We all would love to believe that email is simple. It sure SEEMS that way. However, there are many complexities that go in to choosing email services. Making the right decision is critical to how you work and communicate. There is a lot of research out there, but we understand that it’s hard to spend the time to figure out what is the best when you need something right away. So here are some things to consider.
First off, we want to make one thing clear. We STRONGLY encourage you to have multiple email accounts if you still work. Separating work from personal email is very important. Email with Apple products can be easily divided into different partitions, and this makes your usage so much simpler. We know how to support this.
Second, email can differ based on the type of service you have. Who exactly services your email is important. Sometimes, those services don’t even offer the preferred type of email. Since email used to be free (aol.com, sbcglobal.net, charter.net) the vendors always gave you exactly what you paid for. Nada. Nothing. So choosing email services is about choosing the vendor whom you want to deliver that service.
These days, the productivity features of these paid email accounts, and the integrations they provide, are the medium for which we determine the best path forward. The metric for email services has changed, and we need to bring you up to date on it. We’ll highlight our favorite services. These we can also support.
Email Services: Google Workspace
Google Workspace (formally G-Suite): So far, Google Workspace is kind of our favorite. Google has an excellent Single Sign On System, which means you can use the same email credentials on many different websites and cloud services. This is super handy. Google Workspace will help you manage your contacts and calendars. It’s great for flexible and small businesses, because it helps them leverage their tools in the most productive fashion. You may need some help with the setup of the services, but you know, we are here for that. As low as $7/mo. Don’t just take our word for it though, you can find out everything you’d want to know and more by clicking on the link.
Email Services: Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365: We all know Microsoft Office. Love it or hate it, we all know it has a place. Office is no longer a ‘boxed’ software; it’s a subscription that helps you leverage super-powerful business services like Azure (yes, the cloud), Active Directory (good-bye directory servers), and now Microsoft Teams (kicking at Zoom) and phone service (with the death of Skype in the next 90 days or so).
Microsoft Office 365 leverages Exchange type features, that businesses all drool for. Controlled and managed contact syncing, shared calendars, and even a ToDo list feature. Microsoft is consolidating services in favor of the cloud and getting email out of the hands of individuals. This is good and bad. Microsoft has indicated that they will kill off the app Outlook in the coming year. In its place, will be a cloud based Outlook (this means a web browser) that will be easier for them to maintain, and VERY restrictive in what features end users can take advantage of. Good or bad, it’s the path forward.
Email Services: Zimbra
Our Private Cloud Hosted Zimbra service: We sell and manage BOTH the Google and Microsoft services. Of course, we see flaws in both, and take a different tact to fill the needs of our clients – and selfishly ourselves. Zimbra is a highly developed, and extremely flexible service. The calendar functions are our favorites. Cal-Dav an open source calendar sharing protocol gives us flexibility across ALL sorts of services. The Macintosh and iOS devices are heavily based on these sorts of open protocols, like Card-Dav (Address book sharing and management) as well as email folder sharing and such.
We also host and manage the spam-filter sitting ahead of the email service. With all the other services, their email sorting is simply that. Theirs. There is no way to modify, look at, or make changes to their services without deploying your own private firewall *yes, we can do that too* Although these sorts of tools are unwieldy to manage because of the nature of email, we are super happy with the way we can get this sort of service to perform. Of course there will always be ‘false positives’ in which email gets sorted one way or the wrong way. But those issues can be rectified. It’s safe to say we reject 2x email than we accept. It’s an odd performance statistic, but it should remind all of us that there are a lot of bad actors out there.
Traditional IMAP Email Services:
Traditional IMAP is still an option. It’s simple and just works. For years email service was dominated by IMAP service. The most effective and useful format of email. It’s still readily available – and if you are trying to avoid all the bells and whistles, you’ll see that the IMAP service is affordable and reliable. It’s also beneficial to make sure email is protected with a spam controlling firewall. Some email services for IMAP (because it’s so super cheap) are poor at this sort of protection. We can make it work any way you want it to – so let us know.
This round up is meant to get you thinking about how you, as an individual, sort and manage your email. Business or otherwise, budget or not, these services highlight the changes in email the last few years, and we hope you will ask us about how these services can work best for you. Yes, we sell them ALL, in ALL variants.
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