While Microsoft has been having problems moving into the mobile market, its products are still the most trusted and widely used among desktop computers.  Aside from the Windows OS, Microsoft also makes business-ready products like the Exchange email server program and Office 365.  However, these products don’t always do the same things, and you may need to decide which products suit your business best.  So, Exchange or Office?  Each program offers its own pros and cons.

Local Storage Vs. The Cloud

Exchange is Microsoft’s email server system.  With it, you can turn one of your networked computers into a storage hub that protects and records all the emails sent and received through company accounts.  This gives you instant access to your correspondence archive and allows you to encrypt the information as thoroughly as you like.  Exchange 2010 is reaching the end of its support life, but the 2016 version is still getting extended service and Exchange 2019 has just come out with new features like expanded hardware support.

On the other hand, Office 365 has embraced cloud storage, using Microsoft’s Azure Cloud to run the software and save your files.  Microsoft’s cloud is a safe storage option, but many companies don’t like the idea of using remote storage for things like sensitive documents, spreadsheets, and emails.  However, this setup allows Microsoft to update its Office software constantly, which is why it no longer uses the date.

Features Vs. Needs

Exchange is a simple product that adds onto the Windows Server by giving you a program that efficiently delivers and archives emails on your local hardware.  This means its cost is relatively low, at least compared to Office 365.  Office includes a full suite of programs including a word processor, a slideshow creator, a spreadsheet program, and an email viewer.  It also offers collaborative features that take full advantage of cloud access.  The software has a lot of functionality, but if you don’t need all these systems then you’re throwing your money away.

Support Vs. Control

Microsoft wants businesses to use its new Office software, and so the company is offering all the support you could ask for.  Not only does this mean offering a support hotline for customers with questions and issues, it also means that they make sure the software works and keep it updated with new features and functions.  Exchange 2019 gets support, too, but implementing and operating the software is up to your company’s IT team.  This means more control is in your company’s hands, but your employees need to be ready for it.

A large enough company might do well to both update its servers to Exchange 2019 and get an Office 365 license, but smaller companies may want to focus on one or the other.  With Exchange you get full control over your email and archive system, but you need to have the IT team and hardware to handle it.  With Office 365, Microsoft will handle your file storage and upkeep, but remote storage requires a fast and solid internet connection and a continuing relationship with Microsoft.  Which option works best depends on what you need.

Melissa Fox

Author Melissa Fox

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