4 Reasons Why Microsoft Hosted Exchange Beats Office 365

Cloud Email
Intermedia's Irina Shamkova

Irina Shamkova

By Irina Shamkova, SVP of Product Management, Intermedia

As most partners know, the market is led by just a few managed cloud email options, with Microsoft Office 365 being the most dominant. But Office 365 Outlook email isn’t always the best choice for partners. Many find it difficult to differentiate their offerings with Office 365, or to make the margins necessary to compete with the many other resellers in the market, including Microsoft, which is undoubtedly paying more attention to the enterprise communications market, even adding “intelligent communications” capabilities to its chatbot collaboration tool and debuting “365 Business.”

There is, however, another robust productivity solution that offers both partners and their customers a more customizable option: Hosted Exchange. Hosted Exchange is a powerful, collaborative, scalable solution that is often an great fit for partners and customers. Let’s take a look at why.

Hosted Exchange Sticks

For partners, one significant difference between Hosted Exchange and Office 365 is the level of stickiness.

With Office 365, Microsoft makes it easy for customers to switch providers or even purchase services directly from Microsoft with just a few clicks of a mouse. With no data migration required, customers can easily provider-hop to get a cheaper price, even if the partner did all of the work to initially migrate them to Office 365. With Hosted Exchange, switching providers requires a full migration that often requires significant technical assistance. This makes Hosted Exchange more “sticky.”

Hosted Exchange also allows partners to develop email solutions customized to their customers’ specific needs — with the option to provide complementary productivity and collaboration add-ons, such as encryption, advanced archiving and unified communications as a service (UCaaS), that are able to be sold under either the provider’s or the partner’s own brand. Hosted Exchange is also available in a multi- and single-tenant cloud for additional scalability as a client’s needs might change.

High Levels of Reliability

Hosted Exchange also provides a high level of reliability, meaning less unplanned downtime and, ultimately, fewer customer support calls to troubleshoot issues. This is no small matter for partners tasked with delivering the best experience they can to their customers, at a lower cost than the competition. When customer-support calls increase, the amount of time and money that partners spend in trying to fix the issue increase as well. Not surprisingly, the level of frustration for both the partner and customer can rapidly escalate.

Typically, reliability comes down to how many “nines” a service vendor can provide. Microsoft Office 365, for example, has three nines, or 99.9 percent, uptime, meaning there can be as much as eight hours of unplanned downtime per year. Hosted Exchange, by contrast, can have up to five nines, or 99.999 percent, uptime, which equates to less than six minutes of unplanned downtime per year. Narrowing downtime from hours to just minutes can save companies from losing customers, communications, productivity and significant revenue.

Because of this increased reliability, partners can feel confident that their customers’ email is going to be available nearly 100 percent of the time, and they won’t need to …

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  1. Avatar Screwy McDouche April 16, 2018 @ 9:56 am

    So this is better because it is way more inconvenient/cost to move from than O365! I love screwing the customer!

  2. Avatar Fake news April 18, 2018 @ 1:49 am

    This is one of the dumbest articles I’ve ever read. It basically says this is not better for the customer, so what’s the point?

  3. Avatar stopBuyingtheBS May 30, 2018 @ 4:57 pm

    Such dumb comments above claiming that O365 is come Godsend.
    I quite literally just calculated 5 yr TCO for O365 vs on-prem vs hosted for 1200 seats.
    Guess what? O365 came in $500k+ higher will all costs included for ON-PREM!

    There is a REASON that MS announced how profitable O365 will be to their company and everyone is OH SO HAPPY to sell you O365….that reason goes directly into their banking account.

  4. Avatar F X Flinn April 18, 2019 @ 8:42 am

    All well and good for those outside the SMB arena. Inside SMB delivery, where customers often have zero IT staff, O365 is far more cost effective than an on-premises or hosted exchange deployment. I made good money for years starting in the mid 90s installing and managing Exchange servers, graduated my clients to hosted exchange starting around 2008, and now I’m moving them into Office 365 through CDW, GoDaddy, appRiver — whichever provider suits their style best and makes the transition from hosted exchange least costly (Skykick bundling by CDW is currently my top choice).

    For companies who’ve been in the hosted exchange business and who have clients with hundreds of seats, yes, these are the arguments to bring forward in selling them on sticking with HE. I would not spend too much time on the ‘nines’ argument, however. Microsoft only promises 99.9; it’s infrastructure, which gets more robust every day, delivers 99.99999 uptime. Compare that to HE providers that go dark for a weekend to migrate from MSX 2007 to MSX 2013 (an experience that persuaded me O365 deserved a second look).

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