The Challenges of Legacy Email Systems

My first business in Bendigo nearly 3 years ago was a web design company that built websites in WordPress. My vision was to increase the value of a company by turning their website into a customer service tool rather than a brochure on the internet.

Along the way I kept noticing a consistent theme though, business owners were having huge issues with their email. The main issues i kept coming across were

  1. Unreliability of their current email service
  2. Poor support options if it did fail.
  3. Inability to get mail, contacts and calendars on mobile phones
  4. Mailbox size restrictions forcing mass deletion of critical business emails.

Most of these people had a gmail,apple or hotmail account which never failed, synced their calendars and contacts and worked perfectly on their devices.

Some business owners set up gmail accounts for their business. Unfortunately, the problem with this was every time they sent an email it looked like they were running a hobby business when people received emails from this address.

“invoice due – $23,560 – [email protected]

So what’s the solution?

Well there are two main options that will allow you to have[email protected] as well as sync contacts and calendars across devices;

  1. Sign up to an enterprise ready mailserver service. (Office 365)
  2. Build and maintain your own exchange mailserver. (Exchange 2010,2013, 2016)

In the past, there was no Office 365. Small businesses would shell out $1000’s a year to build and maintain a server in their building to run their email on.

A 5 person business with a $5000-$10,000 a year server* would get enough value out of it to make it worthwhile. These days, however, it’s hard to justify when when that same business can get a better service for much lower investment (NFP’s get Office 365 it for free!).

By the time you factor in the uptime of Office 365 (it’s up 99.9% of the year) and the free support you get in the package, Office 365 pays for itself really quickly.

Where should I start?

You should talk to a Microsoft partner about your options of moving to the cloud. Look for a partner with a Cloud Solutions Competency (like ours below) as there are performance and references required in order to get one.

The training resources also give you a really good idea of whats possible in the Office 365 platform. (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-Training-Center-b8f02f81-ec85-4493-a39b-4c48e6bc4bfb)

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*depending on the size of the organisation, a small business server might be used for a number of different functions, including email, file storage, backups etc. By removing the email workload, you free up valuable server resources for other workloads.

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