‘Cloud email’ is the most basic function, and the base of all products compared within the ‘email and document management’ search. All businesses require email, but if your email does not read ‘your name’ (or dept)@‘your company’.com, then are you giving clients or customers the right impression of your business. A company domain where your email is hosted is a must for any company wanting to appear professional in today’s market.
You can also set up multiple addresses for one mailbox. For instance if ‘Jo’ is in charge of ‘support’ then she can receive emails from customers or clients sending email to email@example.com as well as firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another important factor in your email provider is your mailbox size. The leading direct cloud providers offer 25 GB mailboxes which is a lot for email. All services allow you to search for contacts or keywords within your email. If you receive a reasonable amount of emails then the providers who offer the smaller mailboxes such as 1 & 2 GB, it is likely that you will have to purchase extra storage space and so you should take that into consideration when comparing the providers. Each provider will charge you for the extra storage space on a per GB per month basis and you should expect to pay between £1.50 and £2 a month per GB.
In order to meet various legal requirements, a lot of businesses will require email archiving which is on offer from most providers, again at an additional cost. This will usually include a one off cost for an initial archive and then a monthly rate.
Storing your email in the cloud has a massive advantage over an on premesis system as your data is all backed up and monitored which removes the need for someone in your office to maintain the system. One small mistake on a system can cause serious data loss and the vast majority of companies we provide for have suffered some data loss as a result of a small technical error. Losing such data can be extremely costly and for small businesses the cost of paying someone to look after this data properly is very high. A system hosted in the cloud is monitored and looked after by high level IT professionals so you can have the peace of mind that your data is being handled by a qualified person who takes that responsibility extremely seriously.
Another massive advantage of ‘cloud email’ is availability. With an in-house system if your email goes down then there is nothing you can do about it until someone can fix it. If your internet connection goes down then, again, you need to wait for it to be fixed until you can continue using your in-house email. With a cloud system you can access, send and receive your email using any available internet connection. You can access it using a local wi-fi service, your mobile phone, a 3G dongle connection or by tethering your mobile phone to your laptop, desktop, netbook or i-pad. If there is extreme weather (such as snow) users can’t get into work then they can still access their email and documents from home meaning that crucial bit of work can still be done.
Security is also a major feature of cloud email as well as the main point of concern for many business managers. All of the paid services are held on secure servers and some of the services encrypt your email as it travels between your computer and its data center. The majority of security breaches in businesses come from within the company and as your data is held in high security (both physically and technically) data centers, your own employees won’t be able to damage your system or corrupt your data. The security provided is relied upon by multinational companies and such high level security is now served up as standard as part of cloud services. Your security will also be continually updated in real time so you will always be using the most up to date security available. An in house system can get infected with viruses and the like but your data center information will be constantly looked after by the best possible people for the job AND always backed up so again you can sleep easily knowing you won’t lose vital emails and that your mailbox is secure.