Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email
An Osterman Research White Paper
Published June 2010 SPONSORED BY


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Osterman Research, Inc. • P.O. Box 1058 • Black Diamond, Washington 98010-1058 Tel: +1 253 630 5839 • Fax: +1 253 458 0934 • •


Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

Executive Summary
Email is the single most important application that most businesses maintain: • • • The average office worker spends 2.5 hours per day in email. Email is the primary file repository for most users. Email is the most popular file transport mechanism.

Whether employees are gathering incoming leads, sharing documents or scheduling meetings, they spend more time managing email than ever before. What does this increased reliance on email mean for your business? It means that your success from day to day depends greatly on a reliable and feature-rich email system.

If you’re using free email or the POP email system that came with your Web hosting account, you may think this is an adequate and low cost solution for your company. However, in addition to price, there are many other factors that contribute to your bottom line and productivity when it comes to email.

The “Real” Cost of Free Email Systems
As a business owner, you look at the hard costs for phones, computers, Internet connectivity, and even the electricity to turn on the lights. But have you considered the hidden costs of running your business? When it comes to free or inexpensive email systems, you can easily lose money on wasted productivity, and lose business due to the perception that a cheap service conveys to customers and prospects. Thus, the “real” cost of your email system may be much more than you think.

The vast majority of small businesses use email regularly and rely on it for communications with employees, customers and prospects. While it’s tempting to use a free or low cost service, these systems typically offer only basic email functionality and few business-grade features that help users be more productive. Free and low cost email accounts, including the “POP” email accounts that come with Web hosting, usually suffer the following shortcomings: • They don’t synchronize email across multiple devices. That means once you’ve checked your email in the office, you can no longer access it from your smartphone, unless you re-forward it to yourself. They don’t allow access to co-workers’ calendars. This means scheduling a meeting requires numerous emails or phone calls that cost your business valuable time and money.

©2010 Osterman Research, Inc.


Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

They may not provide enough storage for messages, contacts and attachments. So users must spend time archiving files and messages in another location, or risk having undeliverable and bounced messages. They don’t provide the ability to archive email for e-discovery and compliance. This can result in serious financial, legal and other consequences.

Another way to truly evaluate free email services or POP email accounts is to factor in branding and awareness. Many small businesses don’t use their own domain for email, instead using a free Yahoo!, Hotmail or Gmail account as their primary business email address. These free services seem like a great value if you evaluate them only on hard cost. But before you decide to use a free account to represent your business, think about what this communicates to customers and prospects. Using a third party domain name for your email address (e.g., puts your business at risk of being viewed as less credible. Your prospects may ask, “If a business won’t spend the time to get their own domain, will they be around to provide service in the future?” Can your business afford this kind of perception? Another risk to your brand is bounced messages. If your email system is suffering from an outage or your mailboxes are too small, senders will receive an undeliverable notice. This not only inconveniences prospects and customers, they may think you are no longer in business!

• Does your email system bounce messages back to the sender because it’s either down or your mailbox is full? Can you archive messages to keep your inbox organized, and meet e-discovery and regulatory compliance standards? Is your email system available 100% of the time? Do you have access to email support 24x7x365 if you have a question or problem? Hard drives crash, computers and mobile phones get stolen. Will all of your email still be accessible if this happens?

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If you answered “No” to any of these questions, then it’s time to upgrade to a better email management system.

©2010 Osterman Research, Inc.


Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

Choosing an Email System That Delivers More Value
Microsoft Exchange is the leading business-grade email system in use worldwide. Choosing a hosted version of Exchange enables you to take advantage of the benefits of Exchange without having to deploy any on-premise infrastructure or use in-house IT staff to manage the system. Instead, you have access to a full Exchange experience without the need for additional IT staff, or the upfront costs to deploy it.

Hosted Exchange offers a far superior email experience versus a simple POP or other non-business-grade email system: • Instant mobility – Access anytime, anywhere, from any device Email is available from all of the devices that business users might employ: Outlook on their desktop PC or laptop, Entourage on their iMac or MacBook, Windows Mobile devices, iPhones, BlackBerry phones or any Web browser. Also, when a message on hosted Exchange is accessed, say from the desktop, it is still available on every other device via automatic synchronization. This is an advantage over POP email accounts that by default download only to the first device to access it, unless otherwise configured. Improved calendar management Calendars in hosted Exchange are much more flexible and can be accessed using any device or browser. Free/busy information can be shared throughout the organization, so that one person creating an appointment can determine when all other participants are available. Hosted Exchange also allows delegation of calendar rights so that an administrative assistant can access a manager’s calendar to determine when he or she is available and schedule them accordingly. Automatic syncing across multiple platforms Changes made on any device or via a web browser are available almost instantly on every platform that can access a hosted Exchange account. This gives users complete device and platform independence. For example, an appointment created on an iPhone will appear almost instantly in Outlook on the user’s desktop computer; or the reply to an email sent in Entourage will appear in the “Sent Items” folder on a Windows mobile device. High reliability Email uptime is essential. Downtime is not only irritating, it can lead to lost business opportunities, reduced productivity, missed appointments and other negative consequences for your customers. Hosted Exchange providers typically offer an uptime guarantee of at least 99.9%. Some providers also offer customers the ability to choose which regional data center will be used to house their data. This gives users in different states or geographic
©2010 Osterman Research, Inc. 3

Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

areas access to email services when they need it, as scheduled maintenance windows typically occur during local off-peak hours. • Very large mailboxes An Osterman Research Study from May 2010 revealed that 61% of email users consider themselves to be “pack rats” or nearly so when it comes to email use. In other words, they use their email inbox as a repository for important information, which they can search on an as-needed basis. While POP and free service mailboxes typically provide less than 100 MB of storage, hosted Exchange mailboxes can be very large – up to 25 GB or more in some cases. This increase in email storage space helps maximize productivity by allowing users to spend less time reading through and organizing old messages to save space. (Note that the amount of space offered can vary between hosted Exchange providers, so be sure to ask for details.) Peace of mind It happens all the time. Your phone can slip out of your pocket or bag, or you simply set it down and forget, or it gets stolen. With hosted Exchange you can still access calendars, messages and email from another device like your laptop or web browser. So you won’t miss appointments, or lose important messages. But hosted Exchange also offers the ability to remotely “wipe” your mobile device. A remote wipe sends a signal to your device to remove data instantly. This limits security threats and the possibility of your information getting into the wrong hands. Plus hosted Exchange providers also offer customer support to answer any questions or address email problems. When choosing a provider, look for one with round-theclock support so you have access to answers whenever you need them.

It is very important to understand that not all hosted Exchange providers are created equal. Some are relatively small operations that do not provide the type of long-term features and functions that your company may require in the future. Reliability levels vary widely from one provider to another. Some providers do not offer 24/7 support. Some do not offer archiving or encryption capabilities. Financial stability is another important consideration in choosing the right provider. Firms with strong financial stability have the funds to offer quality customer support and continually invest in the latest infrastructure and upgrades. Smaller, less stable providers can go out of business, leaving their customers without access to email. Choosing a viable provider removes the risk of suffering a service termination or loss of data. In short, as with most other types of services, there is substantial variability in both the breadth and quality of services offered by hosted Exchange providers. As a result, keep two things in mind when deciding among providers of hosted Exchange: • It’s critical for the health of your business and the productivity of your employees to choose the right provider.

©2010 Osterman Research, Inc.

Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

The cheapest provider does not necessarily provide the greatest value.

About Verio
Verio is one of the first providers of the new hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010, which offers a robust suite of tools and features to increase productivity and improve reliability over free or low cost systems. Verio’s hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010 offering includes all the great benefits of Exchange mentioned above, plus: • • Plenty of storage with larger 25 GB mailboxes Free bonus features with our 25 GB plans: o o ActiveSync – to synchronize iPhone and other Smartphone mobile devices. Company Disclaimer Service – to implement company-wide email policies, like a signature, that cannot be edited or removed by users. Compliant Email Archiving Service – to use a third party for archiving all messages in accordance with legal documents and regulations. MessageMirror Service – to help monitor and organize messages for compliance with company email policies. Active Directory Synchronization – to synchronize on-premise data with hosted Exchange data. Mail Retention Policy Management – to control the mailbox size and set limits for users. Mobility Policy Management – to apply Blackberry and ActiveSync policies. Server Site Selection – choose to host mailboxes in our East coast or West coast data centers





o o

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Data protection and 99.999% uptime guarantees Anti-spam and anti-virus protection No installation, configuration or ongoing maintenance No upfront investment – no long-term contract or cancellation fees Expertise and financial stability – Verio has been delivering business solutions since 1996, and specializes in Exchange implementation.

©2010 Osterman Research, Inc.


Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

FEATURE Enterprise-grade SLA Calendar Contacts VERIO’S HOSTED EXCHANGE YES - 99.999% SLA. Outlook and Entourage sync with the web. Outlook and Entourage contact base syncs with the web versions of each client. Outlook and Entourage sync with the web. Outlook and Entourage sync with the web. Secured using SSL. Full wireless sync of mail, calendar, contacts, notes, tasks. Plus a remote wipe can be performed in the event handheld is lost. Full wireless sync of mail, calendar, contacts, notes, tasks. Remote wipe supported. Full wireless sync of mail, calendar, notes, tasks. Remote wipe available with MobileMe account. Can create shared folders for email, calendars, contacts, tasks and notes. Accessible in Outlook and on the web. OTHER EMAIL SERVICES Some offer 99.9% with special “get out” clauses or no SLA at all. May not sync with the web. Contact database may be limited or not available on the web and may not sync. Outlook tasks don’t sync with the web. Not available. May be optionally secured with SSL. Third-party applications do not always offer a two-way sync. Addins may be available to sync calendar and contacts. Remote wipe is not usually supported. May need to pay extra to sync calendar and contacts via Activesync. May not sync email. May need to pay extra to sync calendar and contacts or to perform a remote wipe. May not sync email. May be able to create shared Calendars accessible only on the web. Typically cannot share contact folders, tasks or notes.

Tasks Notes Security

Blackberry Support

Windows Mobile Support

iPhone Support

Shared Folders

Verio is the leading provider of web hosting, application hosting and SaaS solutions to the global SMB market, and a forerunner in implementing the new Exchange 2010 email system as part of its hosted Microsoft Exchange offerings. As one of the first providers of this new and improved, feature-rich email and communications platform, only Verio offers a unique bundle of popular features combined with its 99.999% uptime guarantee and 24x7x365 support — included for as little as $11.95 a mailbox. Since 1996, Verio has been committed to offering optimum performance and highly secure and reliable solutions to both retail customers and its expanding global network of OEM and viaVerio channel partners. Verio is a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Communications, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies, and owner of a world-class tier 1, global infrastructure that spans five continents. This financial and technical strength, combined with business hosting solutions available in nearly 200
©2010 Osterman Research, Inc. 6

Discover the “Real” Cost of Your Free or Budget Email Hosted Exchange 2010’s Email and Collaboration Tools Save Money and Boost Productivity

countries, makes Verio uniquely positioned to service the needs of SMBs worldwide, now and in the future. For more information visit

© 2010 Osterman Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced in any form by any means, nor may it be distributed without the permission of Osterman Research, Inc., nor may it be resold or distributed by any entity other than Osterman Research, Inc., without prior written authorization of Osterman Research, Inc. Osterman Research, Inc. does not provide legal advice. Nothing in this document constitutes legal advice, nor shall this document or any software product or other offering referenced herein serve as a substitute for the reader’s compliance with any laws (including but not limited to any act, statue, regulation, rule, directive, administrative order, executive order, etc. (collectively, “Laws”)) referenced in this document. If necessary, the reader should consult with competent legal counsel regarding any Laws referenced herein. Osterman Research, Inc. makes no representation or warranty regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this document. THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ALL EXPRESS OR IMPLIED REPRESENTATIONS, CONDITIONS AND WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH DISCLAIMERS ARE DETERMINED TO BE ILLEGAL.

©2010 Osterman Research, Inc.