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Hosted Exchange or Managed On-Premises Exchange Server?



While text messaging, videoconferencing, instant messaging and other forms of communication have a come a long way, good old email continues to lead the pack as the most essential corporate communication tool. Think about how lost you would be without a properly functioning email service and all of the administrative tools that come with it.


First introduced in 1996, Microsoft Exchange Server continues to be the de facto standard for business-grade email service, with more than 170 million users around the world. However, Exchange presents a number of challenges for organizations that host their own Exchange Server, particularly for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs).


The in-house IT resources required to implement, maintain and manage Exchange Server can be cost-prohibitive for smaller organizations. Because these IT resources are typically in short supply, many organizations are turning to a hosted Exchange model to reduce costs and simplify management. Hosted Exchange shifts the management and maintenance burden of all backend services to a third-party service provider.

Hosted Microsoft Exchange offers the following benefits:

1) Lower, More Predicable Total Cost of Ownership

Instead of purchasing, installing, configuring and maintaining your own email infrastructure, hosted Exchange allows you to utilize a service provider’s hardware, software and expertise for a monthly fee. Migration to a new version of Exchange, a costly proposition when hosted in-house, is automatically handled by the provider at little or no cost.

2) Deployment and Scalability

Hosted Exchange can be deployed in a matter of hours, compared to an average of 30 days for an in-house solution. Users can be added easily and inexpensively without the need for additional hardware purchases.

3) Anytime, Anywhere Access

All email folders, contacts, calendars and data can be accessed and shared from virtually any Internet-connected desktop or mobile device, allowing for greater productivity, flexibility and collaboration.

4) Software Licensing Costs

Hosted Exchange allows you to upgrade to the latest version of the software without paying for a new license.

Although hosted Exchange is an appealing option, moving email to the cloud isn’t the best strategy for every organization. For example, if email is truly mission-critical, a lost Internet connection can prove very costly. Also, if your email system is highly customized and integrated with a number of applications, keeping email on premises is most likely the better choice.

In this case, a local managed services provider such as ICG can help you overcome the complexity of email management by handling the monitoring, maintenance and administration of your on-premises Exchange Server. This approach not only frees in-house staff of routine management tasks but provides greater reliability and security and 24×7 technical support. We can also help you customize your email environment to support mobile devices and enhance your business processes.

Let us help you determine if hosted Microsoft Exchange or on-premises Exchange Server, managed by ICG, makes the most sense for your organization.