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What does combining Outlook with the Exchange server give?

The Exchange server is the most popular modern software in business applications for e-mails and group work. It has been designed by Microsoft to build a system which would increase communication the effectiveness of employees. However, the average user does not know much about Exchange - it operates on remote servers and remains in the shadow of Microsoft Outlook, an immensely popular e-mail client included in the Microsoft Office suite. It is used by employees to send and receive their e-mails and check their business contacts. 
You don't have to use an Exchange server to use Outlook. It is a superb e-mail client which can be used with normal mailboxes, including the free ones available from popular Polish providers. However you only use a fraction of its power in this way: the full potential of this communication tool is simply wasted.
That is why Host Up offers our customers the option of deploying an Exchange server in our infrastructure without the cost of hardware maintenance, license purchase, software implementation and management of the entire system. The hosted Exchange gives the same performance and functionality as it does on in-house servers, but with an added access reliability guarantee thanks to the high effectiveness of our employees. A low monthly subscription fee is all you need to enjoy an excellent match - the Exchange server and the Outlook client.

What can I expect from Exchange?

An Exchange server is not just another of the many ordinary mail servers. It offers the features unavailable with free solutions. The most important being:
  •  It is a central repository of company information. All messages, contact data or schedules are stored on the server and can be accessed by any authorised user with an Internet connection. The backup copy system ensures proper data storage, so you do not need to fear any loss due to accidental deletion in an e-mail client etc.
  • Exchange is a group work server for the company. All co-workers and work group members can use Exchange to share information, work results, and meeting schedules stored in their calendars, or exchange files or reserve company resources (e.g. conference rooms).
  •  Exchange provides multiple ways of access to the information it contains. It is not just an Interned-based connection with Outlook installed on the company desktop or laptop. Exchange also enables viewing, creating and sending e-mails using cell phones (via Outlook Mobile Access) or a web browser installed on any device (Outlook Web Access).

Why Outlook with Exchange and not just any mail client?

Outlook is not the only e-mail client. But when it comes to business needs, it leaves its competition far behind. Its major advantages include:
  • Integration of e-mails from multiple accounts in just one display, message sorting by criteria, importance hierarchy of specific messages, organisation of mail in custom folders, notification about new incoming mail and creation of automatic mail forwarding rules. It is complemented by a search engine designed to find the messages you need by subjects, dates, keywords, senders or recipients.
  • Automated out-of-office response wizard which configures the OOW response to all correspondents who send their e-mails out of hours.
  • Integrated Outlook contact log, which automatically records the entire history of contacts, conversations and exchanged e-mails.
  • Advanced operating system security - blocks all e-mail attachments which may include malware. Configuration of unwanted messages (spam) filtering rules in connection with the exchange server. 
  • Integration of e-mails with Outlook Calendar - meeting invitations can be e-mailed and automatically added to the meeting schedule. The solution also provides full control over the availability of calendars for selected users. Creation of group calendars in connection with the Exchange server, which can be made available to selected work groups.
  • Integration of all friend and customer information (cards) in one place - the Contacts folder, which provides easy access to complete information about people and allows connecting with them instantly. The contacts are integrated with the Calendar and any entries will be automatically copied to the event list; Outlook will then inform the user about such upcoming events. All contact cards can be made available to co-workers in connection with the Exchange server.
  • Management of planned tasks for an intelligent organisation of work progress. The tasks added to the list can be grouped into projects relating to various areas of the user's life; when their deadlines are set, Outlook will announce which should be dealt with first. In connection with the Exchange server, the task lists can be shared between employees; you can appoint specific employees to specific tasks, and you may choose to receive immediate notification about conclusion of tasks once they are finished.
This is not all. If you lack Internet access at any given moment, you still can prepare tasks, messages or calendars for other people - Outlook simply stores a copy of the server mailbox on your local drive. Once you connect with the Internet, the copy is synchronised with the server contents - the mail is sent, calendars are synchronised and tasks are assigned.
As you can see, Outlook in cooperation with the Exchange server gives completely new possibilities for group work, many which are not readily accessible for other software solutions. The hosting model offered by Host Up dramatically cuts Exchange server maintenance and ownership costs, making all of these work-improving functions available to small and medium enterprises.