Choosing EMail service for a small business

Hi Experts,

We have about 50 email users and we are looking for a reliable affordable ISP for a hosted email system. What are the good service names which offering tight SPAM/Antivirus filtering in the industry.

Thanks !
Shakthi777Asked:
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Adam BrownConnect With a Mentor Sr Solutions ArchitectCommented:
The kind of service you want depends on the needs of the company. Do you need shared calendaring functionality?  Do you want your contact information to be stored locally or on the email server? If so, godaddy and any other IMAP/POP3 based solution will not work well for you. What email client are you going to be using. If you are using Outlook, you'll want to go with Hosted exchange, Office 365, or Google Apps for Business (Though Google Apps doesn't perform well in Outlook and only allows IMAP access, which means you have no access to shared calendars and contacts in Outlook, but you can have those features in the Web portal for Google Mail). Do you have to comply with any regulatory standards like HIPAA or SOX? If so, the option of hosting your own server becomes much more expensive and the use of cloud offerings like office 365 because more feasible. What level of availability do you want? Office 365, Google, and Hosted Exchange providers will usually only guarantee a 99.9% uptime, which works out to a potential 43 minutes a month downtime.

Basically, what you should get depends heavily on what you need.
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JohnConnect With a Mentor Business Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Ceryx http://www.ceryx.com/ is reliable, has good spam control, and good customer service.
Postini was decent but is becoming Google   http://www.google.ca/postini/
Google Gmail.   google.com
Office 365. Microsoft.com

These are the big names in hosted email services. The first one (Ceryx) is hosted Exchange and offers Exchange services. I have clients with this service. I do not have as much experience with the others.
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
GoDaddy also offers the Office 365 as well as their own email.  Have you talked to a local ISP?  We use a local ISP for spam & internet filtering and about 110 email boxes.
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Frosty555Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You really want Microsoft Exchange Server - it is the only email solution that really properly integrates with Outlook, scales well, syncs properly with pretty much every mobile device on the market, and is the gold standard as far as enterprise email is concerned.

You can get it in a number of ways:

    - Run your own on-premises Exchange + Windows Server environment + Spam filtering + network infrastructure
    - Get a hosted Microsoft Exchange service from a third party company
    - Get Office 365 (Microsoft's own hosted Exchange offering) direct from Microsoft
    - Get Office 365 by purchasing it through a reseller

Out of all those options... for a relatively small organization of 50 users I'd probably go with #3 - sign up for Office 365 directly with Microsoft. Probably the E1 plan.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/business/office-365-enterprise-e1-business-software-FX103887102.aspx
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Sudeep SharmaConnect With a Mentor Technical DesignerCommented:
All good suggestion so far, I would recommend the following services too:
Postini (Google)
Office365 (Microsoft)
AppRiver
Intermedia
MessageLabs (Symantec)

Sudeep
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masnrockCommented:
AppRiver, Office365 (many companies offer this even though it's basically off of Microsoft infrastructure), Kerio, or Intermedia are all feasible options. I would not recommend Google's email services, especially given the cost.

At 50 users and possibly expecting growth, I'm more inclined to recommend that you look more at hosting your own server. The upfront are not something you or the bosses would like, but over time it will pay itself off as server costs are fixed for a given timeframe. Just compare the costs over, say a 5 year window.

Example, an account on a hosted exchange provided might be $10/user/month. So that would be $500/mo for 50 users, which is $6000/year. Compare that against the cost of hardware, software licenses, and maintenance.
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Shakthi777Author Commented:
Thanks to everyone for your valuable comments !
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