Sooner or later, companies looking at ways to manage their telecommunications offerings find themselves confronted with a choice: move those services into the cloud with a hosted exchange or run those services in house with an onsite exchange server. Cost is a factor for every businesses, but don’t let that be your only consideration. Hosted services and onsite services each have their own benefits and drawbacks and learning about the strengths of each can help you determine which type of exchange is best for your business. With an onsite exchange, the server will be on premise at your business. You’ll need a secure place for the equipment and you’ll also need to have IT personnel available to manage, maintain, and troubleshoot the equipment. If not, you should have a partnership with an outsourced IT firm that can respond when maintenance or problems arise. Other factors to consider for onsite exchanges include:
- Capital expense. An onsite server and software can be a one-time capital expense, which means it could have a higher up front cost. But it can also be an operating expense if the equipment is financed or leased.
- With an onsite server, internal e-mail delivery will be instantaneous. That could give you greater e-mail reliability – a top priority for many businesses. With an onsite exchange server, you can also customize your server to your company’s needs.
- Capital costs are not your only expenses. You’ll also need to factor in the ongoing cost of electricity to power your exchange server. Servers generate a lot of heat so you’ll need to factor in the cost of cooling equipment as well.
With a hosted exchange, your telecommunications services are managed via the cloud by a third party. That means you don’t have the large up front cost for equipment, nor the ongoing cost of electricity associated with powering and cooling that equipment.
Hosted exchange costs typically come down to a standard monthly fee, which is determined by the number of users you have on the system and the feature set required for each user. That flat, monthly fee makes costs stable and predictable.
The company hosting your services will implement any necessary software upgrades and also and also handle any maintenance and management required of the system.
Hosted solutions offer flexibility and scalability for businesses that are adding a lot of employees. With an onsite exchange, equipment is purchased and configured to meet the needs of a targeted number of users. As new workers are added, the infrastructure might not be able to handle the additional users and devices connecting to the system. A hosted system makes scaling easy – all a business needs to do is create a new account.
It’s worth noting that all of the benefits of a cloud option may not be available to businesses in outlying areas, such as rural locations in British Columbia that might not have robust and reliabel high speed broadband Internet access. In these instances, an on-premise exchange might have the edge over a hosted service. That’s why it’s important to have a professional assessment of your telecommunications options that takes into account your business needs as well as the services available to you at your site. To learn more, contact us
Benefits of a Hosted Exchange over an Onsite Exchange Server
Having easily-accessible email allows you to communicate more freely with customers and employees, which is why choosing the right exchange is so important. While an onsite exchange is convenient, it can also be far more expensive. A hosted exchange can provide you with numerous benefits for a fraction of the cost-here are some reasons why you should consider one.
The biggest reason to consider a hosted exchange is for the cost savings. A hosted exchange will allow you more predictable monthly charges without the need to calculate maintenance costs in. As such, it is the preferred choice for small and medium-sized businesses, since it allows owners to better manage expenses.
The cost savings can be realized on an ongoing basis, since there is no need to worry about adding IT personnel or purchasing software upgrades. Advances in technology and marketplace competition now allow hosted exchanges to offer their customers more features at a lower price, making them an excellent value for the money.
Flexibility in Access
Hosted exchange accounts provide a great deal of flexibility when it comes to access. Users can access email accounts via Microsoft Outlook on any Windows or Macintosh computer. They may also use any of the leading web browsers they choose, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and Safari. This makes it possible to access data from nearly any desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smart phone. Accounts are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with technical support availablearound the clock as well.
While a hosted exchange does provide significant cost savings while allowing for flexibility in accessing accounts, there are other benefits to it as well. A few of these additional benefits include:
- Eliminating the need to house equipment
- Greatly reducing the risk of data loss, since hosted exchanges tend to have greater capacities than what the average small business does
- Making it easy to add new email accounts or eliminate old ones whenever needed
- Providing greater security, since hosted exchange providers tend to keep their systems up to date with the latest security patches as they become available.
- Allowing in-house IT staff members to focus on other more important projects
A hosted exchange permits emails to be sent and received quickly, ensuring your workers are able to communicate effectively at all times. Hosted exchange providers also offer you the same anti-spam and anti-virus filtering that is available with on-site exchanges. Some also provide multiple tracking and monitoring tools to help keep data as secure as possible. In many cases, the security offered by hosted exchange providers far exceeds what a small business could afford if using an on-site exchange. Hosted exchanges provide a multitude of benefits, particularly for startups, sole proprietorships and mid-sized businesses. A hosted exchange allows you to enjoy many of the same features at a fraction of the cost. If you’d like to learn more about hosted exchanges in Kelwona, Vernon or Kamloops, feel free to contact us for more information.