How to Outsource Your Exchange Server

By Dan Ballard, in , posted: 10-Aug-2009 17:10

When considering outsourcing any of your business infrastructure the first two things to ascertain is, will the services be better than what is currently provided and do the figures stack up for such a change.

When an exchange server is hosted locally there are a surprisingly high amount of hidden costs which are generally not considered in the initial offering.  Some of the hidden costs of having a local exchange server include:

• Backups & Restores $5,000-$10,000 (1Hr/week either you or your staff time charged at $100/hr)
• Server SLA/server maintenance $500-$2,000
• Fixed IP Address $240
• Power $300-$400
• Spam Protection $600-$2000

Of course the costs above are estimates so will naturally vary.  The approximate hidden yearly cost can vary wildly from $500-$14,000 per year and this is not even factoring in server replacement costs every 3-5 years, software upgrades, hardware failure or lost productivity from hardware failure.  So as you see the costs of having a local exchange server are not fixed and can very quickly spiral out of control.

The two main reasons businesses and organisation are moving to a hosted exchange solutions is because of increased uptime and reducing or fixing the exchange email costs.  You can achieve increased uptime because the hosted exchange server is in a data centre which generally has a dual high speed broadband connections and dual power connections with backup generators.  Costs are fixed because the business pays a fixed cost for how many email addresses are required at any one time.  Email addresses can be added and removed when required and range from $20-$25 per user/month.

Once you have decided to move to a hosted exchange solution it is a relatively painless and simple process:

• Provide your exchange host with your domain name details
• Provide your exchange host with the list of emails and passwords required
• Make a changeover date
• Migrate the email data to the new exchange host
• Get technicians to setup new email details for the end users
• Setup your new signature in the new hosted exchange email system

Now you can enjoy the fact that your costs are fixed and it is someone else’s problem to make sure your emails work and are backed up.
Dan Ballard

More information

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Dan Ballard
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