Business e-mail hosting; who, why, what and where!
April 6, 2010 6:15 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a reliable business e-mail hosting provider.

(I know there are a few previous AskMes on this topic, but I'm asking in case they're outdated or etc)

I've been asked to look into obtaining new e-mail hosting for the company I work for. At the moment, e-mail hosting is done 'in house', in a manner of speaking. It works pretty well, but we've had quite a lot of difficulty with uptime lately as a result of some hardware faults and the like, and both we and customers whose e-mail is hosted have been less than overjoyed.

So, we need a new e-mail host. It needs to…

a) be very reliable
b) support IMAP and POP3 (I'm sure this is standard these days, but just to be sure)
c) allow for a web interface with at least basic branding (logo and company name, etc)
d) allow for our custom domain (again, probably standard, but worth mentioning)

Push e-mail would be a nice bonus — we have lots of iDevices, as do our clients — but it's by no means essential. Any and all suggestions would be very helpful, as would guidance on pricing. For instance, is your recommendation reasonably priced for the market, or cheap/expensive and if so, why is that? I'm not sure what the going rate is for this sort of thing, so any pointers in that regard would be very helpful. Thankyou! :)
posted by jaffacakerhubarb to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Best answer: Seems as though Gmail for your domain would work here though I'm not sure. You mention "customers whose e-mail is hosted". Are you providing this service to customers?

The last company I worked at used Gmail FYD exclusively. It worked well 99.99% of the time. There were two instances in 2.5 years when the services was unavailable for us for a period of greater than 20 minutes. That's a pretty good record. But those two periods felt painful considering the company is an Internet company. Ya know?
posted by FlamingBore at 6:25 AM on April 6, 2010

Google Apps allows for all of this, even in the free accounts. the paid Google Apps for Business ($50/user/year) removes the context text ads and has a 99.9% uptime SLA, amongst (a lot of) other things. you get push with Google Sync - there's either apps you can load, or you can use the features that turn your Gmail and Google Calendar accounts into a sort of fake Exchange server. you could do separate instances for hosted customers, depending on how you've got everything set up.
posted by mrg at 6:43 AM on April 6, 2010

Response by poster: FlamingBore: Sorry for being unclear. It's just the one domain — we'll call it '' — and employees get an e-mail address, as do the clients (there's no distinction between them technically or anything). It's not institutionalised per se, just offered when appropriate.

Google Apps sounds like a good solution. One thing I'm not sure of is the price. Is $50 reasonable? I know you get a lot of stuff with it, but we only really need the e-mail service. Are there any downsides to hosting with Google (other than OMG BIG BROTHER)?
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 7:15 AM on April 6, 2010

Other than a problematic outage (while I was on deadline) early in my relationship with Google Apps, I've been delighted. I POP to my laptop, IMAP with my iPhone, all that jazz.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 7:27 AM on April 6, 2010

Best answer: We're using for a hosted Exchange solution - it's not as inexpensive as Google, but it's true Exchange hosting, including ActiveSync (which includes iPhones) and Blackberry Enterprise Server.
posted by GJSchaller at 7:36 AM on April 6, 2010

The web interface will be like standard gmail and won't let you use view messages in a non-threaded manner. This might upset some of your users who are used to the traditional way of managing email.
posted by The Lamplighter at 10:13 AM on April 6, 2010

In total it's extremely reasonable when compared to other business email solutions such as Exchange, etc. I actually miss being on Gmail FYD for work now. Would go back to it in a heartbeat and double the price without blinking.
posted by FlamingBore at 11:45 AM on April 6, 2010

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