CHALLENGES: Makita USA needed an Exchange host that would provide its employees with ample storage and mobile compatibility while offering 24/7 support.
RACKSPACE SOLUTION: Rackspace Hosted Exchange gives each of Makita USA’s employees 25GB of storage and is compatible with a multitude of devices.
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Makita USA saves time, headaches, and money by using Rackspace Exchange Hosting. Thrilled with the Rackspace experience, the company is looking into cloud storage and server hosting options.
Rackspace® Hosted Exchange saves Makita USA’s small IT team the headache of managing email infrastructure.
Based in La Mirada, California, Makita U.S.A., Inc. (“Makita USA”) sells best-in- class cordless power tools for construction professionals. The company maintains over 500 email boxes. Makita USA’s IT team is small—only half a dozen people—so it’s essential that they be able to automate and outsource as much as possible. Rackspace Hosted Exchange saves them the headache of managing email in-house—and saves them money, too.
Makita USA switched to Rackspace Hosted Exchange eight months ago after their previous provider discontinued its shared hosting services. “We were kind of out on an island, looking for another provider,” Makita Vice President of IT Alex Oliva says.
The company briefly considered bringing email back in-house, but Oliva was not thrilled with the hardware and man hours doing so would require. “There’s costs involved, infrastructure- and human resources-wise. Who’s going to be around at 2 in the morning when something actually breaks?”
It was clear that the small team’s time would be better spent on projects other than managing email infrastructure. “When you do a return on investment,” Oliva says, “in our case outsourcing would cost us less than maintaining the hardware and the infrastructure and the people needed to maintain that system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” As for the question about who’d be around at 2 a.m.? The answer, it turned out, was Rackspace.
For Oliva and his team, finding an email host that offered unflagging, 24/7 support was paramount. Before signing on with Rackspace, Oliva tested Fanatical Support® by calling or signing on to chat at odd hours.
“We needed someplace that had 24/7 support,” Oliva says, “and we actually tested Rackspace support by calling in, chatting online, making sure that we were going to get support that was responsive to our needs. Every single time I called or got online, there was somebody immediately available. I was contacting Rackspace tech support at midnight, and they always answered quickly and were very friendly and professional.”
Since signing on, Oliva has found his early tests to be absolutely representative of the Rackspace commitment to outstanding customer service. “Since day one, I have been very pleased, and very impressed with the responsiveness,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about email going down, or someone not being on top of it when something goes wrong. I’ve had people from Rackspace call me and ask me if I need help. Usually you end up calling someone when you need the help, but Rackspace was proactive in calling me first.”
Besides support, Oliva was looking for a host that offered ample storage space on the ground level, without the upcharges for expansion they’d encountered with their previous host. When Makita USA first signed on with another email provider three years ago, each employee’s inbox topped out at 100MB. Though larger sizes were available, the cost was prohibitive when multiplied over 500 inboxes. A year and a half ago, their previous email provider expanded inbox size, but Oliva says the upgrade still didn’t cut it.
“In the end, before we left, everybody’s mailboxes were 1GB,” he says, “but you know what? In this day and age, even that’s not enough. Everybody uses email as a file cabinet. I was looking for more than that. I really wanted more than 1GB, and Rackspace was one of the few that actually offered that without paying a premium for it.”
Rackspace Hosted Exchange accounts come standard with 25GB of storage, per user, at the most basic level – that’s 256 times the size of Makita USA’s original inboxes at their previous email provider. If the company ever needs more storage, they can purchase up to 25GB more per mailbox.
In addition to ample storage space, mobile compatibility was also a critical item on Makita’s list of needs. It was essential that their host not only be able to support mobile devices, but be flexible enough to accommodate different devices as technology evolves and device trends shift.
“When we started, there were three dozen Blackberry accounts. Now I think it’s down to a dozen,” Oliva says. “Most everybody has gotten on the smartphone bandwagon.”
Thanks to Rackspace, Makita USA employees needn’t worry about whether they’ll be able to access Exchange through their cool new phones–or their beat-up old ones, for that matter.
“Rackspace works with anything that can handle email, across the board,” Oliva says. “It doesn’t matter what the phone is, and it doesn’t matter if it’s SMTP/POP. I haven’t had a single device that Rackspace hasn’t been able to interface with.”
Oliva has been so impressed with his Rackspace experience, he’s decided to explore other Rackspace offerings, such as cloud storage and server hosting. “Rackspace has proven itself with support that made me want to look at those two products, because I know that I’m going to get the same support in cloud or server hosting that I’ve been getting with the email,” he says. “We’re best in class, and I consider Rackspace service to be in the same realm: best in class. That’s important. One can go anywhere for hosting, but you can’t just go anywhere to get that kind of service.”
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