Is Your Email Down Again?

According to Microsoft, Office 365 users in Europe, Asia and some US states were left without email access for as long as 14 hours (per some users) on Friday, April 6th. And a quick search of historical outages show that the outages happen with more frequency than many realize, such as reported on sites like currentlydown.com/office365.com.

Can businesses really afford to be without what is arguably the most important business tool? Or are we seeing a slow erosion in accepted availability of email as more and more companies move to the cloud?

When I talk to many customers and resellers who are deciding to take their email to the cloud, the primary reason seems to be that they don’t want the hassle of dealing with SPAM, phishing, ransomware, etc. and users’ complaints. As some put it, “I’d rather put that burden on someone else.” Sure there is the argument of moving the cost to monthly operational costs, which for some can appear to be a savings. Even over at SpiceWorks, a one stop shop for IT Pros, discussions are always ongoing about O365 versus on-premise. And we’ve posted our own email platform price comparisons with some help from Osterman Research.

Now I recognize that for many companies the cloud ship has sailed. They’ve committed to putting their software into the hands of a third party provider, trusting that the provider will be as responsive and careful with their information as their own IT professional. And for many small businesses with limited resources, it does make sense.

But if you’re a business that still has trust issues when it comes to your company’s email, and believe me that’s not a bad thing, then there is still a very affordable alternative. The MDaemon email server has been trusted for over 20 years by companies around the globe. And if you have over 100 email users and you’re using Microsoft Exchange, you will save both in cost and time. It’s just one reason we see weekly migrations to the MDaemon platform.

Using the cloud for email is not inherently a bad thing depending on your company’s needs. But if privacy and control are important and you’re curious about an email alternative, you can learn how MDaemon’s email server features compare to what you are currently using. Or, simply ask Brad to give you a personal demo of the software by sending a message to training@mdaemon.com.

Better yet, just take MDaemon for a free, 30-day test drive and find out what other IT pros know.

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The Benefits of using Smaller Tech Vendors

I was reading an article on ZDNet today by Steve Ranger about the benefits of using smaller tech vendors, and I wanted to share it with you. While large tech vendors may have brand recognition and a large development team, dealing with these vendors can often cause headaches. In the article, Ranger says, “…persuading such mighty suppliers to change anything maybe impossible unless you’re one of their top customers.” If you’re a Microsoft Exchange or Office 365 user, imagine the efforts it might take to submit a feature request or report a bug, or even to find online help. As a small business that provides messaging solutions to small-to-medium businesses, we at Alt-N want to make it easy for our customers to contact us, or to submit feature requests. The Alt-N Idea Engine provides a portal for customers to submit their ideas and feature requests, and when these ideas are considered, there’s often a speedy reply with more information or a status update. The article goes on to mention the bureaucracy and red tape that often goes with dealing with a large tech vendor. Here at Alt-N, our developers are active in our community forums, allowing customers to have a direct dialog with us on issues, features, advanced configuration, and much more.

Click on the link below to read the full article.

Can small, industry-focused tech suppliers offer benefits that the big players can’t deliver?

If you have questions or comments, please leave us a comment below.

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Email Nerds Unite: Inbox Love 2014

At some point over the years you’ve probably read or heard the refrains stating email is dead. Remember the buzz about Google Wave – part email, part Twitter, part real-time messenger? I remember receiving a message from an industry colleague telling me that Wave was going to kill email. Well, how did that work out?

Helping Email Evolve

Last week Arron (Alt-N’s Director of Product Development) and I attended a relatively obscure conference called Inbox Love. This conference is dedicated to bringing together vendors and developers who seek to make the email experience better. I say obscure because most conferences relating to email focus primarily on email marketing. Inbox Love is all about achieving Inbox Nirvana, the elusive “Zero Inbox” or in general, just improving the email experience by aligning it to the changes in technologies, such as mobile device access, social media and other collaboration tools. The conference is in it’s fourth year and this was the second year I attended. Besides being excited to discover a group of folks who love email as much as we do at Alt-N Technologies, the conference provided a refreshing look at email trends and the opportunity to network with developers and start-up companies who are looking to improve the overall user experience.

Interactivity versus Privacy

One of the most interesting topics of discussion was that of email security. Listening to the discussions between developers who wanted to bring more of a web-like experience to email (greater interactivity and multi-media access) and email privacy proponents, one could almost see a generational divide between the philosophy of openness and the slippery slope of possible abuse that has created such concern, as from the fallout of the Snowden revelations. But the great thing about such interaction is the dialog and cooperation that was evident when people who want to improve the email experience and the those who want to minimize potential abuse, collaborate and share ideas. It was a great example of how balancing email personalization and protection will benefit the email experience of all users.

What Does it Mean for MDaemon Customers?

Arron and I left with a lot of notes, a lot of business cards and a lot of ideas. One of our goals was to let developers know that there are millions of customers whose email communication is not run on Google or Microsoft products. Our other goal was to better understand what products and services are being developed for email and how we can leverage those to be used with MDaemon. I think we accomplished both and now we’re back in the office with lots to review and discuss with the Alt-N team.

Remember, we are always looking for your feedback. If you have a suggestion for us, be sure to comment and review the many posts on Alt-N’s Idea Engine. This is one of the tools we use to help prioritize our development activities.

If you’d like another view of the Inbox Love conference with some specifics on the presentation topics,  Emelie Fågelstedt has an excellent post over on her blog.

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