Email Strategy

Should you upgrade Microsoft Exchange or switch to an alternative? It depends what you want. In addition to hosting your own solution it is now possible to outsource to a SaaS provider, providing management and investors are comfortable with the idea. Requirements to consider:

  • Compatibility with Microsoft Outlook. All mail servers support IMAP and POP to access and download mail, but fewer solutions support Microsoft’s various proprietary protocol and extensions (eg. MAPI/RPC) used by more advanced features of Outlook. Open source implementations are still a work in progress.
  • Storage management. Traditionally mail servers have supported a mailbox of up to 1-2GB, but what happens when a user accumulates more than that?
  • Spam filtering and support for e-discovery. Postini addresses this well upstream from your corporate mail server and eliminates this as an issue.
  • Smartphone integration. More proprietary protocols are used to synchronize smartphones using Windows ME or Blackberry OS.
  • Cost.

Solutions to consider:

  • Google. Google offers a hosted solution with IMAP. Premier edition offers 25GB storage and 99.9% uptime (=8-9 hours/year downtime) for $50/yr.
  • Yahoo Zimbra. Competing solutions similar to Zimbra include Zarafa, Axigen and Scalix (fka. HP OpenMail). Zimbra gets the best reviews, however.
  • MailStreet and Apptix have received good reviews for providing hosted Microsoft Exchange email services. MailStreet charges around $8/mo. including Outlook licence and 2GB storage.

Looking into the future Open-Xchange is closest to providing an open source solution including MAPI/RPC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top