Competitive feature-set. Five technical components of email.

Competitive feature-set. Five technical components of email. Should you invest in an internal mail server or assign it to an external service provider, service provider or professional communications service provider, often referred to as ISP (Internet Service Provider)? These companies often provide Internet access, domain name registration, messaging services … In the context of private use, this type of external service is well known (remember the individual messages advertised in Hotmail, Yahoo, …).

Is choosing a corporate email business easy? A quick study of the architecture and necessary services will clarify the answer. The company’s internal messaging service consists of 3 main elements:

  • An email server that stores the email databases of all users and manages the “routing” of emails to internal or external recipients. Other functions are also offered by these servers (agenda, actions).
  • Access with a “heavy client”, that is, software on each user’s PC for reading, replying, managing and classifying emails. The most famous of these programs, of course, are Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes, but there are other clients, such as Eudora, Pine Mandrake.
  • The ability to receive and send emails outside the company requires that the domain name of the company is routed by the operator (By the FAI or professional telecom operators), that is, it is routed from the Internet to the front door of the company and vice versa.

The proper functioning of these components determines two other elements:

  • the costs of acquiring software, computers (server, router, etc.) and the costs of servicing licenses and computers (from 10 to 20% of the purchase price) in general).
  • Artificial costs absolutely necessary for the maintenance and operation of technical components. 

The company can also ask the following questions depending on its needs: How can I easily receive business emails from home, on the way to a hotel, to France or abroad? How to take advantage of the new email features on PDAs, Blackberry or smartphones and other mobile devices.

Renting a courier service within an FAI type operator allows you to overcome various restrictions and consequences for money: Purchase of servers and mail licenses for the selected solution. Manage maintenance costs and regularly update application components. Monitor network components needed for routing and security. Creation of a computer unit for maintenance, operation, as well as support and user support.

These services are then converted into monthly rents and insured by the selected operator in accordance with various contract options. The interest lies in the fact that technical competence (often indicated, rather than neglecting safety) should not belong to the company, this is provided by the experts of the service provider. On the other hand, this type of service is very evolving. This allows you to complete the services in accordance with the needs of the company. In the conditions of a small company (from 20 to 100 people) that does not have a specialized IT team in these areas, the choice of external messaging can be a good choice in terms of the quality of user service. Let’s never forget that there is nothing worse for users than interruption or bad trust in the messaging system.

On the other hand, a company that uses a messaging service in a very integrated form with other company applications (GED applications, Workflow, advanced mail server functions) and which has a technical team competent in the field of security, Network flow and messaging can invest in own internal mail server. Advanced services, such as access for frequent travelers from their hotel, will also be gradually introduced …

A mail server is an application like any other. Therefore, it is required to declare each user in the “address book” of users and assign an email address. Sometimes it is also possible when the mail server offers WebMail access (email interface from Internet Explorer) to assign a username and password. This email directory is often LDAP compliant, which means it draws users from messaging into a more global corporate directory, or it is itself a centralized directory that provides access to other applications.