When I first started working as an IT Consultant there was nothing I recommended more to my small business clients than Small Business Server 2003 and along with it Microsoft Exchange. While many of my clients didn’t utilize most of the features that were included in Microsoft’s cost effective “All-in-One” server operating system you can be sure that they all used Microsoft Exchange.
If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Exchange it’s basically the bee’s knees of email solutions. Many of you may already be using Exchange but if you aren’t and you own a business I’m almost certain you’re using or have used Microsoft Outlook. Exchange and Outlook go together like peanut butter and jelly, ham and cheese or bacon, lettuce and tomato… I’m not sure why I’ve used three sandwich metaphors to describe this relationship but let’s face it… sandwiches are amazing and so is Microsoft Exchange.
You may be wondering why I believe Microsoft Exchange is so essential to your business. Allow me to explain. If you haven’t already been turned onto Exchange then you’re probably accessing your emails in one of three ways. These include POP3, IMAP or Webmail. Here’s a link to an article that discusses the differences between IMAP and Microsoft Exchange.
Exchange allows you to sync email, email folders, tasks, contacts and calendars across pretty much any device while allowing you to share them with your co-workers as well. You can probably already see how useful this is.
A lot has changed since I was installing Small Business Servers though. Microsoft decided to discontinue the product after Small Business Server 2011 was released. Now, in order to host your own Exchange server you need to purchase Microsoft Server and Microsoft Exchange separately which is very expensive. This doesn’t even include the additional labor and technical expertise needed to set everything up.
Thankfully Microsoft was kind enough to bless us with Office365 which is a product that aims to replace that Exchange server you’ve had sitting in your office all these years.
Office365 is a subscription based line of products offered by Microsoft. You can choose to subscribe to a plan that gives you access to all of their Office products like Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.. or you can simply choose to go with their hosted Exchange service. We typically recommend that our clients purchase their Office software the old fashion way but we definitely advise them to make use of the hosted Exchange service.
It’s time to say “Goodbye” to your Exchange server, the IT Support necessary to maintain it, the expensive spam filtering software and services, the constant worry that your email could go down due to an internet outage or server crash and the expensive backup software necessary to back it all up. Let Microsoft deal with all that!
You can check out the packages that Microsoft offers by clicking here.
If you need want more information about the product or are going to need assistance with setting it up please feel free to call us before you make the purchase.
We are a Microsoft partner and can definitely get you going. Just give us a call at (410) 861-6278 or click here to be redirected to our “Contact Us” page.
Thanks for reading!