When you check your email with a POP connection, new email messages are downloaded to your computer and are then deleted from the email server. Some the features included are below:
Access – Since your email is stored on your computer, you must be at your computer to access your email.
Storage – You don’t need to worry about running out of online storage space. Since you’re downloading your emails to your computer, you can keep as many emails as your computer can store.
Backup – You should implement an effective backup system for your computer, in case you need to retrieve lost or deleted emails.
Internet Connection – You will need an Internet connection to download email, but you can view your downloaded email offline (i.e., without an Internet connection).
When checking your email with an IMAP connection, you are accessing and managing your email directly from the email server. Some the features included are below:
Access – Since the emails are stored on the email server, you can access and manage your email and email folders from multiple computers or mobile devices.
Storage – If you have limited online storage space, you may need to delete some emails periodically to avoid exceeding your storage capacity.
Backup – Email is automatically backed up every evening; so, if you accidentally delete an email, your email administrator can retrieve it, even up to 14 days later. It however remains the clients’ responsibility to backup all important mails.
Internet Connection – If you do not have an Internet connection, you cannot access your email.
What is hosted exchange?
Microsoft Exchange Server is the leading business-grade messaging system. Exchange offers a number of capabilities, including email, calendaring, task management, address lists, and access to shared document repositories, and other functions. Exchange was originally introduced in June 1996 and has been upgraded several times since to include additional and enhanced features.
Hosted Exchange is a robust, business-grade platform that is in use by millions of business users around the world. It offers the full Exchange experience for users who can access it via a variety of platforms, and it frees IT from the burden of having to manage an Exchange infrastructure internally. Moreover, hosted Exchange from leading providers offers a fully redundant email continuity solution that can ensure that downtime is minimized and will typically be better than on-premises solutions. The cost of hosted Exchange is typically much lower than the cost of Exchange when managed on-premises, for both small and large organizations.
What benefits can you expect?
Why should your organization consider migrating to hosted Exchange? There are a number of important reasons to consider doing so that are focused on direct costs, opportunity costs, security and other benefits, as discussed below.
• Lower costs
Many decision makers believe that an internally managed Exchange deployment is less expensive to deploy and operate than hosted Exchange. While in some cases that perception is accurate, very often it is not. The direct cost savings from using hosted Exchange are substantial. It is also important to note that leading providers of hosted Exchange include the licensing costs as part of their service, further reducing the cost of hosted compared to on-premises Exchange.
• More predictable costs
Further, a hosted Exchange deployment provides more predictable costs than on-premises deployments because the cost per seat is fixed over the lifetime of the contract with the hosting provider. This predictability of costs manifests itself in two important ways:
Unforeseen problems can create additional costs for an on-premises deployment, including natural disasters, power outages, moves to new facilities and other events that can add to the cost of managing on-premises Exchange in a somewhat unpredictable manner.
An organization that continually adds users will, at some point, reach the maximum number of users that its infrastructure will support and will then have to add servers and other infrastructure to support new users. This creates a step function in the total cost of ownership for an Exchange environment can drive up the cost of Exchange management dramatically.
• Reduced opportunity costs
Among the more important issues that any organization should consider is that of the opportunity cost of IT staff members or, in smaller organizations, individuals who are charged with maintaining on-premises systems. Most decision makers understand that finding and retaining qualified IT staff is not particularly easy. As a result, in-house IT staff members should be used in a manner that allows them to provide maximum benefit to their employer, while also giving them a satisfying work experience that will motivate them not to go elsewhere. Using hosted Exchange frees IT staff members from the requirement to constantly monitor the servers to ensure continuous uptime, freeing them for work that is not only more interesting to them, but also more compelling for the business.
With hosted Exchange, IT staff can be deployed on projects that offer more competitive value to the organization and can also result in greater IT job satisfaction. For example, if an IT staff member can manage a messaging capability very well, he or she provides some level of value to the organization. However, if the same staff member spent the same amount of time implementing new CRM capabilities that could convert a higher proportion of prospects into customers, it is very likely that much greater value could be realized from the same level of effort.
• Access to exchange expertise
Although Exchange is an easy system for users to employ, it is not a simple system to manage internally. It requires expertise in a number of areas, particularly when deploying a new version of the system, it requires expertise in each of the several server roles that comprise the Exchange platform, and it requires expertise in various other technologies that are integral to the Exchange ecosystem. The cost to develop this expertise can be high and, for smaller organizations, often prohibitive. In contrast, the use of a hosted Exchange provider can offer access to well-trained technical support staff.
• Robust business continuity and data backup
One of the more compelling benefits of hosted Exchange is the fact that a third party is managing the entire backend infrastructure, thereby minimizing the impact of major and minor services outages and the ensuing loss of email that can impact any business. For example, power outages or storms can bring down messaging capabilities for hours or even a few days. While these events can also impact providers of hosted Exchange services, leading providers will back up their customers’ email, allowing uninterrupted receipt of email for customers until they can come back online. This is something that a non-technical staff member or senior executive can do.
Further, in the event that a customer’s facilities are made unavailable for any length of time, employees can still access their hosted Exchange accounts from anywhere using a Web browser, a mobile device or a copy of Outlook or Entourage on their home computer.
• Rapid deployment and scaling
One of the chief benefits of hosted Exchange is the speed with which email services can be deployed. For example, deploying hosted Exchange typically requires little more than the modification of an MX record and a change in the configuration of local email clients. Adding new users to an existing hosted Exchange deployment normally requires just some simple modifications in a Web-based administration tool. This makes it easy to add or eliminate small numbers of users, or even entire business operations, which is particularly important when integrating merged or acquired companies into an Exchange infrastructure.
• Deployment flexibility
A hosted Exchange capability allows organizations to be more flexible in the way that they deploy email to their employees. For example, a company may opt to manage Exchange in-house for its corporate headquarters, but provide hosted Exchange to each of its field offices that do not have an in-house IT staff. This allows the organization to provide highly available messaging services that provide a consistent user experience across the entire organization, but at much lower cost than if the IT staff was used to manage the satellite offices.
• Relatively painless migration to new exchange versions
Migrating from one version of Exchange to another is just that – a migration, not an upgrade. Because Exchange does not allow an in-place upgrade to a new version, the cost of migration can be very high and even prohibitive for smaller organizations. Using a hosted Exchange provider, on the other hand, minimizes or even eliminates the cost of migration, since some providers will migrate their customers to a new version at no charge. Not only does this minimize the IT pain and the time required to migrate, not to mention the potential for downtime in the system, but it also dramatically reduces the overall cost of Exchange management over the long term.
• Minimizing the impact on the internal network
Another important benefit of hosted Exchange is that much of the network traffic that would normally take place with an on-premises deployment of Exchange is transferred to the hosting provider. For example, a hosted Exchange provider that also offers anti-virus and anti-spam filtering will eliminate 75% or more of the email that would normally come into the network as spam, only to be quarantined and eventually discarded by end users. This saves significantly on both bandwidth and storage, costs that are growing exponentially and unpredictably in smaller organizations.
• Robust physical security
Virtually all leading hosted Exchange providers operate very secure physical facilities that include video surveillance capabilities, multiple employee access points using multi-factor authentication, tracking and monitoring tools and other capabilities that protect their customers’ data from being compromised. In most cases, the security provided by hosted Exchange providers exceeds the security that their customers could afford to deploy.
Benefits for end users
While IT can benefit significantly from a hosted Exchange deployment, so can end users. Among the many user benefits associated with the use of hosted Exchange are those discussed below.
• A variety of access options
A hosted Exchange account can be accessed via Microsoft Outlook on Windows or a Mac, as well as from any leading Web browser. This permits users to access their email, calendar, tasks, address lists, Exchange public folders and other content and data sources from virtually any desktop, laptop, netbook or other platform. In addition, an Exchange account can also be accessed from any POP or IMAP client, including VMware’s Zimbra desktop client.
• Windows and mac support
While Apple Mail, the mail client that comes with Mac OS X, has allowed users to access Exchange for many years as a POP or IMAP client, OS X began providing full support for Exchange in August 2009 with the introduction of Snow Leopard. Exchange support is also built into iCal, the default Mac calendaring application; and Address Book, all of which come standard on a Mac. While lacking some of the features of Outlook 2011 for the Mac, Mail, iCal and Address Book provide robust and native functionality for hosted Exchange users.
• Mobile access
In addition to a variety of desktop and browser-based platforms, a hosted Exchange account can also be accessed using BlackBerries, iPhones, Android smartphones, iPads, Android tablets and Windows Phones, among other platforms. This is a critical issue, since a large and growing number of email users consider their mobile platform to be an essential component of their email access – for some users, it is their primary email platform after hours.
• Synchronization across all platforms
One of the key benefits of hosted Exchange is that users who create content in Exchange will see it automatically synchronize across all of their access devices. For example:
A user can create an appointment in Microsoft Outlook on their desktop and it will appear very shortly thereafter on any mobile devices connected to Exchange.
An email can be created using Outlook Web Access on a laptop and then appear in the Sent Items folder in Outlook on their desktop at home.
• Support for “big m” mobility
Mobility in the context of being able to access email, calendars, etc. on mobile devices is important. However, “Big M” mobility – the ability for individuals to work from any location on any device – is becoming more important as fewer workers have a permanent location assigned for their work. For example, a growing proportion of organizations allow employees to work from home and come into the office only when necessary, thus providing significant savings on facilities’ leasing costs, power, HVAC and taxes.
Hosted Exchange is a key enabler of this capability because it allows workers to have access to their email, calendars, address lists, task management tools, etc. regardless of where they might be working – be it from home, a hotel room or a client’s conference room. This can further add to the cost savings provided by a hosted Exchange deployment far beyond the IT-related savings that it provides.
A single, accessible cloud archive for your business’s most important information
Businesses today are obliged to retain increasingly more data for compliance purposes. Email has long been a primary repository for Human Generated Data (HGD) and the corporate IP held within it, so the need to archive email is well established. Increasingly, though, HGD is fragmented across the enterprise, stored in siloes – both in the cloud and on-premises – and represents a potentially huge headache for IT. This data also represents a company’s corporate memory, and is therefore critical that it is protected and stored, not only for compliance purposes but so as to realize the untapped value of that information in the longer term.
A unified archive in the cloud
Our Enterprise Information Archiving provides a secure, dependable and highly scalable solution to growing information management challenges. A single, tightly integrated cloud platform delivers unified and secure enterprise email archiving as well as file archiving and IM archiving.
Instantly protect valuable intellectual property assets through a purpose-built, highly secure and trusted cloud platform with 100% service availability SLA.
Delight users and speed workflows with rapid search and content retrieval through a single, intuitive search interface across a choice of desktop and mobile apps.
Reduce cost and complexity through a single cloud platform and administrative console.