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Exchange Server-Side Add-ons in the age of cloud?

It may be very tempting for businesses to transfer all their e-mail services such as Microsoft Exchange to the cloud. After all buy paying $4-$5 per mailbox you can easily forgo the cost of having to maintain your own Mail Servers, Relay Agents, Spam Protection, Backups, San Drives, Business Continuity, failover. It may be even financially prudent to make this choice for a large business that has say 1000 mailboxes or more to manage.

The Problem is that this approach does not take into account the numerous number of Add-ons and customizations that businesses have installed on mail servers such as Exchange? What Customization you may ask? Well for instance there are Exchange Add-ons that automatically put any mail sent to a customer representative in the CRM account associated with that Customer. There are other Exchange Add-ons that strip certain parts of message if does not comply with the organizations policies.

Basically by replacing your On-premises Exchange Server with one of those generic Cloud based Solutions you lose the ability to inspect your organization’s e-mail in real time and take customized actions on those e-mails. You could imagine many business line of applications that would take great benefit from processing e-mail in real-time.

So it appears for most mid-size to large business it is more appropriate to look at cloud-email as an off-site location to host their server applications rather than an out-of-box generic solution that replaces an existing on premise servers.

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