Choosing A Cloud Based Email Provider
7 Questions You Should Ask
Questions for Your Cloud Email Provider
If you’re considering Office 365, Google Apps, or any other Cloud based email service, there are seven questions you need to ask. You’ll find the answers very illuminating.
The Email Laundry’s Secure Suite and Microsoft Exchange Online deliver similar functionality in terms of email, calendars, contacts, tasks, public folders, resource mailboxes and more.
But when you look beyond functionality—to elements like migration assistance, support, reliability, data privacy, and flexibility—a number of very stark differences appear. In fact, there are a number of questions that the sales people at Office 365 simply hope you don’t ask. Here are the top seven:
1. Will you help me migrate my existing emails, calendars and contacts?
Microsoft does not provide migration services. In fact, they only provide rudimentary do-it-yourself tools. Our IT service companies provide the whole package.
2. If I need phone support, how long will I be on hold? And is there a chance you won’t help me at all?
Office 365’s Small Business Plan offers no phone support—only email
support and text-based forums. While the Enterprise plan does offer 24/7 support, the Midsize Business plan will only give you 24/7 support for “critical issues”.
And what if you actually have to call? You may be in for a long hold time. But first, you have to find the phone number. Here’s an experiment: use your Google skills and try to find Office 365’s support number. Go ahead, try it. The fact that it’ll take you a few searches should tell you something.
3. What happens to my bill as my business grows?
If you’re an Office 365 customer, then you need to ask about their plan limitations. That’s because their Small Business and Midsize Business plans have limits of 25 and 300 users, respectively. Once you pass the limits, you HAVE to upgrade. And you cannot add Kiosk mailboxes (POP/IMAP-type email) to either of those plans, even if a user doesn’t need full-featured Exchange.
4. Will your archiving and encryption options help my regulated business assure compliance?
As an Office 365 customer, you’d need to turn to a third-party service for compliant email. And that introduces new costs and integration challenges. Use an email security vendor to provide your secure cloud email service.
5. Do you guarantee that my data never leaves the EU?
And if it’s moved overseas, whose laws will govern the location of the servers where your data might be sitting? And what implications does this have for regulated businesses?
6. Do you offer integrated tracking and tracing?
If you seek to track and trace your email you need instant access to a search facility of all connections. This is very difficult information to get in Office 365 on the basic plans. This is one of the most complained about features from our partners about Office 365.
7. Is your up time SLA really only 99.9%?
99.9% uptime sounds great. And it takes a lot of investment and effort on the provider’s behalf to achieve it. But if do the math, this means you can expect more than 8 hours of unplanned downtime across the course of a year. Given that there are 99.999% uptime offerings on the market, this begs the question: how much email downtime is acceptable to the leader of your organization?
The Email Laundry’s Secure Suite is a full Email Collaboration suite. It delivers the same functionality as Exchange Online. But it ALSO includes a 99.999% SLA, phone support and office hours support with a 15 minute response time, and a single control panel for all our services.