exchange is a brilliant asset for making key resources—such as e-mails, calendars, critical files, address lists, and the like—immediately available to not only just you, but your entire staff (if necessary) and anyone else who might require access. With everyone’s data safe and secure in the “digital sky”, the syncing of information is made easier and more efficient.
2. Offline Operations
A major breakthrough in accessible technology is our ability to work offline without risking falling behind or not syncing up with others. With hosted exchange, you can take your operations offline (for whatever reason) and still have copies of your essential data to work with. Any changes made to your data (and yes, this means everything including email, scheduling meetings, etc.) while you are offline will be preserved and synchronized.
3. Access from Miscellaneous Devices
Hosted exchange is a universal asset and is not simply limited to PCs and laptops. A lot of businesses today need their employees on the road—meeting with clients and conducting off-site research—and being able to access exchange servers via iPhones, iPads, Androids and other supported mobile devices is undeniably helpful. Your employees could be on different ends of the world (hell if I know why you would have them so far away!) and you could still correspond with and manage them as if they were standing right in front of you.
It’s never fun dealing with a flat, static bill each month for a service, especially when you’re not entirely sure how often you’ll be using it. Your business might not be using hosted exchange every minute of the day and it’s important that the money you are forking out for such resources is based on usage.
Most organizations that can equip you with hosted exchange technology will offer you a pay-as-you-go rate, which relieves you of those annoying hidden costs and up-front payments. You’ll be able to gauge your own usage and have a lot more control over your budget.
5. Long-Term Updates
If you dread having to constantly hunt down software upgrades, then hosted exchange is definitely the way to go. The majority of hosted exchange services include long-term updates as part of the package—your hardware and systems will never go out of date and your staff won’t be burdened by upgrade tasks.
6. Maintenance Is a Priority
I like to think of this as a benefit simply because people tend to put maintenance off or at least fail to prioritize it as necessary. An exchange server, while immensely resourceful, is quite complicated and typically cannot be managed by non-experts. It’s paramount that you have IT experts (a 3rd party or your own team) conducting maintenance on your servers on a consistent basis. Of course, most hosted exchange services provide 24/7 maintenance and support and you won’t have to worry about any of this, making your life that much easier!