Today I'm going to discuss two more services for handling your startup's email. These options are for those of you who need a little something more in your email hosting. Looking for Exchange and Sharepoint hosting? Got it. Need tons of mailbox space because you never delete email or attachments? Covered. In addition, I'm trying to keep your costs low. Let's dive in.
You probably have a personal Gmail account, and using Google mail for your business isn't that different, but instead of an @gmail.com address, you can use your own domain. This professional (premium) version of Gmail is part of the Google Apps suite of services. This version of Gmail is called Premier Edition. If you're expecting supercheap, it's not. It's twice as much as Rackspace Mail, but along with that you'll get a 25GB mailbox, 1GB Google Docs storage, 10GB storage + 500 MB shared on Google Sites, and a nice integration into Google Talk (you'll get notified of mail even when you're not logged in to mail). It's really a suite more than just mail service. The pricing, to be exact, is $50 per user account per year (billed annually). Compared to Rackspace mail at $2 per month per mailbox, Google's suite comes out to ~$4.17 per month. Either way it's not likely to break your startup's budget.
To me, the extra $2 is worth it for Google Docs and Calendar. For working on teams, having a central repository for your super secret startup's super secret documents is great for sharing and collaboration. And it will save you from having to spend so much on a copy of Office for everyone. Then again, you could have everyone download OpenOffice, but working on docs in the Google Docs site saves you from editing and uploading and then having to edit and upload again later, and you and a co-worker can be in the same spreadsheet at the same time. Extreme Excel anyone?
So why don't I use Google Apps? Because I'm a loner, a rebel. I'm a one-man show, ya dig? I don't need no team.
But wait, there's more…
I'm adding DNAmail due to their wide range of services. So before you plunk down money for Google Apps, you could save 21 cents a month and get real humans to help you move your mail. Let's go down the list of what DNAmail offers:
Google Apps: DNAmail is an authorized reseller, so there's no funny business. But if you sign up for Google Apps through DNAmail, they'll offer free 24/7 support to help you get set up and migrate your mail for you.
Hosted Exchange & Sharepoint: Exchange hosting pricing ranges from $2.95 a month for a personal account with no frills and web access to $12.95/per month for unlimited mail (you know for those managers who have massive mailboxes because they're afraid of getting sued or fired if they can't find that spreadsheet you made them 4 years ago). The middle price point is $8.95 a month, and for that you get a 3GB mailbox. For both the $8.95 and $12.95 option you'll get free Microsoft Outlook, MAPI, POP and IMAP access, and 50MB free Sharepoint storage. To increase your Sharepoint space, see additional pricing here, which ranges from $9.95/per month for 1GB up to $79.95/month for 5GB.
Next post: listen to your customers, not your users