Office 365 Vs. On-Premise Exchange

What's Right for Your Business?

In today’s cloud driven world, organizations are continually faced with the decision to keep their email solution in-house, or utilize a public cloud solution like Office 365. The standard for years has been an on-premise Microsoft Exchange server.

So, how do we choose either an on-premise Exchange solution or Office 365? In this article we look at key considerations for both options.

On-Premise Exchange

With your email hosted onsite, your firm has complete control of the environment. This can be useful for things like configuring your backup solution, managing the size of user mailboxes, and how you want mail to flow through your email security solution.  You can add as many mailboxes as you like at no additional cost.

Your IT department may already have technicians onsite that are experts with your existing Exchange deployment. If something breaks with your Exchange environment, your IT department can troubleshoot the issue immediately. Due to their familiarity with the configuration, they have a high likelihood of fixing any issues right away.

They can also get more details on mail delivery problems since the complete mail log history is present and there are a host of external spam management systems that connect to and enhance the Exchange environment.

Finally, on premise Exchange is more cost effective since you do not need to pay a monthly fee for mail services.  The longer you keep your on premise Exchange server, the more you save over Office 365.  Additionally, Microsoft can increase the cost of Office 365 at any time and you won’t have much of a choice except to accept it.

Office 365

With Office 365, your IT department no longer has to worry about performing security updates or Exchange Cumulative updates. All updates are applied automatically by Microsoft, without any downtime.  Moving to Office 365 may require you to provide training to your current staff. This transition may present one time costs for the conversion from on premise.  Also, Active Directory needs to be integrated with Office 365 so users can use only one password to log into the network and into Outlook.

Hosting your email in the cloud means you no longer need physical equipment used previously. This means lower costs for purchasing the actual servers, switches, etc., as well as removing support contracts for that equipment. Add that to the lowered power consumption, and your IT costs will decrease.

Once you have migrated to Office 365, the ease of management increases. Your IT department requires less technicians to maintain your email, and lower level engineers can perform tasks that used to require more advanced knowledge of the Exchange setup.

Microsoft is constantly improving the features in Office 365.  New features will appear here well before they do for on premise Exchange if ever.  Microsoft also has a lot of the security features associated with GDPR and PIPEDA already configured as options meaning it is less work for a firm to become compliant.

Physical equipment also ages. Traditionally, the guidance is to replace physical hardware every 5 years or so. With Office 365, this requirement no longer exists.

Don't have an IT team?

Triella can become your IT team and provide expert views on which email option is the right for your firm. We can also help facilitate your email migration to Office 365 or remain on-premise. Please contact us now to schedule a consultation!

Nadeem Safi is a Client Support Specialist at Triella.  We are a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology audits, planning advice, project management and other CIO-related services to small and medium-sized firms. Nadeem can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, go to our blog page. Triella is a VMware Professional Partner, Microsoft Certified Partner, Citrix Solution Advisor – Silver, Dell Preferred Partner, Authorized Worldox Reseller and a Webroot Reseller.

© 2019 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

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