There are several solutions to gaining email access for your company. The traditional solution has been to purchase a server and load Microsoft Exchange on it. This works wonderfully and is a fantastic solution. It provides a plethora of tools, and you have complete control of calendars, emails, address books, tasks, and more. There is a reason this solution is the industry standard. Microsoft Exchange (or any email server), however, does come at a price. You have to purchase server-grade hardware that can run it. You also have to purchase a software license for Microsoft Exchange. Each user has to have access to Microsoft Outlook, which is an additional cost. After that, you have to worry about spam and all sorts of malicious attacks such as viruses that can come through email. All of those costs and worries—not to mention time and personnel to set up and maintain this essential tool—can be costly.
But there may be an alternative solution that takes advantage of cloud-based services that could cost you less money in the long run.
One cost-free solution is to use services like Gmail or Yahoo. However, you have little control of the data, sharing contacts is difficult, and, let’s face it, having an address that ends in @gmail.com or @yahoo.com is extremely unprofessional. If you are a one-person business, freelancer, or very small office, it would be very tempting to use one of these free services. I suggest considering another option that is much more professional looking and very cost effective: using an “Exchange” or Cloud-based email service.