An Introduction to Business Email Hosting

Today, business email is the single most important communications tool for most businesses.  The typical employee spends 28% of his or her day on email related tasks, far more time than is spent on the phone, in real-time conversation or on social media combined!

In fact, most businesses today consider email a mission-critical application. When your business email goes down the costs to your business can add up quickly. If it’s down for an extended period, your company could  lose a major sale or suffer long-term damage to key customer relationships.

That’s why there’s little room for error when it comes to provisioning, managing and maintaining your businesses email systems. This can be expensive and time-consuming especially for smaller organizations with limited resources. Enter hosted email solutions!

Business Email Hosting

Even a basic in-house system can be expensive once you factor in hardware, software, upgrades and data back-ups. You’ll  also have to dedicate personnel to handle these tasks. The time needed prevents your employees from working on mission-critical tasks.

Hosting is a smart choice for several reasons. Email hosting provides the benefits of an in-house enterprise system at a fraction of the cost. Management is completely handled by your host provider; storage can be increased with a mouse click and backup can be automated. Your employees and IT staff are free to focus on tasks critical to your primary business.

Before you make and changes, it’s important to note that service providers offer a confusing variety of email platforms and options to choose from. Different providers offer various combinations of price, performance, service levels, and support. It’s important to do your due diligence, first determine your specific needs, and then research providers.

Define Your Needs

When choosing a hosting provider first assess your company’s email needs. Including:

•  Systems Integration Requirements

Do you have any specific mission-critical needs? Make sure to include CRM and ERP enterprise systems. Migrating can affect other tasks like marketing emails or website forms.

• Security and Compliance

Is your company subject to compliance requirements? While hosting is secure, breaches happen. Make sure you’re comfortable with the level of data control and security your host provides.

• Service Level Requirements

What are your company’s total needs? Hosting is cost effective, but think carefully about your future needs, including storage expansion and mobile connectivity. You can sign-up for any level of service needed, but there is a cost involved. Make sure hosting is cost effective before migrating.

Choosing a Host Provider

You’ve defined your needs, when researching providers, consider:

• Are they in it for the long haul?

Check your host’s history and track record. Are their customers happy with the level of service provided?

• Can they scale-up services if you need them?

Scalability is a key factor when choosing a host. Have them explain why their infrastructure is scalable. Again, ask for references.

• Have the provider confirm and provide security and privacy policies.

Security standards like PCI-DSS for online commerce and SSAE116 for data security are essential. Ask your provider to provide security compliance documentation and review their privacy policy.

• Make sure they offer online and mobile access options.

Employees are accessing email via tablets, mobile phone, laptops, and desktops. Make sure any host provides adequate access across categories.

Hosting is a cost-effective option that can work for your business. Do your due diligence, clearly define your needs and understand what your host’s service options. Email hosting can free up staff for mission critical tasks, save your company money, and grow with your business. It’s a smart business decision!