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Email is today without doubt the most important business tool for organisations of all sizes – just look at the chaos caused if a company’s email goes down even for an hour. Its indispensable nature has however also made it a potential point of vulnerability, in danger of attacks from hackers, spammers and viruses. Security has therefore become as critical to businesses as email itself, as has the need for reliable storage and back-up. Companies need to know that their email is always secure, and that every email written by every employee is safely stored and easy to access.
The challenge for companies is that doing it yourself can prove very costly and time-consuming. An efficient email solution requires amongst other things software, mail servers, a firewall, a backup solution, virus protection and people to manage everything 24/7. What’s more, a company doesn’t have to have many employees to have a large volume of email to manage – it all depends on what you are working on. This is why more and more businesses are moving to an outsourced solution, typically known as Email Hosting.
Email Hosting, provided by hosting experts such as Rackspace, enables companies to have peace of mind about the reliability, security and cost of their email solution. Typically, email hosting includes among other features:
- Guarantees on availability all the way to 100% uptime. You can be sure that your email will be accessible at all times
- 24 hour support. Should problems occur, there is always someone at the end of the line to help you
- The best and latest protection from viruses and hacking. All concerns about security are passed on to your email hosting provider, in the knowledge that they will always be using the latest and best solutions
- Reliable backup and recovery. Whatever happens, you can be sure that your data is safe and retrievable at any moment
- The latest expertise. If you are using Microsoft Exchange, you can be sure that your email hosting provider will be able to support you with any issues. If you choose the proprietary solution often offered as an alternative, all necessary information will again be available should you need it
- An easy to understand payment solution with flexible contracts, and the certainty of cost savings compared with maintaining your own in-house system
Security is probably the biggest concern today. Larger enterprises generally have the financial ability to set up and run comprehensive in-house email security activities together with appropriate security policies. Small and medium companies however, frequently lack the resources to set up an efficient in-house email server and its associated security solution. It is common that their only solution is implementing a single-point solution such as a stand-alone firewall, installing anti-spam software or an intrusion detection systems (IDS) on their local area network. While these solutions do provide a certain amount of security, they are simply not strong enough compared to the protection provided by qualified email-hosting providers, who have the capacity to protect against blended email threats by utilising best-of-breed technologies.
The current trend, often driven by security concerns, is that more companies are migrating to hosted email systems, predominantly towards hosted Microsoft Exchange, although also to proprietary systems. This gives businesses a high-calibre, scalable email solution at a reasonable and affordable price. Another big benefit is that whether a company is expanding or downsizing, it only pays its email hosting provider for the resources it actually uses on a monthly basis - the cost is generally based on the number of email users at any particular time. It is a very easy and efficient way of controlling the cost of outsourcing the email system and at the same time the company benefits from enterprise-grade email functionality that could never be achieved through single-point solutions.
To find out more about Microsoft Exchange, visit Microsoft’s official website. To find out what Rackspace can do for your business and to learn about their proprietary email solution, visit their Email Hosting website.