How can we build a business email solution for SMB or what are the things to be checked before going with a solution which a provider offers ?It is quite a difficult question to answer or we may ned to consider many aspects before doing so. But we need to check the following things before going with a provider.
1. Server uptime
Email servers should be working all the time – we cannot afford our mail server being down at the peak of our business hours. So it will be better to go with a company who offers good uptime. Anything above 99 % uptime ( server and network ) is a good value. ( check for some online reviews or ask a few existing customers. )
2. Good Support
Go with a company which offers good quality, quick and friendly after sales support. ( check for some online reviews or ask a few existing customers. )
3. POP / IMAP / Active Sync / Calendar support
There are many providers in the market who provide POP and IMAP support, which you can choose or switch at any time you need. Now a days, there are providers who provides emails which can be accessed via Mobile / iPhone / PDA etc ( Push mail )
4. Data Backup
eMails are quite vital for your business and you may need to refer your older mails at times. So, you need to have backups of your email data safe, so that you can restore what is lost, if any catastrophe occurs.
5. IP reputation
Think about a scenario, if your corporate emails are detected as spams and many major email servers are blocking it ? Yea – that happens many times. Major reasons for this to happen are
• The IP of your mail server have a past history of spamming and the MSPs consider them as spams again.
• Your email server is compromised and is being used for spamming.
• You are on a shared server and some one else is spamming.
6. Backup email server
Think about a network outage and your email server is inaccessible for a long time. In digital world, outages ate inevitable. The successful ISPs are those, who have a backup plan and bring the outages to a minimum. If the outage happens at your business hours, you will loose all the mails and the business will be badly affected. If the network issue is outside the responsibility of your provider – you can do nothing.
So, what you can do is to set up a clone of your mail server, may be in a different continent ( theoretically ), so that the network to one server is down, that to the clone server will be still up and it will serve your emails. Once the primary is back online, it’ll automatically sync the data to each other. This sounds to be a bit complex set-up ;-).
What will happen if both are down ? There are options to set a third mail server as catching point for the mails, when all of your mail servers are down and if any one of them comes up, this server will push it to the one which comes up. All these setup will involve quite a lot of tweaking in the DNS and email server..
7. Spam Control
Will you believe that the almost 80% of mails that are circulating are spams ? So, I wont be surprised if I see a lot of incoming spams to a server. We can only implement filters and spam checkers which can minimise the spam mails entering your inbox. So, a good email solution should have an inbuilt SPAM control mechanism.
8. Easy Scalability
We should be able to scale what we have to a fair extend so that we can leave the once configured mail server aside.
I believe these are the major things we should consider before we go with an eMail solution for an enterprise.