Why would you want to manage your own email?!!

Microsoft has been doing some of their most prolific promoting in recent history about the fact that they are “all in” for the cloud.

Why BPOS is making me feel smug.

They are offering services like Azure to provide application hosting platforms and BPOS to provide email systems and even SharePoint online!

This excites me no end as it’s no secret that over the past few years Mimecast has been pushing the value that “driving tin” into the cloud offers customers. Fewer servers to manage, fewer specialized non-core skills needed internally and less time spent on the never ending parade of vendors and systems integrators eating up your valuable time while they try to flog their wares.

So what does this have to do with Microsoft and Mimecast? When the largest software company in the world manages to adjust its strategy to begin delivering services in a way that we have been recommending for a very long time, it brings with it a certain amount of pride, personal validation, for me at least.

What does it mean for customers?

It means it's no longer just hype- it's real and is definitely a firm fixture for not only our future, but the present too.

So what exactly is it that is causing us to consider these things, especially in light of the fact that so many people I speak to are worried about the impacts that cloud computing could have on their jobs?

There are a few simple facts.

  1. Email is seldom a directly revenue generating service for organizations. While email is a critical application, and one that is tightly woven into many business processes, it is seldom the mail system that is responsible for driving growth, unless the organization's business is providing email services.
  2. Email is a relatively standard and doesn't differentiate you against your competition. Let’s face it, managing email systems seems pretty mundane to most tech folk, a system that can be run with eyes closed. The problem with this perception is that while the core mail server itself may be fairly standard, the conditions that evolve around email systems are far from it and fluctuate regularly making this seemingly mundane system a real nightmare to get right and keep on getting right.
  3. Email can be used anywhere. Users should be able to access it from the office, home, on the road from a variety of different devices, operating systems and mail clients.

In these changing times- we need to ask ourselves questions:

First off, should we dedicate so much of our staff’s time to a system that does not generate revenue? Surely the answer is no, we shouldn't have to, remembering there is not a one size-fits-all policy for email. We cannot however ignore the fact that we have to run email systems and that they have to run well.

Secondly, does working on email systems interest the sysadmins and add value to the organisation? Retaining talent is hard in IT and in some sectors email systems are considered "boring" and "don't move the needle". So there could be a temptation to delegate email management to more junior staff who end up scared of this complicated beast where any slip means an unhappy incident that is almost always visible to every single user.

Thirdly, do your users don’t care where their email systems reside? Surely most only care that they are able to connect to those systems when they want to, and it works, Data Sovereignty aside.

So, one of the new found choices in an IT admin's arsenal of tools for messaging is Microsoft BPOS. There is not a one size fits all policy when it comes to what you do with messaging, but if you don't want to run your Exchange Servers in house- BPOS might be top of the list. Less infrastructure work for you to do, so you can focus on adding more value to your organization. A winner all round.

And now with Mimecast support for BPOS- you can get extended availability and a third party Cloud archive. Welcome to the Cloud everybody!