Microsoft Exchange - The Industry Standard for a Reason
April 05, 2017

Microsoft Exchange - The Industry Standard for a Reason

Kurt Ferguson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft Exchange

Microsoft Exchange being used by the entire organization. Our entire email infrastructure is Microsoft Exchange, including alerts and notifications. Our current system is Microsoft Exchange 2010, which is on-premise. We are in the process of upgrading to Microsoft Exchange 2016, which will also be on-premise. We have it deployed in multiple data centers for redundancy. It provides dependable, reliable email for the entire company, across a wide variety of devices. We also have Exchange access on all of our mobile phones, which is managed by Airwatch MDM. I also used Exchange at my previous employers, and it has always worked very well and provided solid, dependable email access. We prefer on-premise to hosted, as it gives us absolute control of both the architecture of our Exchange environment, as well as very granular control over the Exchange servers themselves. All of our Exchange servers on virtualized in VMWare ESXi, as well. Exchange is simply the best email solution available, and on-premise is the best version of that product.
  • Integration with mobile devices. It's fast, simple, and effective
  • Integration with Microsoft Outlook. There's no better product in the business if you use Microsoft Office, period.
  • Simple user management. It's easy to create, delete, and move mailboxes & distribution lists.
  • Excellent active directory integration. Again, best of breed here.
  • Cost. Exchange is expensive, both in terms of hardware costs and especially software costs.
  • Complexity. It is not something that you have a novice setup or administer. You need admins trained in Microsoft Exchange.
  • Problems can be difficult to troubleshoot. Some problems that pop up are not especially intuitive, even for seasoned Exchange Admins.
  • Availability. It has enabled us to have predictable, reliable, and robust email. Email cannot go down, and we have never had a major outage as a result of the way our system is architected.
  • Powerful email administration. Adding new mailboxes, DL's, and even Exchange servers, is not difficult. It enables us to grow our environment as needed, without any painfully long outage periods.
  • High availability. It's not simple, but it is effective. HA Exchange setups are best of breed.
I have worked with the two most common competitors for on-premise Exchange: Office 365 and Google Apps Enterprise. Office 365 is simplicity itself. You get awesome compatibility with the entire Microsoft Office suite, and inexpensive access to Microsoft Office applications as well. You get Microsoft's very reliable cloud supporting it all. It's a great alternative, especially for small businesses that don't have the personnel or budget to support an on-premise Microsoft Exchange installation.
Google Apps Enterprise is also a solid option. It does integrate fairly well with Microsoft Outlook, although not to the same degree as Microsoft Exchange. It's another great alternative for small companies on a budget, and has the very reliable Google Apps cloud behind it. I'd rank it behind Office 365 in terms of overall capability and integration, but it's still a great option for small businesses to consider.
Microsoft is very well suited for medium to large businesses. It is robust, powerful, and reliable. If you want the best email in the business, you want Microsoft Exchange. There is literally no better product out there in this regard.

It may be cost prohibitive for on-premise Exchange for many small businesses. Office 365 is a hosted Exchange option that is a good alternative for small businesses that still want the power of Exchange, but cannot afford the costs of installing and maintaining an on-premise instance of Exchange.