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Is it Time to Junk Your In-House Email Servers?

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Forrester calculates it's cheaper for most businesses to use hosted Exchange than run their own email servers, and Gmail costs even less to run. Why would anyone bother with all the hassle of running email in-house any more?

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    Gmail is *one third* of the cost per user according to Forrester's research, and that's taking into account support, training and other costs that go on top of the $50-per-year subscription.

    In my experience, it's more productive too than Outlook/Exchange, so I'm scratching my head wondering why anyone can seriously justify the huge expense of maintaining their own Exchange servers (or Lotus for that matter).

  • Very interesting question: my company actually maintains an in-house email account using Exchange, and while it works well, I actually think Gmail works better, in terms of email archival and retrieval and even in terms of Spam filtering, so I actually forward all my company email to my Gmail account.

  • I think there are lots of good reasons to move email to the cloud. Not least of which is security... and spam filtering. Most small and medium enterprises aren't as equipped to handle security best practices as your typical "in-the-cloud" email provider.

  • For Small and Medium Business "in-the-cloud" email providers can help them to reduce their IT costs. For fortune companies cost per mailbox will be really high. As they have to archive messages and attachments as per compliance regulations. For Enterprises cloud email hosting is not ready yet.

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    Definitely an interesting issue. Okay, so this might not be a problem now, but what if Google someday ends up buying a company that's in direct competition with yours? If they have access to all of your corporate e-mail, then you're at a competitive disadvantage no matter how you look at it.

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    Keith, I'm not sure that's a valid argument. Would you move your business account from your bank if it owned a competitor of yours? I think the first assumption is that the bank would harm its reputation if it abused its position in that way. Service providers like Google have to earn the same level of trust.

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