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Review: E-Mail Outsourcing Services


The world sends more than 44 billion e-mails a day--not counting spam--according to The Radicati Group. That's more legitimate e-mail in three days than the number of hamburgers sold by McDonald's since it opened in 1955.

Some businesses are streamlining IT operations by outsourcing e-mail management to third parties. This lets small and midsize enterprises reduce costs and complexity without sacrificing productivity, reliability or security. In fact, outsourced, hosted e-mail accounts will grow from 856 million to 1.5 billion by 2009, The Radicati Group predicts. But midsize companies (500 to 5,000 employees) cite concerns regarding security, archiving and compliance, the researcher says.

This forecast--and the worries--are logical. Businesses have had to increase their archiving, privacy and security efforts. Why would it get easier any time soon? Identity theft, corporate fraud and electronic surveillance are all hot issues right now, and the government's solution is regulation and legislation.

By outsourcing e-mail, companies don't have to purchase and maintain hardware or software, keep track of licenses, upgrades and backups or worry about scaling for growth. Of course, there are pitfalls. Companies must consider performance, data retention, governmental compliance, security and the vendor's ability to deliver.

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