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Experience switching business email to cloud?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Old School, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. We're currently not an Outlook shop but are looking to switch. Rather than buy servers and support, we're thinking about clouding it. Microsoft offers the service for a $4 per user per month - $8 for unlimited storage beyond the 25 gb inbox.

    I'm assuming we'll see some impact on bandwidth and a few user quota issues. If you've done this before, anything else to consider?

  2. Why would you assume any impact to your bandwidth? My clients don't see any bandwidth impact even when they do run their own exchange in house.

    Anyhow, there really are a lot of things to consider;

    - Who do you use now? Why are you switching?

    - With any "cloud" service, you have no say over any downtime/maintenance. Microsoft, Google, pretty much any major cloud player have all had some significant outages, and there's absolutely nothing you or anyone else can do. You can call up customer service & rant and rave, but guaranteed your message will never reach the techs/engineers who are actually working on the problem.

    - It's a lease vs. own question; do you want to pay a monthly fee forever, or take on the responsibility and up-front costs of investing in server hardware?

    - What industry are you in? Do you have any HIPAA or other standards/regulations to meet?

    This article here really caused me to rethink a few things as it pertains to cloud:

    Your email certainly would not be exempt from any prying eyes...not sure what MS's policy is now, or will be in the future regarding govt. requests.

    The reality is you'll probably be fine going with MS, but the fact that you even mentioned the possibility of getting your own server made me want to comment a bit.

    Also, if you have anyone who's anywhere NEAR the 25GB limit, they need to delete most of their crap, or download & save the attachments and delete the emails. Nobody needs 25GB of email.

    Email is not now and was never intended to be a filing cabinet.

  3. supersammy


    Apr 21, 2011
    I migrated 100 users away from our exchange cluster to google business app. Google apps also replaced our internal NAS fileserver because each user gets 25GB email and 5GB storage with google drive. Each user cost is $10/month because we use postini (SPAM) and backupify (backups/archives)required for business compliance needs. Users can still use outlook and outlook calendar with google. Users love the fact they can check email on their smartphones without VPN access.
  4. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Uh, you have been able to do that since Exchange 2003.
  5. An excellent question.

    Too many business/technical changes are made without asking "why?" What is gained versus lost? Have our competitors or business partners made this change and what was their experience?
  6. Flash62


    Sep 11, 2007
    We moved from a POP3/SMTP setup from an outside vendor to WEBMAIL/IMAP/SMTP for the bulk of our users (100) and EXCHANGE for the outside sales reps (6).

    I ended up going with Rackspace since they could split our email between the 2 platforms with our single domain. Added benefit for me is it's another platform I don't have to manage, being the only IT guy for a small business with 100+ computers, servers, and so on with 7 locations in 4 states.

    We've had a few outages but nothing that has been a show stopper. Most of our non-exchange users have settled on the WEBMAIL interface but some use Outlook setup for IMAP.
  7. I'm not an Exchange admin, but I can tell you from working with one that unless you have someone on staff who is an Exchange guru not a generalist, AND you don't have any client confidentiality or other legal standards to meet (HIPAA etc), I would recommend that you outsource it to Microsoft to manage it.

    Despite having a very good Exchange admin onsite as well as frequently using a consulting firm's services, we continue to experience the pain of managing and upgrading Exchange. As a law firm, we will not take the risk of moving our email to the cloud. If it were my choice and didn't have to worry about client confidentiality or legal requirements, I would definitely use MS Exchange hosted.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  8. MikeG22

    MikeG22 CLM

    Jun 24, 2002
    San Diego
    I have a few clients who I've stuck in the $4/mo MS plan. It's interesting, and sorta limited with the sharing options between users. It's super cheap though. The control panel for it sucks too.

    I think you're better off with somewhere like I've got a few there as well. The control over managing it all is far far better than in the basic MS plan. How many users do you currently have? As the numbers grow it gets easier and easier to justify having exchange in house and you can virtualize the server easily and share hardware with other vm's/servers.
  9. Hi,

    Thanks for the replies. We're about 1500 staff world wide, currently running Lotus Notes (internally). Our sponsors are 99% Outlook and the 2 calendars don't always play nice and I'm tired of Domino administration issues, clustering features with LN...for that and other business reasons, Outlook is really a foregone conclusion.

    The real question is internal support / admin or cloud it. Good point about privacy / HIPPA, that's the type of concern I was hoping to get with this post.

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