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Why it is important to think twice about using Microsoft’s Exchange Online for your corporate email.

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Businesses considering moving applications “to the cloud” usually start by moving email. It is the most obvious application to host offsite but organizations need to pick the right cloud provider and understand the total cost.

With Microsoft’s Exchange Online Plan 1, businesses can purchase a hosted email plan for as low as $4.10 a user per month.  Admittedly that is a very tempting offer, however, the $4.10 per user is only a portion of the total cost and does not take everything into consideration.  What about the administrative duties required to maintain the account?  What about support? Microsoft works on the basis that their customers will be self-sufficient and sells online services more as a Do-It-Yourself project rather than a managed service.  Customers need to assign an administrator to add or delete users and perform the administrative functions needed to manage the account.  Administrators and users can visit the Microsoft website to read the Frequently Asked Questions page and the community forums – there is certainly no shortage of tips and recommendations for customers who are happy with a DIY approach.

Phone support with Microsoft is limited to critical issues only and of course the definition of “critical” is defined by Microsoft.  In most cases it is only the authorized administrator who can even ask a question, so what does that mean for users?  Won’t users continue to bombard the administrator with support calls? So how does that create less work for the administrator?  As a work around, Microsoft recommends that customers consider hiring a Microsoft partner to act as their administrator.  Microsoft partners don’t work for free, so there is an additional cost that will drive up that $4.10 per user.

In contrast, GridWay treats its Hosted Exchange offering as a true managed service with full live Help Desk support on a 24 x 7 basis.  Users can obtain support quickly and easily by calling our Help Desk.  IT administrators can rely on GridWay to add or delete users, create distribution lists, and provide support as needed for any questions about Microsoft Exchange and its functionalities. We don’t expect our customers to rely on Internet searches to find support for a product we sell.  Customers can rely on GridWay to maintain their email service and trust that they will receive personal attention from experienced Exchange experts when needed.

So, if you are willing to pay Microsoft $4.10 per user per month for the right to use their hosted email service, what would you be willing to pay per user for 24 x 7 support?  Surely an additional few dollars would be reasonable for unlimited live phone support?   GridWay’s Hosted Exchange offers all the features and functionality you’d get with Microsoft Exchange Online plus unlimited user support, service to add or delete user accounts, support for mobile devices synchronized to email accounts, free Outlook, and unlimited storage space for email. An anti-spam service is also included at no extra fee and we will back up your email on a daily basis.  Recovering deleted email or restoring a user’s mailbox is also included.  There is no need to hire another third party to provide support – GridWay does it all, including the Professional Services needed to perform the initial migration and set up.

Our other differentiator compared to Microsoft’s online service pertains to the location of our Data Centre – we are located in Kanata, Ontario and are 100% Canadian.  Data is stored exclusively in our Canadian facility, something that Microsoft is unable to do – their Data Centres are in the US with additional facilities spread out worldwide. So if you want unlimited service and support to go along with your Hosted Exchange service and need to keep your data in Canada, then GridWay is your answer.

Contact GridWay today for additional information or visit http://gridway.net/cloud-computing/hosted-exchange-email/

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