Managed service providers live and die by their margins, and anywhere they can save even a small cost per user can add up to big savings in a hurry. MSPs also need to distinguish themselves from the competition by offering better and broader services than their competition. These are all great reasons why MSPs should look at Hosted Exchange services for their customers. Whether you use a traditional hosted Exchange service provider, or one of the cloud service providers like Office 365, you can offer more services for less cost and with higher margins than running your own email infrastructures. Here are some of the best benefits of moving your clients to a Hosted Exchange service.
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As an MSP, you need to keep your costs consistent, and predictable, and walk the fine line between having enough capacity to meet customer demand, and paying for underutilized capacity while waiting for customer orders. If you are managing on-premise solutions for your customers, you are probably challenged daily by volumes running out of space and systems running software that is either no longer supported or nearing end of life. Hosted Exchange services offer the latest versions of the applications, can provide much larger inboxes than the typical on-premise solution, and usually charge a consistent and predictable fee per user/per month. They can also offer rapid onboarding for new customers. You shift the entire cost of the infrastructure to the hosting service, and only have to deal with a per user passthrough (with suitable markup to cover your administrative efforts.) Letting the hosting provider deal with the utility costs, hardware, licensing, rack space, and the care and feeding, lets you focus on sales and service.
Email is considered by many to be the most critical business application of all. Staffing for 24/7/365 support can be extremely expensive, but by moving your clients to a Hosted Exchange service, you also move the costs for that staffing to the service provider.
Storage and Archiving
Storage space for email is the wildcard in most infrastructures. User counts are predictable, but storage requirements grow by leaps and bounds, and email systems are always playing catch-up with demand. SAN space is extremely costly, and then you still have to be able to back up and restore all that data. The challenges still exist for Hosted Exchange service providers, but they overcome these through economies of scale that the typical business just cannot meet efficiently on their own.
Hosted Exchange service providers also offer hosted archiving for a small additional charge, making it easy to offer your customers both larger mailboxes and an archive without having to worry about SAN capacity or additional servers to handle the archive. Again, you get to provide more and better services, at a lower cost per user.
If you have even one SMB as a customer, you have gone through an Internet outage with them, or a power outage with them, or a server failure. You’ve probably gone through all three, and more than once. SMBs just cannot afford redundant connections, and when their ISP goes down, email grinds to a halt. Their UPS systems only provide enough power to gracefully shut systems down, and a hardware failure means they are down until you can drive to their office to replace the dead component. Hosted Exchange services offer redundancy across all aspects, and can continue to provide email services no matter what is impacting your customer. They can use their smart phone, or take their laptop to the nearest WiFi hotspot if necessary to have email services even if their office is completely down, enabling them to continue with their business.
Look at what you pay to maintain an email infrastructure for your customers. Include both the fixed and the variable costs that go into the entire infrastructure, and then calculate just how much you make off each mailbox per month. If you are like most MSPs, that’s a very small number, isn’t it? By moving your clients to a Hosted Exchange service, you can offer them better service, larger mailboxes, an SLA that will pay you back if commitments are not met, and you can do all of this while charging your customer less and making more. What’s not to love about that?
Stanislav Krotov is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. ( Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov )