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Email is one of the most important mediums in a business arsenal of tools. As a consultant most people die or live by their email. In my 29 years of experience in the IT world. I have found that email is by far the most important tool that I use. But, there are a lot of people that don't understand that email can help you and hurt you. So, you need to understand what email systems are and what they do. By far the leader of the email industry is Exchange Server. The latest version of this email system is Exchange Server 2013.
Now Exchange Server 2013 comes in to flavors. The first is the On Premise version. When think about On Premise, think about a server that is sitting in your server room. Then you have the new "Cloud" version or known as Off-Premise. Simply this is just a server that is being "Hosted" by another company. In this instance, it is called "Office 365". Microsoft is takes care of the hosting and maintenance of the environment. That is a "Public Cloud" offering. There is so much more that we can talk about when it comes to cloud technologies. In this article we are focusing on the benefit of Exchange Server 2013 and Office 365.
When we look at new products, we think "How is it going to benefit me and my company?" Let's take a look at the top 10 benefits of Exchange Server 2013.
1. Protect your sensitive data and inform users of internal compliance policies with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) capabilities:
Have you ever had anyone send information in an email that was damaging or sensitive. There have been company throughout the ages that have suffered from this blight. The new Exchange Server 2013 DLP features identity, monitor and protect sensitive data through deep content analysis. Exchange Server 2013 also offers Out of the box polices that are based on regulatory standards such as PII and PCI and is extensible to support other policies important to your business. Plus, with the new Policy Tips in Outlook, users are informed about the policy violations before they send and email. This can save money and time for companies. They will not have to play cleanup.
2. Allow compliance officers to run In-Place eDiscovery across Exchange, SharePoint and Lync -from a single interface:
If you can't find then how can you stop it. With the new In-Place eDiscovery your Lawyer can now earn his/her money. You can also stop employees from deleting email that could be important to a case. The eDiscovery center will allow compliance officers to search data in SharePoint, Exchange and Lync from one place. They can identify, hold and analyze this email for possible breach. This would be a good tool for companies that have had sexual harassment cases and law suites. With eDiscovery Center, you can reduce the cost of managing complex compliance needs, while ensuring you are prepared for the unexpected.
3. Keep all your important data in one place with Exchange archiving, large mailboxes and retention policies:
Everyone remembers 9/11, it was a time we got caught looking the other way. After this tragedy, the government implemented new regulations about data. We needed to find a way to keep data for a certain amount of time and be able to provide more room. HIPPA, US Patriot Act, SOX Sunshine Law and so many other regulations require the accessibility to electronic correspondence. With Exchange Server 2013 we can empower users with an in-place archive and large mailbox to allow the flexibility to retain email in their primary mailbox, or to archive items. The archive items can be stored on cheaper storage such as 10,000 RPM SATA Drives. With flexible and powerful retention policies, we can now take control of our storage and compliance demands, while keeping our users productive.
4. Enable our users to collaborate on projects, get up to speed quickly on teams they join and share information easily:
This is the age of speed. We want it now and we want it cheaply. We can now make it easier for our users to manage teams and project communications. We can allow users to see old communications on a project as soon as they join, have access to current versions for their team documents and access that information through Outlook. Our user now have powerful tools to be productive and accomplish more with their teams. You will be able to manage information in the location that this information was meant to be stored. Co-Authoring, document storage and versions is provided by SharePoint and messaging is handled by Exchange with the complete user experience within Outlook.
5. Eliminate email threats before they reach your network:
Do you remember the "I Love You" virus or "Michangelo" virus? I know that these are dated but they were very vicious characters. Wouldn't it be nice to stop these predators from hitting our email and not costing us an arm or a leg to utilize the technology? Well, Exchange actively protects your communications with built-in defenses against email threats. Multi-layered anti-spam filtering comes with continuous updates to help guard against increasingly sophisticated span and phishing threats, while anti-malware engines work to protect your email data from viruses.
6. Give your users an intuitive, touch-enabled inbox experience on just any device:
Bring your own Device, is a staple in most companies. As IT professionals we have to ensure that our email can be read on the newest of devices. Now we can enable our users to get more done from anywhere with an inbox that provides clean and uncluttered experience, where the relevant and important information is optimized for different form-factors. The same thoughtful design in the Outlook desktop interface has been applied to both the browser and mobile interfaces.
7. Move to the cloud on your terms with flexible options including Exchange hybrid deployment:
Face it, not everyone is ready for the Public Cloud. Exchange provides you tools to move to the cloud when you are ready. It doesn't matter if you want to do it over a weekend or over a longer period of time. Exchange Server 2013 provides our end-users with a seamless experience including sharing calendars and scheduling meetings between on-premises and online users and doing this will little disruption as possible. You remain in control while testing out the cloud's newest enhancements with support for upgrade previews. Giving smaller companies the ability to compete with the larger companies and lower there TCO.
8. Decrease the amount of time spent managing systems while maintaining control:
When you introduce a new technology into the environment, it takes time to learn the nuances of the system. You need also a centralized location to be able to manage the systems. Say good bye to the RDP sessions to the server. Say hello to the "EAC". The Exchange Administrative Center is a replacement the Exchange Control Manager. We loved that GUI. But, to manage from anywhere, you need to install it everywhere. The EAC is a web based and similar to the ECP (Exchange Control Panel). With the EAC we can manage the powerful capabilities including DLP, Apps for Outlook and site mailboxes. It gives us a single, easy-to-use, web based administration interface. Add RBAC (Role Based Access Control)into the mix, you now provide your help desk and specialist users with the tools to perform specific tasks without requiring full administrative permissions. This streamlined and intuitive experience helps you manage Exchange efficiently, delegate tasks and focus on driving business forward.
9. Customize Exchange by integrating relevant, web-based Apps for Office into Outlook and Outlook Web App:
One of my pet peeves is wasting time switching from one application to another to get information. What if there was a way to centralize our daily routines? Make it faster to make decisions? Now we can help our users spend less time switching between apps and make their communication experience more powerful with an extension model that allow you to provide easy plugin access across both rich client and web-based Outlook experiences. You can minimize complexity with single sign-on to multiple application and securely give access designed to ensure only authorized individuals can use each approved application.
10. Bring all your contacts together in one place:
Finally we are at number 10. Social media is in the news where every look. Marketers and sub-marketers and companies are trying to get a piece of the pie. Are you a member of Linked-In and other social media sites. Linked-In is about business. We want to stay in-touch with our contacts. Now our users have the ability to bring their contacts in from other networks so that they all of the information in one place. Exchange will even find the same person across networks and consolidate their information into one contact card, avoiding duplication and multiple contact cards with different information.
As you can see, Exchange Server 2013 both online and on premise offer a lot of benefits. These benefits are focused at helping you to same time and time is money. This will help you and your company lower your TCO. Hopefully this article opens your eyes to the benefits of owning and properly using Exchange Server 2013.
Thanks for reading and look for our other tips on Microsoft Technologies in the near future.