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Moving Email to the Cloud, Part 1

By Chris Chesley, Solutions Architect

Many of our clients are choosing to not manage Exchange day to day and not to upgrade it every 3-5 years.  They do this by choosing to have Microsoft host their mail in Office 365.  Is this right for your business?  How do you tie this into your existing infrastructure and still have access to email regardless of the status of your onsite services?

The different plans for Microsoft Office 365 can be confusing. Regardless of what plan you get, the Exchange Online choices boil down to two options.  Exchange Plan 1 offers you 50GB mailboxes per user, ActiveSync, Outlook Web Access, Calendar and all of the other features you are currently getting with an on premises Exchange implementation.  Additionally you also get antivirus and antispam protection.  All of this for 4 dollars a month per user.

Exchange Plan 2 offers the exact same features as plan 1, with the additions of unlimited archiving, legal hod capabilities, compliance support tools and advanced voice support.  This plan is 8 dollars a user per month.

All of the other Office 365 plans that include Exchange are either plan 1 or plan 2.  For example, the E3 plan (Enterprise plan 3) includes Exchange plan 2, SharePoint Plan 2, Lync Plan 2 and Office Professional Plus for 5 devices per user.  You can take any plan and break it down to the component part and fully understand what you're getting.

If you are looking to move email to the cloud and are currently using Exchange, who better to host your Exchange than Microsoft?  Office 365 is an even better choice if you are using, or plan on using, SharePoint or Lync.  All of these technologies are available in the current plans or individually through Office 365.

I've helped many clients make this transition so if you have any questions or if there's any confusion around the Office 365 plans feel free to reach out.

My next blog will be on the 3 different authentication methods in Office 365.

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