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Office 365 all the way. I have implemented Office 365 for about 15 small businesses and I love it and so do they. If your business uses Microsoft Office programs, Office 365 is a must. For example, Google Apps only syncs with Outlook via a plugin that can give you all sorts of problems. Outlook is designed for Exchange anyways. It's cheap too! If all you're going after is Exchange, it's only $4 per user. If your business won't have more than 25 users, you can get Exchange and MS Office desktop apps for only $12.50 per user. More than 25 users? then it's $15 per user.

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You can see it as a good thing in some light in that small business don't need to higher an IT person/company to manage the server. 90% of the time it just works but there are times you'll need updates/reconfigs and all that which can become pretty expensive. Most of the time small business just need to be up and running with the least amount of effort.

 

Then once you start adding UPGRADES it becomes cost prohibitive  I retired some SBS 2003 R2 servers only last year and move people off to the Office 365 and they love it better for HTML email and also better Outlook support.With the upgrade i just saved the data and install Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and integrated Office 365 into the domain and off they went.

 

That's true, but doesn't that company still pay you for services relating to their network, server, email? My gut tells me people with hosted exchange are still paying an IT consultants, and the only thing they are cutting out is the initial exchange purchase.

 

There are a lot of different view points, and no single one will work for every business, but I always will advocate ownership and self-empowerment over trusting the company that wants your money to tell you the way to run your business. Especially since everything is Microsoft's cloud is subject to whatever is going on with NSA spying.

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Office 365 all the way. I have implemented Office 365 for about 15 small businesses and I love it and so do they. If your business uses Microsoft Office programs, Office 365 is a must. For example, Google Apps only syncs with Outlook via a plugin that can give you all sorts of problems. Outlook is designed for Exchange anyways. It's cheap too! If all you're going after is Exchange, it's only $4 per user. If your business won't have more than 25 users, you can get Exchange and MS Office desktop apps for only $12.50 per user. More than 25 users? then it's $15 per user.

 

So, you are telling me $3750 for exchange services PER YEAR for 25 employees is somehow better that what was being offered in Small Business Server 2011 Standard (75 users) which is $739.99 on Amazon right now? You could easily put this on server hardware for <$3000. Let's say it even costs you another $3000 to an IT consultant to setup. In 5 years time you are going to pay MS $18750 for exchange services, your server will only have cost you ~$7000. You can't argue paying for support would cost more with your own server, because you still need an IT consultant for other issues and even to possibly maintain a small file server (not to mention paying one for the initial setup or migration to hosted exchange services) if you have hosted exchange services. I doubt it would cost $11000 more in IT consulting services and office desktop applications for 25 users.

 

Office 365 is all about a steady stream of revenue for Microsoft, not about giving small businesses what they need and saving them money.

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Working for a fairly small company myself, who went from using Google Apps to using Office 365 with Exchange I can honestly say the two are vastly different. Exchange / Office 365 are in a totally different league to Google Apps.

 

If you use Exchange that integrates with Outlook perfectly, it will sync everything, including Email, Contacts, Calendar, Email rules and so on. You can easily access shared inbox?s e.g. info@companyname.com. See other peoples calendars, and so many other small things that just make you feel its so much more professional offering.

 

For ?10 a month per user you get a licence for that user to use office on up to 5x devices, so their work PC, Laptop and even the home PC. 50gb Exchange Inbox, 25gb of storage on Sky Drive (One Drive now) access to Sharepoint, Lync and so on.

 

Basically the complete Microsoft package. It also integrates with your existing server running Server 2012 (or 2012 R2) really nicely.

I personally can?t rate it highly enough, especially for a small business. The upfront costs are small and you have the advantage of never having any massive upgrade costs, when the next version of office is out you can upgrade at no additional cost.

 

See the different plans here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/business/compare-office-365-for-business-plans-FX102918419.aspx

 

By all means do your own research, however having used them both I recommend Office 365 / Exchange all the way.

 

I wish my company would go this route... I think maintaining our own server infrastructure is pricey.  This is pennies compared to what we are currently doing (IMO).  I don't work in IT though, so I can't say I fully understand all the ins and outs.  My work is especially sensitive of keeping everything "internal", so there may not be a proper way to use cloud for us unless management changes their mind on that.

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So, you are telling me $3750 for exchange services PER YEAR for 25 employees is somehow better that what was being offered in Small Business Server 2011 Standard (75 users) which is $739.99 on Amazon right now? You could easily put this on server hardware for <$3000. Let's say it even costs you another $3000 to an IT consultant to setup. In 5 years time you are going to pay MS $18750 for exchange services, your server will only have cost you ~$7000. You can't argue paying for support would cost more with your own server, because you still need an IT consultant for other issues and even to possibly maintain a small file server (not to mention paying one for the initial setup or migration to hosted exchange services) if you have hosted exchange services. I doubt it would cost $11000 more in IT consulting services and office desktop applications for 25 users.

 

Office 365 is all about a steady stream of revenue for Microsoft, not about giving small businesses what they need and saving them money.

 

There is this assumption in your post that "you already have to have an IT guy" and that "IT guy" is twiddling his thumbs mostly.  I'm not convinced that looking at expenses alone justifies your reasoning.  Our IT is worked to death.  I can think of a couple projects I want IT to do and if this frees their time I'd be all for it.

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So, you are telling me $3750 for exchange services PER YEAR for 25 employees is somehow better that what was being offered in Small Business Server 2011 Standard (75 users) which is $739.99 on Amazon right now? You could easily put this on server hardware for <$3000. Let's say it even costs you another $3000 to an IT consultant to setup. In 5 years time you are going to pay MS $18750 for exchange services, your server will only have cost you ~$7000. You can't argue paying for support would cost more with your own server, because you still need an IT consultant for other issues and even to possibly maintain a small file server (not to mention paying one for the initial setup or migration to hosted exchange services) if you have hosted exchange services. I doubt it would cost $11000 more in IT consulting services and office desktop applications for 25 users.

 

Office 365 is all about a steady stream of revenue for Microsoft, not about giving small businesses what they need and saving them money.

 

If all you need are Exchange services, then its only $1200 per year for 25 employees. Small businesses would rather pay this than having full time IT staff. They also won't have to pay for any support on their servers or have to worry about downtime as much. When the next version of Exchange server comes out, you'll automatically be upgraded. Over a 5 year span, you're paying $6000. Compare that to 5 years of Exchange licensing (25cals), server hardware and support, backups etc. Most small businesses under 25 employees don't have their own IT staff anyways, so this is a reasonable option.

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So, you are telling me $3750 for exchange services PER YEAR for 25 employees is somehow better that what was being offered in Small Business Server 2011 Standard (75 users) which is $739.99 on Amazon right now? You could easily put this on server hardware for <$3000. Let's say it even costs you another $3000 to an IT consultant to setup. In 5 years time you are going to pay MS $18750 for exchange services, your server will only have cost you ~$7000. You can't argue paying for support would cost more with your own server, because you still need an IT consultant for other issues and even to possibly maintain a small file server (not to mention paying one for the initial setup or migration to hosted exchange services) if you have hosted exchange services. I doubt it would cost $11000 more in IT consulting services and office desktop applications for 25 users.

 

Office 365 is all about a steady stream of revenue for Microsoft, not about giving small businesses what they need and saving them money.

 For 25 users office 365 without full office is 1500 a year .

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 For 25 users office 365 without full office is 1500 a year .

 

OK, I agree. You should use Office 365 if you can do all you need to do for work inside of a browser.

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OK, I agree. You should use Office 365 if you can do all you need to do for work inside of a browser.

 

It's actually as low as $1200/year/25users. If the company has existing MS Office Software (2007+) It will work with their O365 Exchange Online plan. If they need to purchase Office software for 25 users, that gets expensive any way you look at it.

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WTF this has gone on some wild tangent!

 

Office 365, exchange only (no lync/sharepoint etc) is ?2.60 per user per month, with full outlook and mobile sync, it IS FULL EXCHANGE 2013. That's ?780 per year for 25 users.

 

Also you missing the whole having to purchase a SAN SSL cert every year if hosted on site (or deal with trust issues on mobiles and outlook clients unless they are domain members or have your own CA cert installed, a pain in the ass). That's going to set you back nearly ?200 a year.

 

Then the internet connection, all that SMTP traffic hitting you ADSL connection with absolutely zero control over what gets to your gateway until your local server either accepts or denies it.

 

Then the power used up, and the additional costs of support.

 

There is a very good reason SBS was dropped, a lot of people bought it and thought it was plug and play, that they could just run it like they do a desktop OS (in terms of simplicity not actually use it as a desktop) and a lot of people simply got into a right big mess, it was a product that said 'this is simple' when its the absolute opposite of simple.

 

Simple is leaving your exchange system to be managed by the people that make it, leave it hosted on a redundant platform that is not going to lose your stuff and is going to be absolutely more reliable than your office setup, its having upgrades as they are released and not have to worry about downtime, its having the latest version all the time and not having to swallow huge costs to do so.

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Also, I do provide IT support services and what I said above hurts my bottom line, but its still true and I cant cling onto a dying format forever, I have to change with the times. There is no way I can honestly say to a small client that they are best of with onsite exchange unless they absolutely 100% need ot for a specific reason (privacy, parent company policy etc.).

 

The real TCO calculations simply do not support advising them of this, and they also benefit from a better internet connection (this is arguable, but Ive seen plenty of customers connections get swamped as people are sending them attachments of 20MB+ to multiple internal recipients - the point is you have no control over what hits your exchange box, sure you can deny it but its already choking your pipe).

 

Having such a busy endpoint based in the cloud makes sense in multiple ways, having exchange sitting in a little office eon the end of an ADSL connection doesn't make sense in so many ways.

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If all you need are Exchange services, then its only $1200 per year for 25 employees. Small businesses would rather pay this than having full time IT staff. They also won't have to pay for any support on their servers or have to worry about downtime as much. When the next version of Exchange server comes out, you'll automatically be upgraded. Over a 5 year span, you're paying $6000. Compare that to 5 years of Exchange licensing (25cals), server hardware and support, backups etc. Most small businesses under 25 employees don't have their own IT staff anyways, so this is a reasonable option.

 

This is exactly the position my company is in. We've got around 20 employees, nobody is a full time IT guy and while it might be cheaper in terms of licensing and hardware costs to buy exchange, it's not going to be as fault-free. We're happy to pay per-user-per-month if it means less support issues and a more stable platform.

 

If the company was to expand further, then it'd be different but right now Office 365 looks to be ideal for us. I'll also look at Exchange online, that might just be plenty of us as well.

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