As critical as email is to most companies, it is important to remember that a company's mail servers are a part of the company's infrastructure, and are not usually directly related to the products or services that the company offers to its customers.
To be successful, it is important for a company to focus as many of its resources as possible on the business itself, and its core competencies. In any business, a portion of the company's financial and human resources are invested in establishing and maintaining the company's underlying infrastructure (such as email, telephone, electricity, etc.). In most cases, this infrastructure is necessary for doing business, but does not directly produce revenue. In essence, the infrastructure is a necessary expense.
The bottom line is that if a company can minimise the costs of doing business and maximise the focus of its resources on its core competency, then the company will be more profitable and successful. As such, it makes sense to examine infrastructure related expenses, and see if they can be reduced through outsourcing. Often times, an outsourcing company can provide a better service than what can be provided in house, but at a lower cost, and with less complexity. This not only reduces costs, but it also frees up staff to focus on the company's business objectives.
Of all of the components that make up a company's infrastructure, perhaps none makes more sense to outsource than the company's email solution. Although the reasons behind this choice are mostly financial, businesses find the ability to shift the responsibility of operations as well as the responsibility of complying with various federal regulations more to their benefit.
For example Microsoft Exchange Server (the most widely deployed email solution) is one of the most complex Microsoft products. Whilst smaller companies can consolidate this deployment onto a single server it then opens up the company to risk from a security and reliability standpoint. Single server deployments are also prone to performance problems, lack of redundancy in case of failure and scalability issues.
Even a 'simple' Exchange Server deployment is complicated, and with complexity comes cost. The first cost that you are likely to encounter is that of training your administrative staff to design, deploy and maintain an effective Exchange Server organisation.
Each server then comes with the initial hardware acquisition costs, and the cost of the Windows and Exchange Server licenses paid to Microsoft. Additional costs come in the form of spare parts, overtime for the administrative staff, especially if you want 24x7 reliability, and other maintenance related expenses.
Through outsourcing your mailboxes to a Mail Hosting company not only allows you to avoid the initial start up costs of deploying an Exchange Server organisation, the ongoing costs are usually less as well. The reason why this is possible is because Mail Hosting companies typically divide server resources among multiple clients. This means that several companies are sharing the expense of the hardware, software, as well as monitoring and maintenance costs, rather than your company having to cover the entire costs.
Other benefits include:
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