10 Simple Questions That Not Every Email Provider Can Answer

Moving customers to the cloud is a great choice. But how do you identify the right provider? Here are 10 questions to ask potential email providers to help you make your decision.

When evaluating a hosted email provider, make sure you ask the right questions. And more importantly, make sure you like the answers that you get. Here are ten questions to help you effectively assess potential hosted exchange providers:

  1. How many users do you support today? In today’s market, there’s constant churn. Service providers with less than 500,000 users face an uncertain future.
  2. What kind of uptime service level agreement do you offer? No one can guarantee 100% uptime. Beware over-inflated promises or providers who don’t put uptime guarantees in writing. At the same time, if they offer less than 99.99% uptime, you should raise your eyebrows.
  3. What do current customers say? Nobody knows a service better than existing clients. Ask for references or case studies. Make sure you get concrete answers to hard questions about reliability, access, customer service and any problems they’ve experienced.
  4. Do you have Microsoft-certified technicians on your staff? Your Exchange provider should employ Microsoft-certified staff, because that’s the only way to be sure of their technological prowess. One reason you’re partnering with a service provider is to leverage their investment in highly qualified personnel.
  5. Which in-house technologies do you use to support your hosted clients? If a service provider doesn’t invest in its infrastructure, this does not bode well for the services it provides. Make sure providers use top-tier vendors and the latest technologies.
  6. What other services do you provide? Finding a partner with multiple areas of expertise allows you to easily expand your IT footprint. Look for easy integrations with communications, collaboration and email archiving services.
  7. How will you support users? 24×7 phone support is vital. Long hold times are inexcusable.
  8. Are you compliant? If you operate in a regulated environment, it’s important that your provider be compliant and/or certified in the required standards. Otherwise YOU could be vulnerable during an audit
  9. How do I control my data if I use your service? Your data should belong to you, and this fact must be stated clearly in your agreement. Watch out for companies that may hold data hostage if their contract is not renewed.
  10. How do you help me migrate end-users? Some hosted Exchange businesses only offer a technical support manual. Look for a partner whose experts manage this incredibly complex process from start to finish.

Source: Intermedia-10 Simple Questions That Not Every Email Provider Can Answer

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