Advanced technologies offer better and more choices in communication and connectivity today. There would also be a host of questions and decisions faced by business owners and marketers as they consider the best options to promote their brand, products and services. One of the business operation options would be to have their email hosted or in-house managed.
An In-house email uses available resources and talents within the company to manage the email system for greater control and marketing. A hosted email system requires the professional maintenance of third party expert in email systems for a fee.
There are pros and cons to each option, depending on the company’s objectives and budget. The ever evolving technology brings on more options and advanced features that may be tempting to incline the business towards one or the other option.
Factors of Consideration
Any business that manipulates lots of email with strategic email marketing campaigns would want to consider the best of email systems. When email becomes the backbone of a business, there is a need to source out the best of solutions with the latest technologies. Emails allow businesses to communicate internally and externally with all levels of individuals and groups besides marketing, scheduling and information update uses.
The emergence of mobile technology pushes email marketing further to a newer platform where business promotions and updates can be viewed by consumers immediately as mobile users with the latest sophisticated mobile devices. But there may be times when the email server malfunctions for some reason which disrupts the modus operandi of the business.
It is frustrating for the company when business updates and promotions cannot be sent out and the marketing objectives are diverted to cost losses for the company. This is one of the important factors of consideration for an in-house or hosted email system. With an in-house email server, any disruption requires an immediate rectification by the in-house technical team. If the system is too complex, professional IT experts would be required to be called in. This would probably delay the continuity of the business operations. On the other hand, with a hosted email system, IT experts in this arena assure businesses a 99.9999% uptime when hired to manage their email system. This is the latest industry standard and quality demanded and expected of businesses engaging email marketing with a written agreement in the Service Level Agreements on professional services rendered.
An in-house email system requires full time IT support staff that must be alert and expert in email server operations and end user training. Regular maintenance would be required to ensure a continual running of the email system, with close collaboration among different departments such as marketing and administration. In-house IT support needs to be well versed with downloads, installations, templates, sign-on and other training related to the company email system. Proper passwords and authorization must be monitored and assigned to ensure safe and secure activations on the email system.
Some businesses may find hiring in-house IT experts more expensive than outsourcing the task. There would also be a large investment on email hardware and system components with potential upgrades over time as the company expands or changes in operational directions. A hosted option cuts down on these components with the latest email facilities and securities at the fingertips and professional IT experts in email systems ready to service any hiccup to avoid a downtime in business operation. Such professional hires cost little compared to the huge capital involved with in-house email options.
Businesses on Hosted or InHouse
The choice of a hosted or in-house email system depends on the size and type of business entity. A small to medium sized company that uses email marketing heavily due to budget constraints would be better off with a hosted email option that takes away the maintenance and upgrade concerns. There is a choice to upgrade according to the company growth and budget availability or it is easier to change the professional email service provider as there are plenty in the market.
Large and multinational companies that employ huge numbers of emails with a big customer database may choose an in-house email system with their own email facilities and experts as their setup would be similar to a small email service provider company. A full team of IT experts would be hired to run the entire unit to support the whole company with international connectivity if the company is large with branches and subsidiaries.
A well facilitated email system is very cost effective in reaching customers and potential leads to boost a business operation. Hence, it is crucial in identifying which option is more beneficial to the business. A small company may start off with a hosted email system before setting up its own in-house email system complete with server and IT experts as the business expands.
An in-house email system would need to liaise with other departments such as marketing and Public Relations as an effective email can be a great arsenal for any company to promote their brand, products and services. In-house email systems would need to be set up properly with the best of software and hardware with experienced and innovative IT experts operating and maintaining the system on a 24/7 basis to ensure a continual operation especially when the company has an international perimeter.
Effects from Decisions
Wise decisions by companies on the type of email systems implemented would see a quick difference to the company branding, image, revenue and stability. Those companies which take an ad hoc approach to email systems would find their operations very haphazard to be established and respected in the marketplace.
Proper email contents must be generated to secure better branding and image for the company which would be reflected in the type of email system implemented. Poor implementation and operation of the email system, whether in-house or hosted can lead to bad publicity and branding of the company. Their emails would be considered as scam mails which consumers would not take kindly.
Outsourcing or hosted email systems can be more effective in improving sales and credibility for the company if the terms and conditions are satisfactory.
Originally posted 2014-11-11 22:05:00.