Seamless Business Productivity Part 2: Office365 vs. Local Mail Server

  • On September 18, 2018

Seamless Business Productivity Part 2: Office365 vs. Local Mail Server

A few years ago year we moved from in-house Exchange servers to O365. In this post I will share without withholding anything was the hassle worth it. And yes – the transition was a hassle and took a while. Below is what we gave up and what we gained at the end.

Being a realist I prefer to start with the disadvantages of Exchange Online (or Office 365). The first issue we had to swallow was giving up the administrative control. It was uncomfortable to get use to not having access to the Office 365 Exchange servers terminals, consolеs, bells and whistles, as well as not having a root or administrator password for anything. But Office 365 is indeed built for the best security and that comes at a price.

I should confess it was a challenge to migrate by ourselves, but luckily our IT Ops folks managed to catch up quickly with the enormous amount of documentation related to the process.

1. We got the scalability and flexibility our business model requires

We only purchase the accounts for the number of users that we have at any given time and have the liberty to decrease the number of licences from one month to another. With new employees – setting up new accounts is a piece of cake.

We got pretty much the same basic features we were using on our on-premises Exchange platform. Each of our users got 50GB of online email storage that can be synced on virtually any device – smartphone, tablet, PC and MAC using ActiveSync.

2. Losing e-mail data is no more an issue

Don’t know about you but for me piece of mind comes first. And knowing that Microsoft invests a lot in security is a comfort. It is a relief to know that your cloud provider has backups to restore data whenever it’s necessary. Microsoft provides a guarantee against disasters such as earthquakes, power outages, floods, fires etc. and that is something we could not dream of having under in-house exchange server.

3. We cut serious costs

Our company did not like to pay monthly for anything. If there was an option to buy anything, vs pay a subscription, we would choose the former.  So it took some calculations and convincing of the board but finally the price flexibility became one of the biggest values of Office 365.

At the end we received more than just email service with our subscription. For example we choose to have Office Online and the Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) installed on our devices. The latter we chose to install on up to 5 mobile devices, 5 PCs and 5 MACs, for each licence.

We also got access to additional software that we would have paid for if we were on the in-house solution to name but a few – SharePoint Online, Skype for Business, OneDrive for Business, and Sway.

4. We stay on top of updating

No more planning for a long update – we got everything new immediately and seamlessly. Access to enhancements and innovations for servers is received as soon as they are released. Let’s face it – quick adoption of innovations boosts productivity. And last but certainly not least – the IT team is free to focus on other stuff as is no more related to any of these.

If you are not convinced by now that 365 is the right solution I will leave to observe how it becomes a go-to thing for small and medium businesses all over the globe – and maybe one day you will try for yourself. Oh, and by the way, ping us if you decide to give it a shot (or a thought). We’ve been there, done that, have t-shirts of the club and will love to propose few tips&trick to ease your possible transition to the O365 cloud.