The email hosting space is expanding by the day as more businesses realize the many benefits associated with cloud-based solutions. Mountain View, Calif.-based Intermedia (News - Alert) is touted as an email hosting provider that was first to market with Hosted Exchange back in 2000, and now almost 13 years later, is once again the first to market with its combination of Microsoft Exchange 2013, Sharepoint 2013 and Lync 2013.
With its full service cloud platform built specifically with small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) in mind, the company makes it possible for IT departments within these firms to take a hands-off approached to IT.
I recently had the chance to speak with Luis Curet, vice president of Direct Sales at Intermedia, all about the company’s rapidly growing portfolio and the value it brings to organizations, current trends in the space, where he sees the industry headed in the not-so-distant future, and how natural disasters like hurricane Sandy can negatively affect communication systems.
According to Curet, “Hosted Exchange by itself provides companies with the ability to utilize these applications that have been around for a long time but eliminate the cost and overhead associated with hosting them internally. When you take a look at our offer and the fact that we can spin up any of these offerings on a dime to organizations that need the help, that is really a testament to what cloud computing is all about – to be able to turn on and turn off the services- something that was not found in the industry with traditional technology.”
Some of the biggest benefits that companies can see when implementing an email hosting solution include: reducing upfront capital that is usually needed to get any of these solutions up and running; ongoing support ranging from putting in patches to upgrading to the newest version available; and ultimately allowing any organization, whether it is a not-profit or private company, to focus on what they do best, while Intermedia will take care of all the backend work, eliminating that headache for organizations.
Earlier this week, the California firm revealed that it would be offering one month of free hosted Exchange, hosted PBX (News - Alert) and conference bridges to any organization impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Because it has been around for quite some time, it has been through lots of natural disasters, and has seen firsthand that oftentimes communication breaks down during these storms.
“That is clearly what happened with Sandy and one advantage we provide is a very strong infrastructure. Although we can’t guarantee that there wouldn’t be an outage, the likelihood is significantly less than a company using traditional means. For us, it is something we take very seriously and we make sure that we have generators and all back up mechanisms in place to decrease the likelihood of an outage,” Curet added.
After watching the news and hearing stories about the countless storm victims, the email hosting provider knew that it needed to take action due to the fact that a lot of people couldn’t get cell phone coverage or Internet access, as well as lost access to vital applications. Luckily, Intermedia knew that by offering its service for free for a month, it could help those affected.
He commented, “Our technology allows us to bring this system up instantaneously to an organization. The large customer base impacted by hurricane Sandy can quickly and easily use these applications to help them.”
The most prevalent trends currently occurring within this industry are organizations increasingly looking to move email outside of the organization and are searching for the ideal hosted provider. Privacy is also becoming increasingly important, causing businesses to require an email hosting solution that can encrypt confidential messages and ensure information isn’t being leaked.
The increase of mobility is leading people to want access to their email not just on their computer, but on their smartphone and tablets as well.
Looking ahead, this vertical will continue to expand as more people migrate from in-house to hosted solutions, and the breadth of applications will be enhanced beyond just traditional email to many things including collaboration tools. Thus, the marketplace will grow over the years in terms of what is provided to the end user.
Edited by Braden Becker