By Manny Hondroulis
My company’s network administrator recently upgraded our
server to replace six year-old equipment and take advantage of new technology.
Our server came pre-loaded with Microsoft Exchange and our personal computers
were upgraded to Outlook 2010 to ensure compatibility. If you are an avid
email user, you are most likely familiar with Outlook. For those who aren’t,
Outlook is a component of Microsoft Office and is a user-friendly application
that allows you to write, check and manage email, all the while integrating
almost seamlessly with other Office applications.
I’ve been using Outlook for years and wouldn’t compose an email without
it. I use it to check personal and professional email accounts. Prior
to the server upgrade, my work email was managed through our website provider,
GoDaddy. Essentially mail sent to any company employee was stored on GoDaddy’s
servers until we checked our email through Outlook, at which time email
is grabbed from GoDaddy’s server and displayed on our computers. This
type of email arrangement is called POP and there are pros and cons to
it. On pro is that GoDaddy is responsible for making sure that the equipment
used to manage your email works. Among the cons, it is very difficult
to sync all of your email (inbox, outbox, sent items, deleted items, personal
folders, etc) between your computers, tablets and smartphones. In a time
when email management and online data organization are key, having all
of your devices synced together can mean the difference between high and
Microsoft Exchange is the world standard for organizations that want to
host their email. Having come with our new server, we migrated our email
from GoDaddy/POP to Exchange for numerous reasons. First, our network
administrator wanted to manage our email internally for security purposes.
Too often incoming viruses sent via email would put our network at risk
(just to be clear, this is not GoDaddy’s fault nor is GoDaddy responsible
for these viruses). Now that we host our email, it is easier for our network
administrator to eliminate or quarantine any potential threats, thereby
increasing the security and reliability of our network.
But what was important to me as a user is that Exchange provides great
flexibility in how email is stored, managed and delivered. The most noticeable
benefit is that email is “pushed” to your device, whether a computer,
tablet or smartphone. When checking POP email through Outlook, email needs
to be “pulled” from GoDaddy’s servers, either manually or during a scheduled
check, leading to a delay in the receipt of email. Exchange email is delivered
to my inbox instantly once the sender hits the send button. When an email
is sent, my laptop, iPad and iPhone receive the email at the same time.
The most significant benefit is how email is synced between different
devices. Any change I make in Outlook can be viewed across my computer,
tablet or phone. Here is an example—I send an email from my laptop to
John Smith in the morning at the office. Later that day, while at home,
and while my laptop is sitting on my desk at the office, I can view that
same sent email from my iPad or iPhone because everything I do is automatically
synced across all three devices. The same is true for my calendar. If
a colleague schedules a meeting with me by sending an Outlook meeting
invitation, the meeting is automatically placed on my iPhone and iPad
calendars—no double or triple entry required. Another bonus feature is
that when I add a contact in one device, the same contact appears in the
other two. Don’t get me wrong, this functionality can be achieved through
POP email hosting but third party applications and a bit of manual entry
may be required. The use of Microsoft Exchange makes it easy.
Given the nature of my job, I often write mass emails to multiple customers.
Many POP providers limit the number of emails that you can send in a day.
After using Exchange for almost two months, I regret that we weren’t using
it earlier. Having a handle on the correspondence that we send and receive,
knowing where we need to be at a given time on a given day, and having
accurate contact information on our business associates makes us more
Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Performance Distribution
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