What is Hosted Exchange?

Microsoft Hosted Exchange, at its simplest, is a cloud based definition:
This is just a fancy way of saying 'It's on the Internet'. Much like Hotmail or Gmail are only accessible online. You could consider these email services to be "cloud based" as well.
version of Microsoft Exchange that provides an enterprise grade email and colloboration solution for a monthly fee. It can be a great option for small to mid sized businesses that might not be able to afford the upfront expense of purchasing and installing an on-premise Exchange server.

So what excatly can hosted exchange do for you that your current email can't? Probably a lot of you're using a free email service like Gmail, Hotmail, or email provided by your ISP or through your web hosting account. Even very small businesses (2-5 employees) can benefit from the colloboration features of hosted exchange.

When you sign up for a hosted exchange account, you can purchase anywhere from 1 to 1000's of mailboxes depending on you needs. Each mailbox has an individual email addresses like you@yourdomain.com, boss@yourdomain.com and so on. Each mailbox has their own calendar, contacts, task list, notes and other features. Many of these can be shared with other users in your organization.

You can access your mailbox in a variety of ways including using Microsoft Outlook software, your smart phone, or using the Outlook Web App (basically, a website you can access from any web browser).

Everything in your mailbox is synchronized in real-time, using push technology. This means that if you access you Exchange mailbox from multiple devices, any change to email, calendar, contacts, tasks and notes is automatically synchronized across all your devices. This includes compatible mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Want more details? Here are some of the features that hosted exchange has that othe free email solutions may not have:

  • Full push delivery of all Exchange data using Microsoft ActiveSync.
  • Advanced functionality, including synchronized email, calendar, contacts, tasks and notes.
  • Full collaboration, at group and individual user level for all resources.
  • Shared resources such as calendars and public folders, permissions can be set at group and resource level.
  • Special mailboxes for managing business resources such as meeting rooms, overhead projectors etc.
  • Secure and robust email archiving, compliant with most international business standards.
  • Full anti-virus and email spam filtering implemented at server level.
  • Server side rules and conditions, active 24/7 regardless of whether a mail client is connected.
  • A connection from Microsoft Outlook to your hosted exchagnge mailbox can be made from any internet connection using Outlook Anywhere.
  • Access to enterprise level web mail, using Outlook Web Access. A fully featured web based client that reproduces the features of Microsoft Outlook.
  • Integration with Microsoft Office and many other Microsoft products.
  • Full integration with Microsoft SharePoint hosting.
  • Advanced calendar scheduling, with meeting requests, reminders and automatic acceptance/declining.

Having access to a hosrted Microsoft Exchange mailbox provides far more than simply email. Hosted exchange, especially when combined with Outlook, creates a truly synergistic and powerful personal information center suitable for managing all messaging, calendar entries, tasks, notes and contacts.

There is a reason why many large corporations choose Microsoft Exchange as their email and collaboration platform, it is simply the best available. Hosted Exchange providers bring enterprise level email to small businesses and individuals at an affordable price.