May 19, 2020

Five top tips for selecting the right hosted email partner

Cloud
SMEs
Microsoft Office 365
hosted email
Bizclik Editor
4 min
Five top tips for selecting the right hosted email partner

Written by Ed Macnair, Managing Director EMEA at Intermedia

 Hosted email is a breath of fresh air to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). No licensing costs, no server space eaten up by email and someone else takes care of the maintenance, updates and ensures everything works smoothly.

 There are various options for outsourcing Microsoft Exchange email, including Microsoft itself through an Office 365 subscription. This might seem like the lowest-risk option but this is not always the case, especially for SMEs.

 When it comes to finding the right hosted provider, SMEs should consider the following top tips:

 1 Consider the business impact of email failure -Do you have the expertise and time available in-house to migrate your email to a hosted service? Are you happy with no tech support available by phone? Is three quarters of an hour without email a month acceptable to you?

 If you answered “No” to any of the questions above, Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription is probably not the right solution for your business.

It doesn’t offer migration services or certify a third party to do it for you, it doesn’t provide phone support with its small business plans and its service level agreement (SLA) guarantees 99.9 per cent up-time.

 A good hosted Exchange partner, by contrast, can offer much more reliable uptime, phone support and will offer fully managed migration services at no additional cost.

 2 Check you won’t break the Data Protection Act - Microsoft does not guarantee where it stores its data for Office 365 and can move customer data to any of its global data centres without notification.

This can be a problem for businesses if their data is stored in countries with unknown privacy and intellectual property laws.

 Businesses using Microsoft Office 365 but needing fully compliant email archiving capabilities where data is written once and stored in perpetuity, with no ability to delete or modify messages or attachments, are forced to use non-integrated third-party vendors.

On the other hand, a hosted Exchange provider can offer a fully compliant email archiving solution that is integrated into the administrative control panel.

3 Review your growth forecast - Office 365 has strict user limits for each subscription tier. Moving between levels requires a full cloud-to-cloud migration, which forces SMEs to manage the time, cost and complexity of moving to a ‘new’ cloud.

Rapidly growing businesses may face multiple migrations within a short time, reducing the benefit of cloud deployment. Businesses with aggressive growth plans are better suited to a hosted Exchange partner that does not put user limits on email plans.

4   Check the size of your attachments - Look through your sent items that contain attachments and note how big they were. If you need to send attachments bigger than 25MB, you will find Office 365 restrictive. Hosted Microsoft Exchange email partners are often more generous than Microsoft when it comes to usage limits.

5   Know what you need – and what you don’t - If everyone in the business has the same email usage needs, it makes sense for everyone to be on the same plan and deployment model; Microsoft requires that the entire company uses the same plan and Exchange 2013.

However, companies whose users have different needs have to choose between satisfying the requirements of the most demanding users with a more expensive plan for all or choosing a lower-priced plan for all users that does not provide all the features needed by the demanding users.

Top third-party hosted Exchange partners support multiple versions of Exchange and help businesses purchase Office productivity software only for the users who need it.

They offer the flexibility of adding lower-cost web email services such as POP or IMAP for users who don’t need Exchange, while allowing administrators to manage all aspects of user deployments via a central control panel—including adding and removing user licences.

They also offer Active Directory integration, which isn’t available for Small Business plans with Office 365.

 All of these considerations affect the relative value and cost of any solution comparison. For SMEs seeking a hosted Exchange partner, it’s not a case of looking for the cheapest option or the one with the greatest capacity.

 Every business has different needs and must know what they are when comparing risks – and costs.

About Intermedia - it provides a one-stop-shop office in the cloud for SMEs and is the world’s largest provider of hosted Exchange outside of Microsoft itself.

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Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
Sustainability
G7Summit
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

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