Microsoft Exchange has become a household name in the world of enterprise communication. Bundling features such as email, calendar data, and contact management in one streamlined package, it’s a solution businesses have been relying on for years. Microsoft is still doing the Exchange thang, but with so much competition in new messaging products, whether it’s still a go-to solution for business email is debatable.
There’s a new data suggesting that more businesses may be passing over server products like Microsoft Exchange in favor of email clients. Litmus Email Analytics recently listed the following applications as the top 10 mail clients by market share:
1.Apple iPhone – 24 percent
2. Outlook – 13 percent
3. Apple iPad – 12 percent
4. Google Android – 12 percent
5. Gmail – 10 percent
6. Apple Mail – 8 percent
7. Outlook.com – 6 percent
8. Yahoo! Mail – 5 percent
9. Windows Live Mail – 2 percent
10. Windows Mail – 2 percent
The Litmus data is based on 306 million emails that have been opened in inboxes around the world – desktop, webmail, and mobile platforms included. Mail clients such as these typically appeal to consumers based on availability alone, but they have become mighty business-friendly over the years as well. Gmail, for example, allows you to have multiple accounts, which you can toggle across in seamless fashion, offers to-do-lists, a rating system to mark your most important messages, advanced keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to sign out remotely.
In a rather interesting development, Exchange’s reign in the email domain is also being tested by fellow Microsoft products like Office 365. Akin to Office on steroids, Office 365 delivers the goodness of Microsoft’s famous productivity suite from the cloud, and robust email support is included. Beta Exchange actually calls Office 365 as a better alternative to hosted Exchange, citing cost efficiency, tighter security, and a slew of extra features as some of its advantages. To boot, Microsoft claims that 25 percent of enterprises are using Office 365.
But Exchange Still Rocks!
It’s true. Whether hosted or run in-house, Exchange can be a tad bit costly to deploy and incredibly challenging to wrestle with on the management side. But while there are simpler, more cost effective options on the scene, it continues to be one of the best solutions around for business email. And here’s why:
Business users want an email solution that will stand the test of time. No other email app has proven its versatility and ability to continually upgrade and improve like Microsoft Exchange, boasting a total of nine new upgrades and editions since 1996. Plus, it has what is arguably the world’s top technology brand to substantiate its claim of stability.
2. Mobile Support
One reason users appreciate mail clients like Apple Mail and Gmail is because of their mobility. According to Litmus, more people are reading email on mobile devices than they are desktops. However, Exchange offers a seamless messaging experience across multiple devices, making it a valuable weapon for teams that need to communicate on the go. The every so handy ActiveSync feature works on multiple devices, so you can communicate efficiently whether you use an Android, iPhone, or something running Microsoft’s own Windows Phone.
3. Product Familiarity
Many existing Exchange users, the loyal bunch, still recognize the product. Through changes, upgrades, and improvements, it has never morphed into some wildly different platform that became totally unrecognizable from what it once was. Microsoft has a good handle on not fixing a thing that isn’t broken. Yes, they make improvements, but the overall product remains effective and users can transition easily with every change.
4. The Competition is Limited
Gmail is a nifty little email app, but pales in comparison to the power of Microsoft Exchange. Email rights management. Social integration (outside of Google Plus). Shareable calendars. These are a few of several advantages that enables Exchange to obliterate Gmail and other competition on the email front.
5. Meaningful Tech Integrations
In the case of Exchange, its greatest strength may lie in its ability to play nice with so many other useful technologies. Of course there is native integration with Microsoft’s mail client Outlook, with the latest version serving up a streamlined web interface that lets users tap their way through emails. Exchange 2013 also integrates with the popular collaboration tool Microsoft SharePoint as well as Office 365, which is ideal for organizations that want to set up a sort of hybrid system with cloud-based and on-premises email management.
One day, Office 365 and the technology that drives it may eventually gobble up many of Microsoft’s core business products. For now, Exchange continues to be a reliable enterprise messaging beast. Stay on top of the upgrades, take advantage of all the great features, and keep your Exchange Server backed up, and it will service the communication needs of your business for the long haul.
Microsoft Exchange backup solutions aren’t all a like. Have a look at what StorageCraft Granular Recovery for Exchange can do for you.
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