As this imaginative, witty and informative article points out “Email is one of those things that's just a part of your life, period."
Given the importance we all attach to e-mails, underpinning most SME's businesses, it's surprising how little we do to ensure its ongoing availability - i.e. that we don't lose it.
There are many email backup programs available but in the companies we visit I don't think any of them use one. Many small companies with perhaps 1 - 5 PCs still use POP3 email accounts where the incoming email ends up only on the user's PC - and there it often remains until they purchase a new PC - unless of course there is a disaster, corruption, theft etc...when unfortunately all the email might be lost.
For some people that is not too much of a problem, but for others, who perhaps often search through and refer to old emails, this can be business-threatening.
We believe one of the most attractive e-mail solutions for the smaller SME, providing an alternative to basic POP3 email, is a "Hosted e-mail service that replicates".
What does this mean?
a) Your domain's email (e.g. mygreatcompany.com) is hosted in the cloud by a specialist provider. This does not have to be the same place that hosts your website.They will backup your email automatically and often allow you to restore old email in case you accidentally delete some.
b) The email client on your PC synchronizes with the cloud and your PC receives a copy of all e-mail. You can install the email client for each email account on multiple PCs/laptops (e.g. home and office) at no extra charge and each one will get a physical copy of the email – thus each one is automatically acting as a separate backup in a different location. A copy of each email also remains hosted in the cloud.
c) Everything synchronizes everywhere. If you send an e-mail from your IPhone when you get to the office and open your email client that email also automatically appears in the PC’s ‘sent mail’.
d) Since your email is hosted centrally in the cloud you will often also get facilities such as shared calendars.... no need for servers in your office running Microsoft Exchange for example.
If you are not sure where to start try www.zimbra.com .
And remember too that even if you are a sole proprietor it’s a good idea to have your own domain. If you still use an account such as [email protected] then if you choose to move from AOL as your internet service provider (ISP) you will eventually lose your email address too. If instead you have a domain and create email addresses at that domain e.g. [email protected] your email address need never change, even if or when you move from one ISP to another.