These days, few companies could function properly without email communication. Fortunately for us business-folk, it’s only becoming easier to have a reliable, inexpensive, stress-free Microsoft Exchange email solution delivered directly to an Internet near you.
With so many options for hosted Exchange solutions out there, we at Optimal often get questions about how much this solution will cost per mailbox per month (and how much it absolutely shouldn’t cost). It’s an important question to ask—sometimes, it’s difficult to determine when you’re getting a deal, and when you’re getting a poor product.
Below we’ll work through the price range for hosted Exchange mailboxes, and where the disparity comes from.
Who hosts Exchange mailboxes?
Okay, not really. But compared to ten years ago—when it was a huge feat to have a Microsoft server and rent out mailboxes to other people—hosted Exchange is now a mainstream service that you can find pretty much everywhere.
Not only has this service become a commodity, but with the advent of seemingly free services like Google’s Gmail platform, the competition surrounding hosted Exchange (and hosted email in general) is fierce.
This change in the marketplace has had a huge effect on the price of the service, along with how it’s being packaged. So, what are you likely to see from providers?
What’s the average price of a hosted Exchange mailbox?
Depending upon your provider, hosted Exchange will run you anywhere from $0-30 per mailbox per month, with the midpoint being roughly $12 per mailbox per month.
The high end of the scale is where you’ll find the trail-blazers, the IT companies who went the extra mile a decade ago to resell these mailboxes in a time when the hardware and software was incredibly expensive. In some cases, these folks will also charge an additional fee for email data storage. At the time, these prices were completely reasonable; today, they are remnants of times past.
In the middle we tend to have providers who came into the fold when competition was heating up, and when the technology itself had become much easier to deliver. Generally, these mailboxes are sold as a bundle—for a flat rate you’ll get the mailbox, unlimited data storage, and perhaps even unlimited technical support.
At the low end of the scale you’ll find Microsoft’s response to Gmail: Office 365. For nonprofit organizations, this solution can be purchased directly from Microsoft at low to no cost at all. Going this route works well for those really hurting for funds, but don’t expect to see much in the way of support here.
Ultimately, while you won’t see a huge amount of variation in hosted Exchange offerings, always take time to make sure you’re placing your email communication in the hands of someone you can rely on.
Just think: how long could you go without it?