Microsoft Exchange Online Review: What Microsoft Exchange Online Can Offer You

microsoft exchange online review what microsoft exchange online can offer you

Microsoft Exchange Online has recently upgraded their interface and are now offering new purchasing options. Businesses and individuals can now choose to use Microsoft exchange online as a stand alone service, or use it as part of the Microsoft Office 365 package.

First, we will look at the features of only Microsoft exchange online, and then we will look at the features and options that come with the addition of Microsoft Office 365.

Microsoft Exchange Online Review


Microsoft exchange online is a hosted email service. It allows you to have your email, calendar and contacts in one place that is accessible on a large variety of devices. You will be able to share your calendar and your contacts. Microsoft exchange online has all of the most up to date features in sharing, allowing you to access collaboration features that will allow you to share calendars, contacts, tasks, global address lists, groups, conference rooms and delegation capabilities.


Microsoft exchange online features excellent storage potential. You will be able to store large quantities of messages. Exchange even allows users to send messages as large as 25 MB. In addition to excellent inbox storage, Microsoft exchange online features in place archives.

In place archives help reduce the inbox clutter that plagues us all by moving older messages into an in place archive for you. It also features an in place hold that will preserve edited and deleted mailbox items, preventing you from ever losing a draft. Unlimited storage is also available. Microsoft exchange online has users covered in storing and preserving communications.


Microsoft exchange online provides excellent security for its users. They provide both anti malware and anti spam protects. You will not have to worry about virus infiltrating your computer or your inbox being filled with spam instead of business communications. Exchange online works to ensure that your time on their platform is always productive.


They even offer voicemail! Microsoft Exchange now has the option for users to purchase hosted voice mail. They can provide call answering and a dial in user interface. In addition, they can also provide company automated attendant capabilities. Microsoft exchange takes the time to go above and beyond typical email platforms.

Mobile Versitility 

Microsoft exchange can be accessed from any device you own with an internet connection. You can access Microsoft exchange on your Windows Phone, iPhone, Android or Blackberry devices. No matter what device you use, Microsoft exchange is there to support you.

Microsoft Exchange Online With Office 365

Although Microsoft exchange online is available as a standalone feature, it is also available as part of Office 365. Office 365 offers Microsoft exchange online as well as Office, Sharepoint, and Lync. These are additional features and programs that may be useful to your business.

Microsoft Office provides users with access to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Sharepoint allows users to connect, organize, discover and build. Lync provides messaging, video conferencing and meetings and telephone calls all in one platform. With Office 365, you will able be send an email, build webpages, host video calls and more.

Which is right for you?

Microsoft exchange online is an advanced and up to date email platform that can provide you with excellent storage capacity, security, versatility in access and voicemail services. It can be used alone or as part of the larger Microsoft Office 365 with also provides Office, Sharepoint and Lync. Please contact us to discuss which option is right for you. At AE Technology Group, we look forward to working with you to move your business forward.

Zarafa Hosted EMail Solution: All the Benefits of MS Exchange at Half the Cost

zarafa hosted email solution all the benefits of ms exchange at half the cost

hosted-email Cloud computing has changed the way businesses set up and run their IT services and e-mail solutions are no exception. Running a traditional MS Exchange server in-house means an investment in hardware and software which can approach $10,000, plus the annual cost of an in-house engineer to maintain, update, patch and back up the servers. A second option is the hosted email solution which requires no up-front investments yet provides stable Linux server platforms, with full MS Exchange features, at half the cost.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of a hosted email solution versus an In-House solution:

  • Hosted e-mail requires no equipment costs.In-house requires hardware and software upfront costs of several thousand dollars.
  • Hosted e-mail requires no additional staff.In-house requires a dedicated engineer to maintain the server.
  • Hosted e-mail requires no software or hardware upgrade costs, it’s all absorbed by the host.In-house requires constant software and hardware costs in order to have support access.
  • Hosted e-mail allows you to work anywhere, any time, on any device.In-house limits you to working in your office computer as well as some limited OWA accessibility.
  • Hosted e-mail allows you to work off line and it will sync when an internet signal is available.In-house has some off line connectivity in the office, none off site.
  • Hosted e-mail is completely maintained by the host, including patches, upgrades and backups.In-house servers must be patched and upgraded on weekends, backups performed as desired.

An alternate MS Exchange / Outlook solution requires finding a reliable yet fully compatible software solution with a look and feel interface which will not detract from productivity. The feature set should be as complete as the MS Exchange solution and the hardware / software platform should be robust and well documented. Zarafa fill all of these requirements and a great deal more.

Zarafa is an open source e-mail and collaboration service. It’s interface is almost identical to MS Outlook, making company transitions very smooth since the software requires almost no learning curve (compared to Outlook). Zarafa provides the same feature set as MS Outlook, including calendar, e-mail and contacts sharing. Reliability is provided by Linux and MySQL, and client ease of use and portability is provided by an Ajax web application.

Benefits of Zarafa e-mail and collaboration service:

  • Open source platform means substantial cost reduction.
  • Linux servers mean industry standard stability.
  • MySQL server for reliable and secure data storage.
  • No learning curve, interface almost identical to MS Outlook.
  • AJAX based web app, full mobile device support and ease of use.
  • Remote access via SSL.

Summary: With today’s cloud based technology you are no longer limited to in-house servers to meet your e-mail needs. Hosted email solutions such as Zarafa offer all the features of MS Exchange with the reliability of known platforms such as Linux and MySQL. As a bonus, cost reductions of over 50% make Zarafa a great choice for companies large or small. Contact us and we’ll be happy to implement a free 25 user trial so you can see the power of Zarafa hosted email solutions for yourself.

Getting Ahead with a Hosted Email Solution

getting ahead with a hosted email solution

Email hosting is one of the most valuable and important resource these days, which operates email servers. There is an increase in the demand for email services because of the large number of people sending as well as receiving emails daily. Getting a hosted email solution is seen to be an important and attractive option to many companies. This is because it is one of the ways of getting new customers.

Email hosting means that the hosting company performs all the email functions for its clients. Such functions include basic functions such as sending and receiving email messages as well as complex functions such as global searching and database processing. Once a company agrees to provide a hosted email solution to its clients, it must also agree to maintain the privacy as well as the security of the client’s email accounts. The servers on which the email accounts of the clients are stored need to be reliable.

According to PCWorld, hosted email solutions provide you with extra features for your email, which are going to give your business a great boost. Such features can include IMAP support, which ensures that you can download offline email client. In addition, you have the chance of getting additional cloud storage for your email messages and get support for you custom email addresses. With email hosting services, you have access to collaboration tools that will integrate with email.

Email hosting offers premium email, which is usually at a cost compared to the free webmail or email that is advertisement supported. These services are offered at low costs. Small and medium sized companies require hosted email solutions to help them get ahead in their business. It is possible for a business to get email hosting solutions that are specific to their needs to make sure that the solutions work effectively.

Small businesses are advised to give their businesses a chance to grow before paying for any hosted email solution. This ensures that they get to pay for the email hosting services once they have several employees and are in need of the different types of features such as collaboration tools and shared calendars, which come with email hosting. This is because transition from one email hosting solution to another can be hard once your business experiences rapid growth. Contact us for more information on email hosting and to get the email hosting solutions that will suit your business best.

What Does the End of the Ballmer Era Mean for Microsoft Exchange?

what does the end of the ballmer era mean for microsoft exchange

Love him, hate him, or fear him, there is no denying that Microsoft co-founder and CEO Steve Ballmer is one of the industry’s true larger-than-life personalities. Reactions to the news that Ballmer is to retire within the next year have varied greatly, from “worst CEO ever” to reflections on his “classy exit.” The one certainty of the situation, however, is that Microsoft is due for drastic changes. What impact will the departure have on Microsoft Exchange and enterprise email?

Office 365 is an important part of Microsoft’s future strategies. The platform faces competition from many other providers with enterprise productivity capabilities – one of the most important of which is email. What we will see in Microsoft’s future will undoubtedly be an acceleration of its transition to cloud services and move away from the Window’s bound mindset. The argument has been made that Ballmer’s reign was marked by the unwillingness to accept that the company needed to move beyond Windows.

However, Microsoft must cover a lot of ground if it is get past the “lock in” of its once ubiquitous operating system. Office 365 reflects this fact: despite being cloud-based, its roots in the proprietary license software model show very clearly. Most of its applications need a major retrofit for the cloud-based environment in which access from any device and data interoperability rule.

Rather than waiting for Microsoft to catch up, organizations have more Exchange alternatives than ever for their 21st century email needs. Platforms such as the open-source Zafara were built with web-access and platform independence in mind. Contact us to learn more about systems with all of the capabilities of exchange that also happen to be way ahead of the curve in giving businesses the agility that they need in the modern age.

A hosted email solution with five star reliability and collaboration for less money

a hosted email solution with five star reliability and collaboration for less money

If we polled business owners as to what they thought the three most critical factors determining their success was there’s a good chance that the top three would be: reliability, collaboration, and low cost.

Achieving those three critical elements in a hosted email solution for your business should be considered a tremendous win for your company. The truth is that many business owners may not spend the necessary time and resources into really researching the best possible option. Microsoft Exchange is often thought of as the “go to” choice here purely for its name and recognition. Further investigation, however, does show that another option exists that could provide all the wonderful familiarity and usability of Microsoft Outlook with even better reliability and collaboration at just about half the costs. Introduce yourself to Zarafa.

Firstly, Zarafa can offer increased reliability with the full utilization of a Linux server, which saves your email and collaboration data to a MySQL database for added security. Collaboration is another strong suit of Zarafa, whereas it enables full Outlook sharing, including email, calendar, and contacts. It is also compatible with any mobile device.

The true strength in having Zarafa up and running for your business, however, is in its open source platform. Because it is open-source, the costs are significantly lower than those of its competitors. In some cases they are as little as 50% of the costs of some proprietary packages. It is also fully licensed under the Alfero GPLv3 software license.

Overall, it is the peanut-butter and jelly like combination of providing open, compatible, and enterprise level collaboration with Linux server reliability and all at a lower cost that makes Zarafa a real alternative to Microsoft Exchange in the eyes of its customers and partners.

“AE Technology Group” is a Managed IT and Cloud Hosting Solution Provider headquartered in Rockville Centre, NY. We specialize in offering enterprise class services to small and medium sized businesses including: Managed IT Services, Business IT Support, Cloud computing, Disaster Recovery, Email, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Hardware as a Service (HaaS), Hosting Services, and VoIP. Please contact us today for more information. We would love to hear from you!