Email is a significant communication tool, especially in the business industry. One reason for that is it is cheaper compared to making a phone call, and it gives you the ability to view the conversation history that can be used for future reference. Also, it provides an easier and quicker way to communicate with customers. The traditional transactions that normally takes a couple of days to complete, now just take few minutes to complete.
Choosing the right software that meets the needs of your business can be challenging. There are plenty of email management providers in the market that offer different range of prices, performance, service level, and support. You cannot just pick any software without carefully going through its features and without knowing how it can help your business.
Benefits of Email
Email communication provides quick information dissemination. According to VisNetic MailFlow, it streamlines the business processes and removes the geographic barrier. The use of email increases the business productivity since you can make use of the distribution lists to quickly send information to customers. Switching from mail allows you to save on postage and shipping cost. The message will also arrive at the receiver faster compared to when using a mail that may take days.
Here are the simple steps to ensure that you can choose the right email management software.
Choosing the Platform
If your business is cost conscious and you don’t have a dedicated IT team, you can use the hosted solution. The in-house platform is expensive considering the cost of hardware, software, extra storage, licenses, labor costs, and backups. Determining the total cost of ownership (TCO) plays an important role in making a decision for your platform.
Some issues of in-house email are its lack of storage, applications are difficult to manage, email outages, and failed back up.
Free or Paid Email Hosting
Choosing between a free or paid email hosting is one of the things that you need to consider in choosing an email management solution. The features of a free service may satisfy some users, but is it ideal for business?
A free service can also have features such as calendar, contact, and task management tools, but it has limited functionality. This type of service does not provide phone or email support, so you’ll end up doing a self-service, searching for solutions online. If you are not technically savvy, you may end up creating another issue. A free email hosting can be used as a platform for advertising and marketing. The security, support, performance, and reliability are not their priority since they won’t gain anything from it.
Comparing the true cost of a professional and free hosted email service provider is essential to ensure that it can meet the future and current demands of your business. The best email management tools should have the ability to provide tools, support, service, and capabilities needed for your business. A professional provider invests in upgrading and maintaining their hosted solutions to ensure the reliability of their service. In addition, they offer services that are critical for the business, which makes it preferable especially for large scale businesses.
Define Your Needs
Evaluate the infrastructure, security, reliability, and the performance requirements of your company, so you can accurately define what the company needs. Talk to your IT team to help you determine the processes and systems that will be affected when migrating to an email solution. It may impact CRM, ERP, email marketing campaigns, and online forms.
Email is critical in the business so make sure that there will only be a minimal interruption when integrating management software. Have a meeting with the different departments of your company and let them appoint power users that will work with the IT department to define the working requirements. Gather the analytics of your existing system to determine how the email is used in your business. This can help you collect the data statistics of the email such as the inbox storage, which can help you decide the features that you need.
Selecting an Email Hosting
The providers of email hosting for business grade offer more hosting options compared to free email providers. There are three categories of email hosting options and each has a unique capability and business benefits.
The first option is the webmail services, which use the web interface. It is the least expensive among the three options, and it is very quick to set up. It includes support for mobile devices and collaboration tools. The professional-grade webmail is great for smaller businesses, especially for those who have a tight budget but wants to start immediately.
The second option is services that are based on Microsoft Exchange. Microsoft Exchange is widely used by most businesses today with its feature-rich email platform for enterprise environments. The provider of the hosted environment maintains and manages the Exchange servers, so you don’t have to worry handling the servers.
The last option is the hybrid hosted email services that allow you to provide a combination of hosted exchange and webmail accounts. This is ideal for businesses that are cost-conscious but needs Microsoft exchange and some webmail account capabilities.
Hosted or Dedicated Exchange
If you decide to use a hosted Microsoft Exchange, the next thing you need to consider is whether to use a hosted or dedicated Exchange solution.
The configuration of the hosted Exchange solution is multi-tenant, and it uses a physical server that is shared between the users. It is less expensive and easy to use. On the other hand, the configuration of the dedicated exchange solution is single tenant, and it uses a dedicated physical server. Its exchange environments can be customized, and the hosting provider maintains the server, but this type of solution is expensive.
Features Offered by Email Management Providers
The software provider should offer different hosting solution depending on what fits your business. Ask the provider regarding its archiving solutions. Let them show you a walk-through of their policies, procedures, and capabilities. They should offer spam and malware protection to ensure the security of your emails.
The email migration is a complicated and a risky process. Any errors during the migration may cause data loss such as contacts and messages that contain sensitive information. The top email management software with the right migration process reduces these risks during the migration process.
Reviews on email management software from users can help you check the history and track the record of different email management providers. Choose a provider that has a good reputation and has scalable offerings. It must have the ability to adjust and support the growth of your business. Another thing to consider is their customer and technical support options. They should guarantee a quick response time with no limits to the phone support. A provider that offers a quick and plenty of support options is desirable by business.
Compare the Email Providers
Make a comparison of the software in order to help you decide on which email management tool works best for you. The most vital key points to consider are the general features of the software, the support availability, how it can protect your messages, and its up time guarantee.
Carefully go through each of the software. You can take advantage of a free trial, but take note that its capabilities are only limited. You may want to consider getting a professional hosted email provider, so you can use its business class capabilities and ensure that you can get your expected return on investment (ROI).
To ensure a smooth migration process, the service provider should have the right tools, expert support, and technical resources. Training should be done prior to migration in order for the KIT team to effectively and efficiently use the software. The employees should be comfortable in using the software, so they make the most out of it. The end users should also be trained on the new capabilities and tools of the software.
Set an exact timetable of when the new hosted email will be provisioned and migrated. There are some factors that you need to look into when setting a realistic timetable such as the migration’s complexity and the integration of a third party server.
According to Rackspace Support Network, there is no room for error in provisioning, maintaining, and managing the email systems. Any issues with the email systems can cost a lot of time and money, especially to the businesses that have limited resources.
You can follow this guideline when choosing the email management tool for your business. Take time to read on reviews of email management tools in order to gather the strengths and weaknesses of every software. The reviews are also very helpful in determining the challenges of email management that business encounter and how they overcome it. Gather some outputs from your employees on which software can best help them with their job. Evaluate the company’s needs and the software requirements with your IT team to make sure that you are investing your money on the right software provider.
Do you have anything to add on these steps? You can check the CrowdReviews.com for a list of email management software that is available in the market.
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