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July 20, 2009

What is Hosted Exchange?

By Jessica Kostek, TMCnet Channel Editor


For businesses trying to say afloat in this sour economy, but still seeking new and innovative products or services to help them boost productivity, the ability to also significantly cut costs may seem counterintuitive. 

Hosted business services, including hosted Microsoft (News - Alert) Exchange Server, enable businesses to take advantage of the latest technology and reduce costs at the same time. 
 
Hosting is an approach to application deployment where the servers are housed in a secure data center which meets stringent requirements of physical security and environmental controls. All hardware and software is owned, maintained, updated and backed-up by a third-party hosting provider, freeing the end user from having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on purchasing hardware and software for the office, constantly monitoring data availability, and ensuring software updates are installed. Businesses then “rent” the services that benefit their needs, paying for only what they use.
 
Microsoft Exchange Server is the most widely used business messaging platform which combines an advanced e-mail solution with collaboration and information sharing features. With a hosted Exchange service, customers’ email, tasks, calendars, contacts and files are centrally stored at the hosting providers’ data center and can be accessed using Microsoft Outlook from a users’ desktop, Outlook Web Access via a web browser on any internet-enabled computer in any location or on a popular Smartphone like a BlackBerry, iPhone (News - Alert) or Palm Pre.
 
With a hosted Exchange solution, there’s no need to install a new application in your office or attempt to integrate this new system into the company’s existing infrastructure. A hosted approach also eliminates the up-front expense of having to buy expensive hardware and software, the need to hire additional personnel to maintain and upgrade the servers or train an existing IT staff on the new technology. The hosting provider is responsible for keeping the system up-to-date and often offers at least a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee to ensure that its clients have access to critical data around-the-clock.
 
According to one Burlington, Mass.-based Microsoft Exchange Server hosting provider, 123Together.com, a “hosted alternative allows your business to utilize the high-powered business functionality of Microsoft Exchange that has traditionally only been accessible to Fortune 500 companies due to its high initial and ongoing costs. Now SMBs can also take advantage of the great messaging and collaboration features of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 as a hosted service from 123Together.com (News - Alert). They can be up and running in minutes, instead of weeks and months, and pay as little as $5.99 per user per month.”
  
For a more detail explanation of hosted Exchange email services, check out 123Together.com’s white paper, The Small Business Guide to Big Business E-mail, located in the side bar. For more information about 123Together.com visit their Web site or their Hosted Exchange channel here on TMCnet.
 

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

 
 

Jessica Kostek is a channel editor for TMCnet, covering VoIP, CRM, call center and wireless technologies. To read more of Jessica’s articles, please visit her columnist page.






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