i-MigrationHundreds of emails a day. Hundreds. Brokering orders, confirming shipments, receiving expense reports and time cards cause one of our agricultural clients’ inboxes to constantly stay in motion. Nevermind the day-to-day correspondence used to market their produce and generate new business. Email is an integral part of their backbone—don’t be fooled by the fact that much of their business happens outside under the sun. This client’s network is every bit as critical to business success as the orchards they own and operate. So when they came to us to help solve an email problem, we quickly understood the importance of getting things running smoothly. Messages weren’t consistently being sent and received all the time, addresses were ending up on blacklists, and the person who was supposed to be fixing their Exchange email server was overwhelmed with other work as well. The CEO finally threw up his hands and declared:

“It just needs to work.”

Quite often we talked with clients who are facing a particular challenge or problem, and rather than try to get down in the weeds and talk tech, they just ask us to make sure the problem is solved. Many of our clients tell us their issues and trust us to find a solution that “just works,” and we’re glad to leverage our technical expertise to find the best possible answer for each unique challenge.

And the one place where we receive perhaps the most calls asking us to implement a solution that just works without question or compromise? Email. With email being such a key component of most every business or enterprise, downtime or service interruption is simply not acceptable. What happens if you can’t reach clients or they can’t reach you? What happens if your internal workflow is interrupted or vendors think you’ve gone missing because emails aren’t being responded to in a timely manner? Think about the impact on your business if your email system begins to lag. Now consider the impact if it falls apart entirely. An email interruption isn’t an inconvenience—it’s an outright disaster!

The Cost of Managing Exchange On Your Own

Many businesses manage their email solution with internal resources. When you are just starting out that can make a lot of sense. But once a business grows past a certain point, email challenges can start to add up. Why? Because the cost of managing an Exchange server is expensive, no matter how you slice it. If you have a dedicated internal IT administrator then the cost of salary and burden costs can be substantial. And if you don’t have a dedicated internal IT administrator and the task of managing your email server falls to another employee, then what is the cost every time they are pulled away from their primary job to fix email problems?

The agricultural client in question has 220 employees and was trying to manage their own Exchange server. But with that many people on staff there was always someone with an email problem. Maybe a calendar wasn’t working correctly or someone forgot their password. Maybe the spam filter needed to be adjusted or someone accidentally deleted a message. Each of these seemingly small tasks started to add up in a hurry, so much so that the member of the administrative team who long-ago volunteered to manage the email server was suddenly spending almost all of her time doing just that!

The Cost of Downtime

Another client, a pistachio farm in Fresno County, had a different problem. They self-managed their Exchange server as well, but their issue was that the sending and receiving of messages was unreliable. IP configurations and permissions were a jumbled mess and, in addition to using older hardware to host Exchange, the entire email system was suffering daily downtime. In both cases the client said the same thing to us: “It just needs to work.”

Leveraging a cloud services provider to manage your Exchange environment can remove all of the headaches listed above and more. Exchange is a powerful tool, which means there is indeed some technical complexity involved with setting it up and making sure it operates at an optimal level all the time. With a partner like DiamondIT deploying and managing your hosted Exchange environment, you can be certain that expert engineers are keeping a watchful eye on your email solution. Add in the benefit of (often significant) cost reductions and increased gains in productivity, and it makes a lot of sense to take advantage of available expertise when it comes to Exchange.

And what about uptime? What about making sure it “just works?” That’s where the cloud really shines. High-availability architecture in the cloud combined with an expert service provider means that downtime or interruption are nearly things of the past. With each of the clients above we implemented solutions that demonstrate 99.999% uptime. That means only about half an hour of downtime throughout an entire year. Combining expert support and service with that level of uptime isn’t just a change in how your email works—it’s an entire paradigm shift in your communication strategy. If you want your team to start the day with full confidence that your email system is on-point all the time, give us a call. We would be glad to lend a hand.