Technology

Published on July 9th, 2013 | by Josephbker

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The Benefits Of Hosted Email

When it comes to communicating with staff, clients and other companies, electronic mail is, and will remain, a vital method for doing so. It’s quick, convenient and efficient.

Although email’s role in business functions won’t be changing anytime soon, the way email services are provided is being revolutionized by the cloud-based approach known as software as a service (SaaS).

Not everyone is adopting it, however, and according to ZDNet the majority of businesses are continuing to operate their own email servers, enduring the time-consuming and costly responsibilities of doing so. This may be due to a lack of knowledge of SaaS’s benefits, although many businesses are already aware of the advantages it offers and are taking advantage of its efficiency, cost effectiveness and reliability.

Greater Efficiency

In cloud-based email hosting, efficiency occurs in multiple ways. The host service receives, filters and stores messages on a remote server, eliminating the need for an in-house server. By enabling staff and automated filters to delete unwanted messages without downloading them, SaaS saves companies money by conserving bandwidth, one of the many ways budgets are reduced with this approach.

Security is a major concern for any organization and a SaaS provider oversees most aspects of security. It scans email messages for spam and viruses, deleting them before they reach users. As an example of this efficiency, a Symantec  press release reports that UST Global recently adopted a hosted email security service and has seen a 40 percent reduction in volume after eliminating unwanted email. The company no longer has to download and scan each item, creating an enormous time saver.

Also, when transitioning to a remotely hosted system, businesses needn’t rebuild the wheel. An existing domain name can be maintained, along with current email addresses, and many SaaS providers allow businesses to select a favorite Web interface or use the IMAP client of their choice.

Lower Equipment Costs

Cost savings is an attractive proposition to any small business, and those with cloud-based email accounts don’t need to spend money on expensive hardware or software. Instead, they pay an affordable monthly fee to the SaaS provider, which divides the cost of equipment and upgrades among all the companies it serves. Although rates may change, the risk of a sudden large expense is eliminated.

Some businesses remain reluctant to use SaaS because they’ve already paid for their in-house server. Yet the reality is that they’re continuing to spend significant amounts on bandwidth, electricity, IT support and maintenance, as well as on technicians’ salaries. A SaaS system eliminates all these costs and removes the headaches involved in managing an in-house server.

Better Reliability

If an in-house server fails, email will “bounce,” or fail to reach its intended recipient. A local power or Internet outage can cause the same problem, yet this seldom happens for SaaS systems. Since most cloud providers have generators, multiple servers and more than one connection to the Internet, they’re more dependable, without any delays or outages.

Cloud providers also enhance their reliability by creating backups on a regular basis, enabling them to restore data after an equipment failure. Thus, clients aren’t required to purchase, maintain or secure backup media, although for additional protection, some SaaS providers allow companies to create and save their own email data backups as a second means of security.

Easily Expandable

As your business grows, new demands occur, and a hosted email service can adapt to these changes. If a business sees its email traffic increase or hires more employees, it can obtain more storage space and email accounts by paying a slightly higher monthly fee. With SaaS, a company no longer needs to buy a larger hard disk and lose time by shutting down the server to install it.

Even businesses that have rejected other cloud applications may find SaaS email appealing. A common objection is that Web-based word processors and spreadsheets prevent employees from working offline, yet for email this isn’t an issue as it always requires a connection.

In general, hosted email solutions provide a variety of advantages, including minimizing expenses, reducing risks, eliminating difficulties and saving time. SaaS allows the companies that adopt it to focus on what they do best, rather than being distracted by the requirements and responsibilities of an in-house email system.

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