No matter if you run Exchange Server in-house or outsource to a third party, protecting your messaging environment is paramount. Exchange Hosted services do that and ensure IT cost reduction and minimize the overall complexity. Exchange Hosted Services are comprised of four services - email filtering, hosted archive, email continuity and email encryption. These services are better explained in my previous blog post.
How can I buy these services?
As usual, this service is licensed through Microsoft authorized service providers and resellers. But the Service Level Agreement is between Microsoft & Customer. If you have difficulties getting the right contact in your country, contact MS here
How much does it cost?
Prices could vary from country to country. Below is a given price estimate from Microsoft. Pricing model is per user, per month subscription basis. Minimum purchase is 5 users.
- Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering = USD $1.75
- Microsoft Exchange Hosted Encryption = USD $1.90
- Microsoft Exchange Hosted Continuity = USD $2.50
- Microsoft Exchange Hosted Archive = USD $8.60 (Hosted Continuity service is included with Hosted Archive service. So do not buy both services, buy only one
How about the Licensing of Exchange Hosted Services?
Exchange Hosted Services are available through all the following Microsoft Licensing Programs except Microsoft Open License Program (MOLP).
Enterprise Agreement, Enterprise Agreement Subscription, Select, Select Academic, Select U.S. Government, Open Value, Open Value Subscription, Campus (Higher Education),School (K-12) and Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA). More info about licensing is here.
How to activate it?
Select one of the above licensing programs (whichever is appropriate for your organization). Place an order through a Microsoft partner. if an existing agreement is already in place, just buy straight away.
Upon order confirmation from the MS partner, Microsoft will notify the authorized person (the one who signed the contract) in your organization with instructions to submit the form for service activation. This is done using Microsoft's online portal which provisions the services.
If all the information is correct, Microsoft will contact the Technical person within five business days to provision and activate the service.
The benefits of Exchange Hosted Services in a glance:
- More than one antispam & antivirus engine.
- Threats are eliminated before they enter your organization's network.
- Able to back up systems for emergency disaster recovery purpose.
- Compliance policies are enforced by performing email retention for a certain period of time.
- Eliminate up-front capital investment, since everything is hosted on Microsoft Datacenters.
- Free up Exchange administrators from doing these tasks and make use of them for other tasks.
Let me conclude this post with a quote from Osterman Research: