Moving Exchange to the Cloud

Get Help Crunching the Numbers

Rick Sabarese

With Microsoft Exchange on-premises systems, determining price was fairly easy because the choices were largely the same. But cloud changes the pricing equation: Enterprises lease rather than own equipment, which alters the comparisons from apples-to-apples to apples-to-oranges.

An enterprise needs to consider factors such as electricity costs, bandwidth needs, and staffing expenses before deciding whether to upgrade existing infrastructure rather than migrating to a cloud-based solution. Costs are a major driver for analyzing on-premises upgrades versus cloud migrations. When developing a cost model for on-premises deployments, it is important to consider annual:

  • Server and supplemental hardware costs
  • Data center costs, such as for power and cooling
  • Licensing costs for Microsoft Exchange
  • The cost of backing up messaging data and implementing disaster recovery methods
  • Storage costs
  • The costs of securing Microsoft Exchange
  • Staffing costs to support and maintain Microsoft Exchange

Then divide your total estimated annual costs for hosting Microsoft Exchange on-premises by the number of users to compare the per-user costs of moving to a hosted Microsoft Exchange service or to Microsoft Office 365. If you are considering moving to Office 365, also factor in the licensing and support costs of the Microsoft Office desktop business applications when calculating on-premises costs so you are best equipped to make apples-to-apples comparisons.

This approach gives you a practical framework for analyzing your options. You can then compare your estimated cost-per-user to the costs of migrating to a hosted Exchange service – or to Office 365 – so you can efficiently leverage Microsoft’s cloud-based infrastructure. But wait – there are additional costs to consider when moving Exchange to the cloud. Your network access bandwidth costs will increase, and you’ll have to estimate the costs of IT support for maintaining your cloud implementation.

This analysis can be difficult and extremely time-consuming for your IT team. The Connection Software Practice offers unbiased services that can help you quickly and efficiently select the most cost-effective way for you to evolve your messaging services. We start off with our Microsoft Licensing Optimization (MLO) Service, which is designed to help you analyze the licensing costs and complexity of your on-premises deployment.

Our Messaging Platform Services can help you determine when the right time is to either upgrade your existing deployment or migrate Exchange to the cloud. We’ll crunch the numbers and provide you with a best-practices analysis of your upgrade options. We also offer a set of simple, easy-to-consume packaged services to help you reach your goals. Our packaged services have a predefined scope to take a certain number of users (250 users or fewer) from an older version to a newer version of Microsoft Exchange.

It can take some organizations months to complete a migration. With our help, your migration can be completed in weeks. If after our analysis you decide that you would rather move to the cloud than upgrade your existing deployment, our Microsoft Office 365 Services can help you upgrade to a proven, cloud-based solution. If you’d like to know more, please complete this information request form.