Features Comparison PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 May 2008 18:06

As mentioned, there is considerable variation in the solutions provided by various hosted Exchange companies. Every possible permutation of features, space, users, costs & extras is available in the market. A number of things need to be considered to keep grounded and wade through the mass of advertising messages. Broadly these are:

  • Exchange features (mail, spam guard, shared contacts, shared calendars, shared tasks, shared folders, mobile & web access).
  • Outlook compatibility - the ability to set up and synchronize with an Outlook mail account without Exchange and share outlook calendars, contacts and tasks.
  • Additional collaboration features (document management, intranet/extranet publisher, forums, instant messaging etc.)
  • Overall integratable features within the solution, & user friendliness.
  • Space provided, & users allowed (this is often the main differentiator) all need to be considered in tandem, and a balance needs to be struck in light of needs.
  • Cost!

Importantly, all these factors need to be weighed in light of company needs. It makes sense to develop a weighted score of each solution.

A comprehensive comparison of prominent offerings is given under. Brief profiles of these companies are added at the end.

Features Comparison

Intermedia HyperOffice Asp One MailStreet Sherweb
Standard Exchange Features

Custom Email Domain
Check Check Check Check Paid
Unlimited Aliases
X Check Check X Check
Web Client
Check Check Check Check Check
Spam Protection
Check Check Basic Paid
Virus Protection
Check Check Basic
Check Check
IMAP/POP3 Support Check Check Check Check Check
Outlook Support & Synching
Check Check Check Check Check
Outlook Web Access
Check Check Check Check Check
Multiple Browser Support
Check Check X X Check
Mobile Access Paid
Check Check Some
Blackberry Sync
Paid X Paid Paid Paid
Mac Support
X Check Check X X
Shared Information

Shared Contacts
Check Check Check Check Check
Shared Calendaring
Check Check Check Check Check
Task Management Check Advanced (Graphic)
Check Check Check
Collaboration Features
Document Management

Shared Folders
Check** Check X Check Check*
Document Collaboration Check Check X X X
File Locking
Check Check X X X
Check Check X X X
Check Check X X X
Audit Trail
Check Check X X X
Virtual Drives Check Check X X X
Intranet/Extranet Publishing

Custom pages for employees, depts., teams
X Check X X Check*
Client, partner, vendor portals
X Check X X X
Turn Sections on/off X Check X X X
Content Management/Customization

Publish/Manage content on Intranet/Extranet
X Check X X Check*
Standard Templates
X Check X X Check*
Complete web site customization
X Check X X X
X Check X X Check*
Check Check X X Check*
Shared Links
X Check X X X
X Check Check Check Check*
Free Live Support & Training
Check Check Check Check ticketing

* Space allowed for Sherweb SharePoint features in 100 MB ** Space allowed for Intermedia's SharePoint features is 50 MB

Quick Takes

Asp One – Asp One is a no frills solution. Its strength lies in offering only Exchange features - nothing more nothing less.

MailStreet – Like Asp One, this solution sticks to its guns, concentrating on providing only core Exchange functionality. This is perhaps understandable because both MailStreet & Asp One are owned by the same company Apptix.

HyperOffice – My personal favorite. Offers the most comprehensive feature set, which is well integrated, and easy to understand and use. Offers almost the entire range of popular collaboration tools, in addition to Exchange features. Shared contact, task and calendaring solutions go even beyond basic Exchange functionality. Outlook integration is easy as a pie. You can easily set up an Outlook mail account and automatically synchronize it with webmail and mobile mail and share Outlook calendars, contacts and tasks with colleagues and partners.

SherWeb – A good solution from a cost benefit perspective. The cheapest of the lot, and yet it offers a wide range of smart collaboration features in addition to core Exchange functionality.

Intermedia – It is mainly a hosted MS Exchange services provider. SharePoint hosting is added as an extra. As far as I know, only document management features are allowed, and only 50 MB storage space are provided for SharePoint. For the entire feature set and additional space, add on “SharePoint” packages need to be purchased. A set up cost is also involved at most stages. My main reaction is – pricey!!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2008 00:00

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