i-generalEmail is the backbone of communication for many businesses. In 2014, over 108 billion business-related emails were sent around the worldevery day. By 2018, that number is expected to grow to nearly 140 billion. Which is why I find it interesting that with email playing such a key role in the economic interests of so many businesses and agencies, so many people underutilize their email service.

Underutilize? With over 108 billion emails being sent per day, how is that possible? Because, for too many businesses, email is primarily for sending electronic messages of text, images, or other data. Most email solutions also offer some way to save contacts and their information–like an address book–and have a calendar for keeping track of events and appointments. Those three key components–messages, calendars, and contacts–are the key pieces of an email system. Right?

Changing How We Think About Email

Not so fast. Just because the core purpose of an email system is cut and dry doesn’t mean you and your team are actually getting the most utility possible out of it. And if you are not leveraging all of the tools and features of your email program, then you are missing out on productivity gains and key differentiators from your competition. While software can sometimes become so feature-rich that half of those features get in the way of actual work, Exchange has a number of lesser-known tools and features that can greatly improve the way your team works.

At DiamondIT, we recommend hosted Exchange as the preferred email system for businesses of all sizes. Hosted Exchange offers agility and flexibility without compromising on control and security. Exchange really is the best of all worlds when it comes to getting the most out of email. But if you are thinking that Exchange is only useful for emails, calendars, and contacts, then you are missing out on some of the many features that make Exchange great. Here are five powerful things you can do with Exchange that you may not know about.

  • Public Folders – Public folders are a great way to improve internal processes. They allow multiple people to access messages and contacts in a single place. For example, your entire billing team could share a public folder with the contact information of all clients, making it easier to get in touch. What many people don’t realize is that public folders can also hold lists, tasks, and files. This means they can also be used for things like project management and even light data storage.
  • Shared Mailboxes – Sometimes people mistake public folders for shared mailboxes, and vice-versa, when the two are actually quite different. Shared mailboxes give multiple employees the chance to monitor the same inbound messages and reply to them. Your entire customer service department can monitor a support mailbox and then claim ownership of a particular thread. Your management team can monitor a mailbox of employee suggestions or feedback and craft a reply from a common email address. With shared mailboxes you can give different departments or groups a single point of contact.
  • Federated Sharing – Unlike many SaaS email offerings, Federated Sharing with Exchange makes it possible for email addresses on different domains or with different organizations to exist in the same Exchange environment. Let’s say your company is a subsidiary of a larger company. With hosted Exchange, your workers can share calendars, folders, and lists with the parent company even though you are on a different email domain.
  • Journaling – Unlike archiving, which saves messages to a remote or third-party environment, journaling copies messages into another mailbox in the Exchange environment. This saves time and money on utilizing a third party solution by creating a backup solution right in Exchange itself. Journaling can be set up to copy all messages, or just those that meet certain rules. Once journaling is turned on, you can have the peace of mind that your messages are being saved seamlessly in the background.
  • Note Syncing with Mobile – One of my favorite features in Exchange doesn’t just take place when I’m at my desk, but also when I’m at home on the couch with a tablet or in transit with just my smartphone. Notes added in both iOS and Android’s native note-taking applications can be set to sync with your Exchange account, meaning all of your notes will carry over between all of your devices. You can keep a list of tasks, action items, or just general information up to date from wherever you are in a single application when using Exchange.

Exchange remains one of the most powerful email solutions on the planet. Regardless of the size and scope of your business, hosted Exchange can provide all the features you need in email–and then some. Our team at DiamondIT has worked to help many organizations tap into the power of Exchange, helping them recognize that sending and receiving messages is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting the most out of Exchange means thinking about how your organization works and how data should be shared and stored. If you are already using Exchange, then we’d be glad to help you get even more out of it. And if you are using a different email solution, we would love the chance to talk with you about hosted Exchange, and all the opportunities it offers.