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Whitepaper: Refusal to Grow Could Mean Business Demise

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Whitepaper: Refusal to Grow Could Mean Business Demise

March 31, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

It’s hard to change our habits when it comes to overall processes. We get into a certain way of doing things and even if a new method promises efficiency and improved outcomes, we still resist. The old standard worked before, why shouldn’t it work now? In an age where cloud IT is gaining in importance, this way of thinking will kill the competitive advantage.

A recent Intermedia (News - Alert) post highlighted this very fact in a new whitepaper, pointing to the challenges associated with the old standard. Simply meeting basic user requirements is now difficult if the old standard is still the focus, as today users need mobile freedom, 24/7 email uptime, protection against any number of threats and so much more. Email is moving to the cloud and a new standard is in demand.

Intermedia focused on Office 365 and whether or not it meets the new standard. It’s a common draw for a number of companies with a goal to shift to cloud IT as it maintains much of what users are accustomed to, while also offering expanded capabilities. While it does offer better uptime with a 99.9 percent guarantee, that’s still up to 525 minutes of allowed downtime per year.

The new standard is 99.999 percent uptime, allowing just 6 minutes of unplanned downtime per year – a significant difference. Proven providers will deliver around-the-cloud monitoring and redundant ISPs to ensure this higher level of uptime. Plus, the promise is backed with a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

In the old way of doing things, the storage quotas were strict as adding server storage was a complex and expensive process. Restrictions hurt workflow, important data was sometimes deleted and users became frustrated. Office 365 Business plans do offer 50GB of space for mailboxes and archiving purposes, but heavy users will quickly run out of space. The new standard eliminates quotas so as to meet every need.

Aside from user quota demands, there are a number of industries where data retention is a requirement. Being in compliance was often an expensive endeavor, one that is alleviated with the shift to cloud IT. With Office 365, the potential for retention is expanded significantly, but can still be expensive. Retention is enabled through maintaining a mailbox after an employee leaves, a costly endeavor after five to seven years of payments. The ideal situation is a mailbox archive that doesn’t require you to continue to support an individual mailbox.

Support after business hours is another sore spot. For the on-premise standard, support didn’t exist after hours or on the weekends. Office 365 does have after hours support, but it’s available through a web-based portal or requires an upgrade to an enterprise plan. The new standard demands support at all hours, regardless of plan, type of user or even type of issue. Calls should be quickly answered and problems immediately eliminated.

In an age where cloud IT is becoming the norm, the old way of doing business just isn’t enough. Even the advancements with Office 365 won’t meet the new standard. Users are demanding bigger and better and companies have to be ready to deliver. An inability to do so will limit relevance for the long-term. 

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