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So What Is Exchange Online Exactly?

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Almost every business in today’s world uses email extensively day to day. Of all the services out there, Microsoft Outlook is a common service utilized to manage a variety of tasks via its suite of features.

Chances are, you might be using Outlook at your job, or may be considering it alongside the other services available via the Office 365 subscription.

If that’s the case talk about Exchange Online may have come up and seem confusing if you are unfamiliar with what exactly that is. This can be made even more confusing with talk of Exchange Servers, and what both services do as on paper they seem quite similar. Thankfully, breaking down these barriers are easier than they seem, and by the end of this article you should know all you need about Exchange online and its services!

What Exchange Online does

Exchange online say it’s messaging and collaboration platform. What this means is that it works alongside Microsoft Outlook, Outlook on the web, and Outlook Mobile to allow users to access emails, contact information, calendars, and other assigned tasks. Users get their own mailbox, and with some of the available plans can utilize an archive to store and access older emails. This is all done via a hosted service, eliminating the need for on-site servers.

What does Exchange Online do for me?

One of the biggest benefits that Exchange Online offers is the ease of use for Exchange services and deployment. Administrators can use a myriad of tools to adjust permissions, protections, and other tools to manage the functionality and access.

  • It also hosts the data on the Microsoft cloud, rather than on-site, eliminating the need to manage hardware and keep on-site IT present to ensure that data centers are kept up to date.
  • Exchange Online does allow for hybrid deployment, meaning you can configure what information is hosted in an on-site Exchange Server, and what is hosted on Exchange Online should you wish for local storage.
  • Mailboxes are supported from sizes of 50gb and up, allowing for more storage if emails than many on-site, or alternative options.
  • Exchange Online also has a built-in anti-spam and anti-malware features to filter out unwanted content from users’ mailboxes. This part of the service is also configurable, allowing for custom protection for your needs.
  • On top of this, Exchange Online provides mobile and multi-platform access from Windows and Mac devices, as well as MAPI via HTTPS or Microsoft Graph.
  • Web browsers and mobile devices can also access mailboxes and calendars, allowing for tracking of important dates and messages on the go via cell phone or tablet.

In the Cloud, the sky’s the limit

As cloud computing and cloud storage advances, the benefits of utilizing services like Exchange Online only become greater. In the future it might even be the case one day that Microsoft stops support for on-site Exchange Servers entirely should the benefits of Exchange Online totally eclipse them. When looking at what service is best for you and your company, take time to consider the options and the costs of on-site Exchange Servers versus utilizing Exchange Online, as well as how that affects your IT needs. That way you can focus on what’s important, managing your business and making it grow.