Why Hosted Exchange Is The Smart Choice

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1 Communication is vital to your company's survival during and after a disaster. Take a crucial step in protecting your company's system before the next catastrophe hits! Read this guide and find out why Hosted Exchange and Microsoft Office 365 in particular, is the smart choice for your business

2 I Table of Contents Part I Introduction 1 1 Open Memo About The Author... 3 Part II Overview 4 Part III The Flavors of Hosted Exchange 4 Part IV The Benefits of Hosted Exchange 6 Part V One Important Point - Do Not Skip This Section! 8 Part VI A Word About Business Continuity 8 Part VII A Final Word... 9 Part VIII Thinking of Changing To Microsoft Office 365? Part IX What Our Clients Say 10 11

3 Introduction 1 1 Introduction The northeastern part of the United States has been subjected to devastating storms during recent years that wreaked havoc upon unprepared small-to-medium (SMBs) businesses. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy brought home the meaning of the word "disaster" to many companies. Businesses of all sizes quickly learned that ongoing communication with employees and customers during and after a disaster is vital to the survival of their businesses. Employees want to know what is going on and clients want to know what to do. Customers surely want to know that their vendor not only came through the disaster OK, but is ready to help THEM pick up the pieces and carry on. Customer confidence is key. Lose it, and you'll lose your clients. Businesses rely heavily on to communicate with their customers and employees. After all, was the first "social app". It is now so ingrained into our culture that no one, individual or business, would think of doing without it. But, here's the problem - If your onsite server goes down during a disaster, how will: Your employees know what is going on? How will you give them instructions? Do they report to work after the storm or should they report to an alternate location? Your customers know what is going on? Are you out of business or have you set up shop at an alternate location? Can you help them after the disaster to recover or should they take their business elsewhere? Bottom line: If your onsite server is down, you can't communicate using , period. You'll need to restart it (if possible), repair it (if possible) or replace it (possible, but you won't be up and running quickly!). Fortunately, there is a cost effective way to ensure that your services continue to work even if your own premises are damaged. Its called Hosted Exchange and it is what Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs) are using to reduce their exposure during and after catastrophic events. This report is provided as an educational service by: XSolutions Consulting Services LLC Pomona, New York (845)

4 2 1.1 Open Memo From the desk of: Joseph Imperato, Jr., Partner, XSolutions Consulting Services LLC Dear Colleague, Has your business ever lost the ability to send or receive for any length of time? What did you do? Most business owners frantically call their IT Vendor to find out when services will be restored and have no choice but to wait out the issue and hope that services are restored within the hour. However, what do you do if the outage lasts a whole day, a week, or a few weeks? If your is down for more than a day, you'll quickly find, as millions of businesses have found in recent years, that is such an important communication vehicle you cannot do business effectively without it. After the telephone, it is probably the most used business communication tool in use today and will continue to be for a long time. If you're hosting your on your own onsite servers and those servers go down or are damaged in a disaster, you will not be able to use to communicate until your servers are fixed or replaced. Let's face it, is one of the main ways businesses communicate with clients and employees on a daily basis; so why not take the steps necessary to protect this vital communication link between you, your employees, and your customers? Hosted Exchange makes sense for any business, especially small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) that don't have the deep pockets of mega-corporations to fund redundant, state-of-the-art data centers insulated from most catastrophic events. Hosted Exchange levels the playing field giving SMBs access to those same facilities at a fraction of the cost. The information in this guide is dedicated to helping your business by giving you useful information in making a decision that can literally save your company. Dedicated to serving you, Joseph Imperato, Jr.

5 Introduction About The Author About the author: Joseph Imperato, Jr. Partner XSolutions Consulting Services, LLC Phone: x801 LinkedIn: In 1999 while still in high school, Joseph Imperato Jr. co-founded XSolutions Consulting Services LLC to help small and medium size businesses work smarter by leveraging technology to increase profits, enhance productivity, and decrease IT costs over time. Through its Managed Services program, XSolutions has had a real positive impact on their clients business operations and bottom line. Joe Imperato, Jr. has attained a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science at the State University of New York at Binghamton. His experience includes over 15 years of web and application programming with extensive database design expertise on various systems including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and Microsoft Access. He has trained in various programming languages including Visual Basic, VBA, C, C#, C++,.NET, Java, PHP and the SQL query language. Other areas of focus include software-as-a-service (SaaS) and optimizing service delivery. As a Partner at XSolutions, Joe works with forward-thinking small/mid-sized (SMBs) business clients who are experts in their businesses and trust XSolutions with their IT operations. In fact, XSolutions works exclusively with those SMBs that see their IT as an enabler to greater profits through increased productivity, rapid turnaround of internal business processes, and cost reduction over time. As XSolutions CEO and CIO, Joe Jr. has been responsible for the company s rapid growth in recent years, expanding XSolutions business reach culminating into win/win relationships for both XSolutions and those it serves. Always the student, Joe Jr. has employed Lean Management techniques to introduce new services to its clients, increase productivity within his company, and decrease XSolutions overall cost base allowing it to invest in technologies that enhance the customer experience.

6 4 2 Overview If you're in business, your company most likely uses Microsoft Exchange. In fact, Exchange is the leading -based collaborative server in use today with over 350 million mailboxes. Businesses use it to send and receive , calendarize meetings and events, and keep track of their network with its contact manager. Since its creation, Exchange's collaborative tools have become indispensable to businesses of all sizes. So, we know that is a vital communication vehicle for businesses and that Microsoft Exchange is the most popular services in use. It is so ingrained into our business culture that we very rarely think about it all. has become "invisible" to us, like the light switch in every room. Most people flip the switch to turn the lights on every day without ever giving it a second thought. However, like electricity, when it goes out we feel its effects immediately. How do we send files to employees and clients? What is my schedule for today? How do I contact my customers? Businesses need their 1. To work as close to 100% as possible. 2. To function, especially when disaster strikes, to communicate with the outside world to invoke their Backup/Disaster Plan and start recovery efforts. 3. Delivered at a cost-effective price. 4. To be scalable, so they only pay for what they use and can increase or decrease services when needed. 5. To be independent of their onsite IT infrastructure, freeing them from management, the cost to upgrade expensive hardware, and the ability to easily take advantage of software upgrades to increase productivity. The answer is to use Microsoft Exchange as a hosted service where a third party provider is responsible for the management of all backend services for a flat, cost-effective monthly fee. Hosted Exchange guarantees uptime as high as 99.99%, reduces the high cost of maintaining expensive onsite hardware and software, and frees personnel whether an appointed onsite guru or internal dedicated IT staff, that can be utilized to work on more high-value projects. Hosted Exchange is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application providing the benefits of enterprise-level software delivered via the internet for a reasonable monthly fee. In other words, Hosted Exchange is a component of Cloud Computing. Hosted Exchange just makes sense for SMBs. 3 The Flavors of Hosted Exchange Like most things in life, there are choices to make when deciding on something as important to your business as your communications. There are two main ways you can go when separating your from your onsite server configuration: Microsoft Office 365

7 The Flavors of Hosted Exchange 5 Other Third Party Hosted Exchange Vendors To deliver high quality Hosted Exchange services to our clients, XSolutions strongly suggests Microsoft Office 365 (MSO 365). Microsoft's size and power in the industry simply cannot be beat even by the largest Third Party Hosted Exchange Vendors. Below, we compare XSolutions' Managed Microsoft Office 365 Account with a typical large Third Party Vendor offering: Service Type Tech Support Third Party Hosted Exchange If you have an issue with your Exchange, you'll need to call your Third Party Provider and get support. Most Third Party Providers employ Microsoft Certified Specialists so your issue will usually be dealt with professionally by knowledgeable staff. Microsoft Office 365 Account XSolutions is a Managed Services company which means that we take care of your MSO 365 account as part of your Managed Services Contract. With XSolutions, support is included in the monthly fee in your Managed Services contract. We'll deal with Microsoft on your behalf in the unlikely event that problems occur. However, do you or your However, XSolutions will charge for employees have hours to spend support services related to unmanaged on the phone? You'll need to equipment. make that determination. Data Migration Many Third Party Providers offer free data migration but not all. Those that do include free migration are also charging hefty monthly fees. So your "free migration" isn't really free and you'll be paying a lot more in the long run as compared to an MSO 365 solution. XSolutions charges for data migration, but it is a one-time fee. Going forward, you'll pay Microsoft's low fees directly to Microsoft. NO MIDDLEMAN. XSolutions will give you a proposal outlining the costs you're expected to pay. Everything's upfront, no hidden fees. In addition, we'll make sure your people are trained so they'll be productive from the start. Storage and message limitations 25 GB or unlimited storage options available; message size limit of 50 MB Storage maximum of 25 GB with a message size limit of 25 MB. For most users, these limitations are not problematic so the larger sizes touted by Third party Vendors really aren't, in most cases, a concern. Public Folders Available and supported. Available and supported depending on Plan level. MS Office Software Clients can utilize their own copies of MS Office software. So, you'll need to purchase and upgrade your MS Office suite yourself. Applications offered as subscriptions, depending on the plan you choose which expire upon plan termination. However, if MS Office is included in your plan level, you can get the most used office suite as part of your subscription. As you'll see below, Microsoft has the best pricing around. If you find a vendor that offers MS Office Licenses, you can bet that they will come at an additional price. They won't be able to beat Microsoft on this one and make a profit! And here's the kicker: each user can install the full MS Office suite on up to 5 computers (business and personal) saving hundreds to thousands of

8 6 licensing fees depending on the number of users. Collaboration Software Lync and SharePoint, if available would probably be at an additional cost. These are Microsoft products, so again, Third Party Vendors won't be able to beat Microsoft in price here either. Lync and SharePoint are included depending on plan chosen. Cost $7.49 to $99.99 or more per user depending on services selected. As you can see, the range varies greatly so if you go the Third Party Vendor route, check what you're getting for your money very carefully. Microsoft has a myriad of plans you can choose from, so you can select the plan with only the services you need. Currently, monthly charges for business plans can range from $5.00 to $15.00 per user depending on the plan you choose. The above Microsoft pricing was accurate at the time this ebook was compiled and therefore, should be used only as a guide. So, before you make your decision, check out Microsoft's latest prices and compare them to third party vendors on the web. A quick calculation, using the costs we have available shows: Assumptions: 15 users; basic services only; Third Party Vendor charges $7.49 per user per month; MS Office 365 Account's cost per month is $5.00 per user; data migration charges are not included in this comparison. Comparison: You'll be paying a third party vendor $1, per year for basic service while Microsoft 365's cost to you would only be $ for the year. That is a $ cost difference! Conclusion: As you can see, Microsoft Office 365 is the less expensive alternative AND you're getting world-class applications directly from the source! 4 The Benefits of Hosted Exchange Regardless of which you choose, Third Party Hosted Exchange or Microsoft Office 365, the larger issue is separating your from your onsite server configuration. This is of paramount importance as it relates to maintaining ongoing and uninterrupted communications during and after a disaster. Hosted Exchange is vital to your Business Continuity plan! The key benefit of Hosted Exchange is that your is available anywhere you have an internet connection regardless of what is happening at your office location. Should your office suffer damage during a disaster, your is available using any connected computer or smart phone. Microsoft and other Hosted Exchange Providers use hardened, redundant, and geographically dispersed data centers. Should a disaster happen and a facility experiences a problem (unlikely as it is), your service provider can switch your services to another data center, maintaining communications. Another benefit is that you'll no longer need to purchase server hardware to run your . Hardware is expensive and can cost you thousands of dollars to purchase and set up. Using Hosted

9 The Benefits of Hosted Exchange 7 Exchange relieves you of this financial burden. The cash you save by not buying expensive servers plus the associated monthly maintenance expenses that go along with it can be used in other parts of your business. Hosted Exchange allows you to redeploy staff formerly needed to manage Exchange hardware, to other parts of your business that generate higher returns. If you don't employ dedicated IT personnel, then the "in-house guru" you appointed to manage the company's can concentrate on his/her other duties. If you do have dedicated IT staff, they can now concentrate on the backlog of IT issues that inevitably pop up. Your staff will not have to spend any time maintaining Exchange software, freeing your employees from making sure all patches and upgrades are applied in a timely fashion. Ongoing investments in additional software will be a thing of the past. Hosted Exchange services will supply all of the security software you need such as firewalls, spam filters, etc. all included in one monthly fee. When there is an issue, simply make one phone call or send an (if possible) and a team of experts will take care of it. If you are not using a Managed Services Provider like XSolutions, you'll need to directly interact with Microsoft or your Third Party vendor yourself. Keep this in mind. Backups! Hosted Exchange backs up your data using the latest secure technologies. If an issue does occur, your data is saved. No worries, no hassle. Mobile support. These days, smart phones are a necessity for businesses to stay in touch with each other and their customers no matter where they are. Most companies do not have experts on hand to deal with setting up these devices to receive , etc. Managed Services Providers like XSolutions as well as many Third Party Hosted Exchange vendors support mobile technology. Scalability. Hosted Exchange allows companies to quickly increase or decrease the number of mailboxes according to their personnel needs. Those businesses using onsite servers to host their own get no financial benefit when reducing personnel beyond the obvious reduction in salaries since they still have the same hardware and software requirements. Hosted Exchange, however allows you to quickly reduce the number of seats and therefore your monthly expense. Conversely, companies with onsite configurations may need to purchase additional servers when expanding personnel. As mentioned previously, this can cost thousands of dollars, while Hosted Exchange allows you to merely increase the number of mailboxes as needed, for a low monthly fee. Data Migration. One of the biggest arguments for not converting to Hosted Exchange is the time and expense associated with transferring the data from onsite to hosted servers. Here's where you have to be careful. Many third party providers tout free migration but all they're doing is giving you an automated tool to do the job. As you know, automated tools work great if there are no problems. However, should an issue arise (and it often does!), you'll get a hefty bill in the mail. Companies going it alone without the benefit of an MSO 365 expert like XSolutions, may incur large, unplanned fees. So check before you decide. Remember, with XSolutions you'll receive a proposal with all of the fees laid out for you to see BEFORE you decide. NO SURPRISES! Reliability. Hosted Exchange Providers typically guarantee 99.99% uptime and they have the infrastructure to backup their guarantees. Robust Security. Hosted Exchange Providers operate high-secure data centers employing the

10 8 latest security measures. Video surveillance, authentication-secure access, monitoring and tracking of systems, and SAS 70 audits provide multiple levels of security so you can be sure that your information is safe. 5 One Important Point - Do Not Skip This Section! If you are a small company and presently do not have a contract with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) like XSolutions, then you'll have to manage your Hosted Exchange account with a Third Party Vendor or directly with Microsoft. This may add frustration and possible additional costs so Investigate MSPs and Third Party Hosted Exchange Vendors very carefully before deciding. Not all MSPs will include management of your MS Office 365 account with your contract without additional charges. XSolutions is unique in this respect. Again, investigate vendors carefully and ask them about their support and additional charges you may incur. Then get it in writing! 6 A Word About Business Continuity In previous sections, we mentioned Backup/Disaster Recovery and how Hosted Exchange can be a significant part of your plan. Unfortunately, many businesses are under the misconception that if they merely backup the data on their servers and something happens, they'll be able to restore services quickly. This is simply not the case. HERE'S A SIMPLE FACT, WHETHER YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Simply backing up your data does not ensure that you'll be able to quickly restore it and be up and running after experiencing a disaster. TIME is your chief enemy while recovering from a disaster. What if the servers in your office completely failed and could not be repaired or all of your equipment was destroyed during a disaster? Merely backing up your data does not fully protect your business from a catastrophic event. Here's why: 1. Should disaster strike and claim your office it would take considerable time to purchase new servers and workstations, provision them, and restore services. Time would be your main enemy. If you host Exchange onsite, you cannot use to communicate with the outside world until your servers become functional. 2. Servers are complicated. When an old server breaks down or becomes totally inoperable, data saved onto external drives or to the Cloud cannot just be loaded onto a brand new server UNLESS you have an expensive backup system with Bare-Metal Restoration capabilities. The new hardware and software environments are totally different and often do not easily support restoration from older equipment. Having backed-up data does not guarantee a quick recovery. Therefore, your will be inoperable until your servers come back online. 3. Success also depends on the viability of the backed-up data. Backed-up data needs to be tested to make sure that the files are not corrupt. Even with new hardware and software, if the backed-up data is unusable and cannot be restored, the organization would suffer and your messages can be lost forever. Backing up data is one component of Disaster Recovery and is not a replacement for a Disaster

11 A Word About Business Continuity 9 Recovery plan. The focus of any Disaster Recovery Plan should be Business Continuity, not just saving data. The length of time it takes a business to recover is directly related to their survival. If it takes too long, clients will lose confidence and simply go elsewhere and the company will eventually fail. Communication with clients during and after a disaster is key to the continued viability of your business after disaster strikes. The focus of EVERY company's Disaster Recovery Plan should be BUSINESS CONTINUITY! Just having a backup of your data is not sufficient. If this is all you have, your business is at risk. Part of your Disaster Plan MUST include how you'll keep the lines of communications open and is vital to communication. Hosted Exchange should be a component of your Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity planning. If your offices are damaged due to a disaster (i.e. flood, fire, hurricane, etc.), you'll still be able to communicate because your Exchange is not located on your premises and is independent of what happens at your office. Just go to any other location with an internet connection and you'll be able to log into your Exchange account from another computer. You'll also have access to Exchange through your Smart Phone, tablet, or other mobile device. With Hosted Exchange, your is run on state-of-the-art hardware housed in hardened facilities insulated from most disasters. In addition, geographically dispersed data centers add additional redundancy, so if one data center experiences a problem, your Exchange services will be migrated to a second data center and your services will continue. This is called redundancy and is a key concept in Disaster Recovery planning. 7 A Final Word... I hope you ve found this guide to be helpful in shedding some light on how Hosted Exchange can fit into overall IT infrastructure. As I stated in the opening of this report, my purpose for providing this information was to help you make an informed decision about whether migrating to Hosted Exchange makes sense for your organization. I hope this ebook convinced you that Hosted Exchange is a service you should seriously consider. If you have any comments or questions, we welcome them! Have an idea on how to make this guide even more helpful? Let us know. And of course, if you re looking for someone you to manage your servers and workstations that will include management of your MS Office 365 account at no additional charge, then please contact us at (845) We're looking forward to your call! The Support Team at XSolutions Consulting Services Phone: (845) Web:

12 10 8 Thinking of Changing To Microsoft Office 365? XSolutions is a Microsoft Partner, so we know Microsoft products and have assisted many companies in switching to Microsoft Office 365. If you're thinking of doing so, give us a call at (845) or us at FREE MS Office 365 Consultation : Don't know which plan is good for your business? Don't panic. Just call us and we'll investigate Microsoft's latest offerings and give you unbiased and jargon-free advice on which plans fit into your business model. Special Offer As a special, get-to-know you offer to new clients, save 10% off labor costs when migrating your data to Microsoft Office 365. We'll make sure that we transfer the full value of your current environment including: each mailbox, contacts, calendars and files within it, and distribution lists. Data migration times will vary with the size of the infrastructure. We'll do everything from start to finish. All you and your employees have to do is to start using it and reap the benefits! So, if you're interested in saving 10% AND having your project handled by experts, give us a call. There are 2 easy ways to contact us: Call us at: (845) us at:

13 Thinking of Changing To Microsoft Office 365? 9 11 What Our Clients Say "XSolutions has brought my business in several months where others would have taken years to achieve" "Focus, expertise, and knowledge. That's what XSolutions brought to Marine Concepts. Through custom programs, maintenance, back-up, and support, XSolutions has brought my business in several months where others would have taken years to achieve. XSolutions has allowed me to focus my expertise where it needs to be on my business. XSolutions has educated us on what is necessary to run our business more profitably, successfully, and in much less time." Pete Napoli, Partner, Marine Concepts & Motivations "Not only has XSolutions saved CIANJ time and money but we have come to rely on XSolutions for their expertise" "XSolutions has proven over and over again that a web site developer and a knowledgeable IT consultant is invaluable. Not only has XSolutions saved CIANJ time and money but we have come to rely on XSolutions for their expertise. Thank you, XSolutions, for making my job easier to perform. Every project that you do for us looks more impressive than we ever expected." Glenn Fisher, Commerce and Industry Assoc. of NJ "Besides their strong knowledge of SharePoint you can count on them to come up with great suggestions and ideas" "XSolutions has done and continues to do great work for Seacastle. Besides their strong knowledge of SharePoint you can count on them to come up with great suggestions and ideas. I hesitate to recommend them as I am afraid they will then become unavailable to us. Keep up the good work!" Randy Gottlieb, Seacastle Leasing "I no longer have stress over my computer systems not running properly or malfunctioning." "I no longer have stress over my computer systems not running properly or malfunctioning. XSolutions has seen to it that my systems are running smoothly and efficiently. XSolutions is reliable, personable and professional. Without hesitation I have recommended them to many of my clients and all have only raved about their skills." Stuart Horvitz, CPA

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