In today’s internet-savvy business world, email is regularly being used as a means of communication. Needless to say, such emails contain vital and extremely important information, which may need to be referred to in future.

While email has become a critical component of the business environment, it brings with it a plethora of new problems, ranging from storage limits, spam and virus filtering to access to old emails for regulatory compliance or eDiscovery requests. Associated with email are other interpersonal communication applications such as calendars, contacts, and tasks. Emails should be properly managed with sophisticated messaging tools. Such tools provide almost instant and efficient access, so that these can be recalled at a moment’s notice.

Exchange Server is the world’s most popular email and messaging solution. “Exchange” is a computer server that centrally stores a business’s email, files, task lists, and calendar and contact information. People in the organization can access all these through Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web Access on any internet-enabled office PC, laptop, or mobile device. Exchange as a messaging tool increases business efficiency and productivity. In-house deployment of an Exchange Server in any company translates to high capital layout in the form of implementation and maintenance costs. Thus most organizations are unable to benefit from its use except enterprise-level businesses with mission critical data. Hosted Exchange has brought this enterprise-class application to the reach of even the smallest of businesses. Hosted Exchange is a solution in which the Exchange Server hardware and software are hosted as a service and made available to any business over the Internet. The solution is fully managed and maintained by a third-party hosted Exchange provider. Like any other hosted services, the cost-effectiveness of a hosted Exchange is due to factors such as no capital expenses of hardware and software costs, no investment in IT staff for monitoring and maintenance, guaranteed uptime for access to data 24 X 7 and redeployment of existing IT staff to more productive areas. With hosted Exchange, all the messaging functionalities are available without any of the usual in-house administrative hassles.

Major features of a hosted Exchange are centrally stored data, mobile access for handhelds and mobile devices like BlackBerry, iPhone, etc., shared Calendars, shared Task Lists, shared Contacts, Outlook Web Access for “Anywhere/Anytime” access to full Outlook mailbox from any web browser – at home or on move, security features, software upgrades and support for virtual environments.

More and more businesses are opting in a big way for hosted Exchange to take advantage of administrative simplicity and peace of mind.