We combined the overview of Steps Four and Five of the Business Email 101 Guide, since both relate to choosing the type of email product to shop for. If you’ve been following along with the series, you already have a solid list of email system needs from the business, technology and security perspectives. Now, you have three email options to fit to your list of requirements: hosted webmail, hosted Exchange and dedicated Exchange.
Below, we’ve compared our Rackspace email offerings in each category to give you an idea of the differences:
Hosted webmail is often confused with consumer-level free email services like Gmail or Yahoo. However, a business-grade hosted webmail system, like Rackspace Email, delivers business-focused features, such as an @yourbusiness domain and an SLA backed by financial compensation.
Businesses often turn to hosted Exchange to support mobility for power users, for deeper Outlook integration or to support other Microsoft apps like SharePoint or Active Directory. With the cost to stand up Exchange on-premise tipping $40,000, consuming Exchange as a fully-hosted product offers a lower barrier to entry and simplified ongoing management with security patches and upgrades handled by your email provider.
Businesses in highly regulated industries like health care and finance may be subject to security or compliance regulations that mandate messages be stored and transmitted on single-tenant hardware. These businesses can still reap the benefits of off-site Exchange server management with dedicated Exchange. Though dedicated Exchange servers live off-premise, IT staff is still responsible for management of SSL, spam and virus protection and storage.
Rackspace also offers customers an additional choice – Exchange Hybrid. In a typical business, users have different needs. For example, the CEO may need synced email, calendar and contacts across mobile devices, while the receptionist just needs to send an occasional message. Instead of buying webmail and stifling use for the CEO, or giving the receptionist unnecessary mobile capabilities, Exchange Hybrid allows a business to mix Exchange and Rackspace Email mailboxes on the same domain. This allows the CEO to get the necessary Exchange features without wasting money on a feature set the receptionist doesn’t need.