Tips for Small Business Owners on Upgrading from Exchange 2010
Microsoft Exchange 2010 is heading out the door. Learn what the alternatives to this platform are and discover which one will best suit your business’ needs.
Upgrading from Exchange 2010
Does your business rely on Microsoft Exchange Server 2010? If so, you’re in good company. Statistics show that over 25,000 businesses use this platform. Furthermore, Exchange 2010 is particularly popular with small companies with anywhere from ten to 200 employees. Unfortunately, Microsoft has recently announced that it will stop supporting the program in October 2020. This means that, from this date onwards, there will be no new features, security updates, bug fixes time zone updates or support. Put simply, a business that uses Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 after the above-mentioned date is leaving itself vulnerable to breaches, phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, and other cybercrimes.
The big question is, what is the best alternative to Microsoft Exchange 2010? The truth is that there is no “one size fits all” answer to that question. A lot depends on the business industry, how much it relies on technology to operate, how much the business is willing to spend on IT operations and host of other factors.
Get to Know the Options
There are various alternatives to Microsoft Exchange 2010. The following outline provides some basic information on what to expect from each one.
- Microsoft Exchange 2013. Microsoft Exchange 2013 is similar to Exchange 2010. This means that it will be relatively easy for those who aren’t tech-savvy to get used to learning Exchange 2013 instead of Exchange 2010. However, it’s important to bear in mind that Microsoft’s support lifecycle for its products typically lasts about ten years from a product’s initial release date. Microsoft is no longer providing cumulative updates for Exchange 2013 and it won’t be long before this platform becomes outdated.
- Microsoft Exchange 2016. This is a good option for business owners who value the perpetual licensing model. What is more, businesses that want to upgrade to Exchange 2019 have to upgrade to Exchange 2016 first. It’s worth checking the program out to see if it’s a good fit with the business’ needs. However, don’t expect it to be around for too much longer. It’s getting on in years and will have to be replaced fairly soon.
- Microsoft Exchange 2019. Exchange 2019 offers cloud storage, which is a plus for companies that want to back up data in real-time. Other benefits of Exchange 2019 are that it offers real-time information availability, instant support, and just about all the tools that a small business needs to expand and grow. However, Microsoft Exchange 2019 requires a great deal of maintenance. Small companies that opt for this platform may need ongoing assistance from a business IT service to keep the platform running well at all times.
- Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft Office 365 is the best option for businesses that collaborate remotely and so need good collaboration tools such as OneDrive and SharePoint. What is more, Office 365 offers a whole range of products that can be used either online or offline. These include Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Outlook.
- Google Apps for Business. Google Apps offers all the features and amenities a business needs to survive and thrive. What is more, Google provides a high level of security to ensure that a business’ data is safe and secure at all times. What is more, Google Apps is available at a relatively low cost. Unfortunately, using Google Apps means trusting Google with all a company’s data, a move that is not wise or even possible for certain businesses.
- Open Source Options. There are various open-source platforms that a business may want to consider. Some of the best-known ones are Ubuntu Server, Kerio Connect, Open Xchange and Zimbra. These tools are extremely efficient, offering all the same features and amenities available from tech giants such as Microsoft and Google. What is more, these platforms can be used either for free or at a very low cost, making them ideal options for a business with a limited budget. Kerio Connect is particular is perfect for a business that needs an immediate platform solution, as it can be run from the cloud rather than installed on a business computer. Even so, bear in mind that it will take time and in some cases training for employees who are not familiar with an open-source platform to learn how to use it.
Getting Professional Help in Migrating from Exchange 2010
Support for Exchange 2010 will be around for some time. However, it’s unwise to wait until the last minute to switch to a new platform. Business owners who still aren’t sure which platform to select and how to install it may want to seek out professional assistance with this all-important task. Network Outsource, a NY-based business IT service, specializes in offering IT solutions and assistance to small business owners, enabling a business to focus on marketing and growth while leaving IT management, security issues, communication networks, and other IT-related tasks to the experts.