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Capstone Works, Inc. has been serving the Cedar Park area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Exchange, Office 365 and email security. Oh My!

Running a business is a 365 day a year job. While you focus on running your business let Capstone Works bring you up to date on a few of the latest developments in information technology. In the 4th quarter of 2015, Microsoft launched Exchange Server 2016 and implemented updates to its Office 365 service and software suite. While both features improved security, there are several key differences, which are crucial to understand when making the appropriate choice for your business.

Office 365 is Microsoft's cloud-based subscription service and, therefore, no need to purchase any additional hardware. The low monthly subscription structure makes it a cost effective option for many small to mid-sized businesses in industries who need to comply with all current privacy and regulatory guidelines. Many business owners do not realize that free email services, such as gGmail Yahoo, and AOL are not compliant with certain security and privacy regulations. Any company that is found to be non-compliant in regulated industries may face government fines, as well as have to pay a service provider to get them back in industry compliance.

In addition to meeting confidentiality requirements, the email service in Office 365 has an added feature called "Clutter." Clutter utilizes smart technology to learn patterns in users’ email. If it sees that emails from a specific sender are consistently never opened or immediately deleted it will send those messages to the Clutter folder rather than the inbox.

Similar to Exchange email through Office 365, Exchange Server 2016 is Microsoft's most up to date and secure email software for on-premise options. Some business owners prefer to keep their email server on premises rather than in the cloud with Office 365, providing a higher level of internal control. Depending on your particular business' needs, it can offer higher performance than Microsoft's cloud-based service. There are some cases where an on-premises server is the best, such as businesses that require large capacity file shares (50GB in size or more) or operations that would be bandwidth prohibitive when transferring large amounts of data to the cloud. Offices that have less robust access to the internet would be wise to take this into account during their decision-making processes.

Exchange 2016 offers all of the same security features as Office 365 and is fully compliant with all privacy guidelines. However, it does not have the Clutter feature that Office 365 users are able to use. If you are currently using a now unsupported, or a soon to be unsupported version of Exchange, it is passed time to think about upgrading; preparing to move to Exchange 2016 or transitioning to Office 365 is a must. Any business currently running a version of Exchange Server earlier than 2010 will need to perform an additional step as they upgrade. Files must be moved to Exchange Server 2010 as an interim step as newer versions cannot co-exist with any framework developed prior to 2010. It is important to remember that Microsoft will be terminating all support of any version of Exchange prior to 2010 on April 11, 2017. If your internal IT department has their hands full managing your day to day operations or if you do not have an internal IT department, Capstone Works can help you ensure a smooth transition as you migrate to either Exchange 2016 or the Office 365 cloud environment.

How do you know which option is the right choice for your business? Capstone Works can help you navigate the confusing world of information technology. You focus on what you do best and let Capstone Works handle the IT.

Contact us today!

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