For the longest time, businesses have been installing email servers on site to have more control over their data. But the drawback of this setup is that it's more expensive and you need to have a dedicated IT team to manage everything. Microsoft Exchange Online is a cloud-based email service that offers the same features and benefits of an on-premises Exchange server, without the hassle and expense.
What is Microsoft Exchange Online?
Microsoft Exchange Online is a cloud-based email server that helps businesses keep track of communications, manage calendars, and schedule appointments and meetings. Unlike with the original Exchange Server where you install the program on your own server, Exchange Online is hosted in Microsoft's data center. This means that Microsoft provides the infrastructure and computing resources required to run the email solution. They're also largely responsible for securing, backing up, and maintaining your Exchange Online environment.
Since Exchange Online isn't installed locally, companies must instead sign up for the following subscription plans:
- Exchange Online (Plan 1): $4/user/month – A standalone email server platform with 50 GB mailbox, Outlook on the web, message archiving, and focused inbox features
- Exchange Online (Plan 2): $8/user/month – A more robust solution that includes all the features of the first plan including 100 GB mailbox, data loss prevention, automated attendant, and cloud voicemail capabilities
- Microsoft 365 Business Standard: $12.50/user/month – The most comprehensive plan that comes with Exchange Online, Office Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Microsoft Teams
Benefits of hosted Exchange
Companies that use Exchange Online can enjoy a slew of benefits:
1. Predictable and lower costs
Exchange Online is charged on a monthly basis per user. This makes it easier for businesses to budget for their email needs in the long run.
What's more, you don't need to purchase dedicated servers and expensive licenses for your email platform. And since Microsoft is responsible for the infrastructure and maintenance, there are no additional costs associated with keeping the email solution running.
2. Plug-and-play simplicity
With Microsoft Exchange Server, you would have to allocate physical space for an email server, install the software, and configure user accounts manually. If you experience technical difficulties with Exchange Server, you'll also have to troubleshoot the issue yourself.
In contrast, everything is taken care of with Exchange Online. Your cloud services provider will usually handle the hosting, management, installation, and configuration processes. That means your company can use and enjoy everything Exchange Online has to offer as soon as you sign up for a subscription plan.
3. Increased scalability and flexibility
As your business grows, you might need to add more users to your email platform. Fortunately, Exchange Online allows you to accommodate more users with ease. All you have to do is contact your provider when your server requirements change. You can add or remove users with a few clicks, and you're only charged for what you use.
4.Greater security and compliance
What's great about Exchange Online is you gain access to enterprise-grade security features like data loss prevention policies, intelligent anti-spam filters, and advanced malware detection. These features are constantly updated by Microsoft to ensure that your data is always protected against the latest security threats. Plus, Exchange Online stores your emails and data in Microsoft's data centers, protected with cutting-edge network security and physical security measures.
These benefits merely scratch the surface of what Exchange Online is capable of. If you want to see how this email platform can power up your business, call us now!