A 2012 survey by the McKinsey Global Institute found more than a quarter of the average worker’s day is spent answering and reading email. So as you can imagine, email hosting is of critical importance. If your email is down, even for just an hour, it could negatively impact your business. And if you have enough employees to warrant shared calendars and collaboration tools, you’ll want an option that provides these features — as well as plenty of storage. Today, there are many options when it comes to email hosting for small business.  Gmail (Google Apps) and Microsoft Office 365 are two of the most popular. Here’s why:

Microsoft 365

What You Get:

Office 365 plans include email and other services like secure 1TB File Cloud Storage per user, full Office Application Suite which can be installed on  up to (5) devices, IM and  UNLIMITED conferencing, calendars, contacts, Microsoft Office Online and other features, depending on the plan you get.

Pros:

You don’t have to use a 3rd party for hosting.  Office 365 is backed and supported entirely by Microsoft.  That means you don’t need to wait for 3rd party testing before updates are released and you receive expert support from Microsoft.

Microsoft 365 also has more enterprise features than some of the other options listed here — including an array of security settings that can be customized for regulated industries. You also have the ability to customize what data is stored in the cloud vs. your network.

Cons:

Microsoft 365 is pricier than Google Apps but it’s also more customizable. However, if something goes wrong, getting the answers you need can be difficult, unless you’re working with a local, certified Office 365 Cloud Services Partner (CSP) like UDT for direct support.  UDT’s 24×7 Network Operations Center (NOC) will support you more efficiently by bridging the gap around timely remote/onsite service.  In addition, you will be assigned a Virtual Client Advisor (VCA) at no additional charge.

Google Apps

What You Get:

Google App plans include business email, video and voice calls, integrated calendars, online text documents, spreadsheets and slides, security and admin controls, as well as 24/7 phone and email support.

Pros:

Getting started with Google is easy. There is nothing to download and it’s easy to administer and manage.  Your email is integrated with the rest of the Google Apps family and the cost per user is comparably lower.  There are also a number of 3rd party apps that you can add to take advantage of additional features.

Cons:

Google is 100% in the cloud. So if your connection is down you won’t be able to access your email or your documents (if Google Apps is your chosen workspace).  And because Google is 100% cloud-based, and for some customers this could raise the issue of security, even though Google says that unauthorized parties cannot access your data.

Other Options

In addition to Office 365 and Gmail, there are a number of email options that are available from 3rd party email hosting companies, like Rackspace.  These companies provide customized solutions for businesses based on their specific needs. They also test updates and provide support. While these additional services come at a price, they can also save you valuable time, helping you concentrate more fully on your business.

When it comes to email hosting for small business, there are a lot of options out there. UDT can help ensure that the choices you make are compatible with your company’s IT infrastructure and business goals.  At UDT, we don’t just do email, we do the whole package — so feel free to contact us with any questions you have. We’re here to help.