Communication is king when it comes to growing your business. Without dependable, reliable communication, your business will not be able to function effectively, and you may find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes to moving forward in your industry. The days of single, simple email accounts are gone, and it can often be difficult to separate fact from fiction in what is offered online for your business to stay in touch. Two choices currently available for your communication needs are standard: POP/IMAP email or a Hosted Exchange solution.
Regular Email – The Basics
A typical POP or IMAP email option is one such as Gmail, Zoho, or Aol mail, all of which offer both POP and IMAP for free. POP or “post office protocol” mail is stored on the provider’s server until it is retrieved by a desktop, and is then moved from that server to your computer. IMAP email can be imagined more like a window – it allows you to see your email on a central server and download it as many times as you like, from any computer. Over the last few years, companies like Google have been able to increase the functionality of their POP/IMAP email servers to a point where they have a few, if any, major issues. So where does Hosted Exchange email fit in?
What to Expect From Hosted Exchange
A Hosted Exchange service is one that will be hosted for you by a company like myhosting.com, and will be managed on a secure server that is monitored for security and privacy on a minute-to-minute basis. Free mail servers can fail due to the sheer number of people using them, leaving you unable to retrieve your mail during periods of maintenance or unexpected downtime. The benefits to a Hosted Exchange solution start with reliable uptime, but go beyond the basic functionality you often expect from email. Built on programs like Microsoft Exchange Server with added features from Windows SharePoint Services, a Hosted Exchange solution can provide integrated desktop and mobile syncing and collaboration, meaning that all of your email will automatically sync between devices.
Advanced Hosted Exchange Features – Mobility
The major benefits to Hosted Exchange don’t lie in what it can do better than free email, but what it can do that free email can’t. Mobile email is a good place to start. Exchange ActiveSync – built-in with Hosted Exchange – allows any iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Windows Phone to sync with your email accounts, meaning that no matter what phone you’re using, you’ll always have all of your mail and all of your contacts. Currently, Exchange ActiveSync allows new emails can to be pushed to your phones either on your request or automatically, and mobile connectivity means that anyone in the company with a phone can be productive, no matter where they are.
Advanced Features – Outlook and Beyond
With access to Outlook 2010 for Windows and Outlook 2011 for Mac, your business will be able to take advantage of the task schedulers, calendars, easy contact lists and powerful email options from any PC or mobile phone connected to your network and with the right permissions. Hosting email rather than using free server space also means you’ll receive updates as t yourinbox changes, without ever losing the email you need or having your contacts, tasks and calendars wiped. Combine that with the Outlook Web App (OWA), which allows full Outlook functionality when the desktop version is not available, and the power of Hosted Exchange becomes clear. Consistency across devices, combined with the ability to consolidate multiple email addresses into fewer inboxes means less time worrying about email and more time spent doing business.
The Hosting Imperative
Hosting an email server on your own is possible – but reliability, space, and bandwidth often make this option prohibitively expensive. With pay-as-you-go options now available for fully hosted solutions, and with those solutions offering a world of email features beyond POP and IMAP free webmail, the costs to purchase a hosted option are often more than made up for by the increase in productivity seen thanks to the sharing and collaboration possible, both on PCs and with mobile devices.
Communication drives your business. Make sure you have a service that always delivers.
- Hosted Exchange Email now available from myhosting.com
- Entourage Update for Hosted Exchange Email users
- Not all email is created equal: an introduction to POP3, IMAP4 and MAPI
- Exchange Support in Snow Leopard, Palm Prē, Android and more
- myhosting.com Mobile Email Solution Awarded for Excellence @ Parallels Summit 2011 Awards