An introduction to Cloud Email

vanillaoliveInternet and Web Development

Nov 3, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)

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The content below is for you to distribute as you see fit. We recommend either
including parts of it in an email blast or publish it as a blog post. Feel free to re
-
word
however you see fit. This should be seen as a starting point with lots of relevant
facts
for you to use to show why cloud email is the future.



An introduction to Cloud Email

What is Cloud Email?

Quite simply, instead of running your email from an individual server located in your office
(Such as Microsoft Small Business Server), cloud
email is an alternative solution that stores
your email online on a much larger server platform managed by a specialist provider like us.

As a cloud provider we have many clients using the same infrastructure which improves our
economies of scale. This mea
ns we can typically afford much bigger and better facilities than
most small businesses can justify. We employ many redundant servers, redundant storage
systems and operate out of multiple data centres in different UK geographic locations so that
we can ke
ep going in the event of a disaster. As your cloud email provider, we manage the
day
-
to
-
day nitty gritty of maintaining the service and will provide a Service Level Agreement
(SLA) as a guarantee.


Tell me more about the benefits?

Aside from being able to

leverage the investment made by us as your cloud provider, you
could be getting a much more r
obust

service backed up with Service Level Guarantees with
additional

features and possibly at less cost (dependent on your organisational needs) than
using a se
rver in your office. Not only that, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing your
important data is stored securely and is being regularly backed up by us. Considering a move
to the cloud is something that should not be done lightly. Organisations, particular
ly those in
rural areas, need to consider carefully the implications of moving to the cloud.


What
are some of the
general
features of

Cloud Email
?

Some of the things most
good
services will allow:



R
ead and reply to emails, update you
r calendar, maintain
an address list of all
contacts and keep track of your tasks
;



K
eep your

your emails, calendar, contacts and task lists in sync across all devices


at the office, at home or on the move.

For example, if you
were to
read or delete an
email on your iPhone

or

Smart Phone
, your
office PC
would

update immediately
and
you’d see the updates when logging in via Webmail
too
;



C
reate
an address list of customers and suppliers that all staff can access and
update.



I
nvite co
-
workers to attend a meeting
-

the invitation

would

aut
omatically appear

for
them to accept or decline


a calendar entry
would be

automatically added to their
calendar

if they accept;



Access the service and take advantage of all features from webmail and any internet
connected device (mobiles, PC, M
ac).


Who are the most popular cloud email providers?

Google

is a service originally designed for the public to compete with Hotmail and Yahoo


it’s a consumer service which Google are working to turn into a business solution. Some other
considerations are:



Functionality


Gmail is web based only and is not access
ible ‘offline’


you must be
connected to the Internet at all times to read your email (although they are developing
an Outlook integrator). The web interface, although sophisticated in some areas,
does have limitations and many of the features are tricky
to find.



Privacy
-

Google has the ability to scan all emails so that they can place context
sensitive advertising on the web interface and there are various well documented
privacy concerns which in some cases remain unresolved. Further, Google have in
the

past inadvertently made public a number of users’ supposedly secure documents
without the users’ knowledge
1
.



There are many documented outages.
-

Google quote: “Google Apps is powered by
the same infrastructure that services hundreds of millions of users each day”.
However if their consumer side goes down, it affects all business customers as well.



Support
-

Goo
gle’s support policy
states that customers must use “
all commercially
reasonable efforts to resolve support issues before escalating them to Google” and
Google retain control over the priority of the incident.



Legal issues


your data can be stored in any

of Google’s worldwide data centres
and as Google is an American company, your data could be handed over to the US
state without your knowledge. This may present you with data protection compliance
issues. Additionally, the business you are in may insist (
e.g. Financial Services) that
your email and data is held in UK Data Centres.


Microsoft Office365

is Microsoft’s latest online solution which follows their previous BPOS
hosted solution. Microsoft has set out to solve many of the problems which beset thei
r BPOS
service which experienced a great many unexpected and planned incidents which affected
customers
2
. There are reports of some customers loosing service for days on end. The same
legal issues Gmail is open to also apply to Office365. Further, the rea
der should consider the
following:



Office365 is based on Exchange Server 2010 which no longer includes Single
Instance Storage


this means that you’ll use up your storage space quickly.



Reliance on Outlook


Office365 integrates best with Outlook and the
Webmail does
not include all features of the solution for all browsers. With the ever growing
popularity of Apple Macs and other mobile devices it is important to be able to access
all features no matter the platform.


Can you recommend a solution?

Our mos
t popular Cloud email solution is VMware Zimbra. VMware is the one of the world

s
largest virtual server software company
’s
, and acquired
Australian based company Zimbra,

last year to add to its growing portfolio of products and services.
Our
VMware Zimbr
a
solution offers;



Trusted Pre
-
Sales advice to help you understand and select cloud services.



Competitive pricing.



Data
hosted in secure
UK
data centres.



Comprehensive, business focused features which are easy to use.




1

http://techcrunch.com/2009/03/07/huge
-
goo
gle
-
privacy
-
blunder
-
shares
-
your
-
docs
-
without
-
permission/


2

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/23/bpos_outage/



Business only service based on VMware
software


used by
100
+ million users
worldwide.



Responsive support provided by experts.


Why choose us as your
Cloud

provider?

We have
a track record of p
roviding a reliable service and understand

the needs of
organisations
like yours
.

Unlike some online providers you will have telephone numbers (not
just email addresses or online forms) and be able to speak to our team for assistance and
support. We’ll even come to see you at your premises if it helps!

Some
final
specific points to
con
sider:



H
idden limits and restrictions

-

emails you send or receive may be

blocked

without
notificat
ion


leading to confusion and potentially
lost business

if your emails don’t get
through as expected
.

We do not block emails.



We provide a
dedicated busine
ss service. Large email providers
who supply

anyone
can

be
targets for spammers who use them to send spam messages. This can lead
to the email servers of the large provider being “blacklisted” whi
ch means that
legitimate users’
emails
like yours
can be del
ayed or completely rejected.



Check that your data will be stored in UK based data centres. It is cheaper for the
provider to host in the USA, but connectivity is slower which may impact your use of
the service and if your data is stored outside of the UK
you may be in breach of
regulations or your contracts with customers.

As your trusted provider we will store all
your data here in the UK.