It’s time. You've been thinking about it for a while now as you've seen other people search and find emails from their phone that date back decades while you can’t receive the email from your client that was sent this morning.

It’s your email hosting and you know it. It’s old and clunky and doesn't give you all the features you need.

Well there is a very simply solution for you and your business. It’s time to upgrade.

A little history

When email became a business tool, basic email services were provided with your website hosting. This kind of email hosting served its purpose.

It was cheap, you generally received 10 or email accounts and it was easy to connect your Outlook Express to it. This kind of technology was called POP. It simply kept the email on the server until you performed a send and receive and then it was on your computer.

In later years, POP was surpassed by IMAP. This allowed you to keep a copy of all your emails on the server as well as your computer and any other devices. This meant that if you lost your computer you had a copy backed up in the cloud.

Even though as a service it is better than POP, POP was still used by most ISPs because your ISP didn't want to have to pay for the extra storage to keep all your business’ emails.Up until 5 or so years ago, the enterprise had a monopoly on the true business grade email. This involved the ability of syncing not only just your email, but your contacts, calendars and notes as well. However, for most businesses, this meant you needed a Microsoft Exchange server (or one of the other varieties). This was expensive to setup and maintain so most businesses kept their email on POP or IMAP.

Email is business critical

Recent events involving Melbourne IT and their major issues with email hosting has many small businesses up in arms. Many businesses struggle to function without email and this has hurt them badly.

The good news is there is no need to use old, outdated technology or pay for more than what you need. These days you can have the best of both worlds.

Google and Microsoft...To the rescue!

Google Apps and Microsoft 365 are both examples of why you should say goodbye to POP and IMAP and embrace the concept that all your business data can be accessed from any device and as long as you’re connected to the internet, you'll have the most up to date emails.

Both Google and Microsoft provide cloud hosted email. This means your contacts, calendar and emails are stored on their data centres. These data centres have incredibly high up times. Microsoft 365’s last quarterly uptime was 99.98%. This means emails were inaccessible for 24 minutes during that 3 month period! That’s a bit better than Melbourne IT users being down for 3 days.

Storage is another reason to move to either Google or Microsoft, with the tech giants providing 30 GB and 50 GB of storage per mailbox respectively. Most ISPs provide something between 50 Mb to 250 Mb which is 1,000 times less storage than Google or Microsoft.

It’s more than just email

In addition to hosting your email data, they will also provide with the ability to sync and share your business documents and files, not only across your devices but across your team and even external parties.

They'll also provide a high quality spam filter service as part of your subscription. Although not perfect, they learn from past spam message and will catch the bulk of the unsolicited emails.

They also provide a web interface so you can access your email and files even if you don’t have your laptop or smart phone with you.

Is there any reason not to switch over? No is the short answer.

How much is it?

Costs are $50/mailbox/year for Google and $60/mailbox/year for Office 365. If you upgrade your Office 365 plan to $100/mailbox/year you'll also have access to the latest version of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook) for the life of your subscription.

Google’s online competitor to Office (Docs, Sheets, Slides and Gmail) are included in the cost of your subscription. Getting use to working in your browser the whole time is the only thing you need to account for here, but that can be done in a month.

So you could argue that the cost of service is prohibitive. And yes, it is more expensive than your current email hosting.

The question you have to ask yourself is, as a business, what happens if you don’t have email access for 4 hours, or a day or a week? What is the cost to your business then? In fact, you don’t need to ask yourself, just read the comments here.

Contact us if you need any more information on your email hosting. We’d be happy to help.