Microsoft is running a series of free seminars on its Hosted Exchange product in February, aiming to attract potential Service Providers to grow the hosted email market segment in Australia. In the United States, around half of the SMB market use hosted email services.
Research by IDC Australia commissioned by Pacific Internet shows that SMBs were very familiar with the first wave of internet applications, such as email which is used by 93%. A survey by AMR Research shows that more than 78% of 500 respondents are using or considering software-as-a-service.
NewLease's chief executive officer, Mike Clarke, said: "Email has become a mission-critical application and for most organisations they want it to be fully managed, but don't want to worry about it themselves. In 2005 the number of hosted business e-mail mailboxes worldwide has surpassed the number of in-house operated e-mail mailboxes for the first time. Hosted email and communication services have become a large revenue stream for hosting companies.
"The benefits for service providers in offering Hosted Exchange is the development of strategic relationships with clients, resulting in annuity revenue and profit. It also creates new business opportunities for service providers who don't currently offer email services.
"With hosted email, end-user organisations can afford a secure Exchange service that is always up-to-date, with sufficient storage and anti-virus and anti-spam filters. They can add or subtract users as the organisation evolves, and the monthly fee structure means no up-front investment and a more manageable business expense."
The Hosted Exchange Seminar Series will tour Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide between February 6 and 23. The free events will detail the Hosted Exchange model and highlight the opportunities for potential resellers of hosted email solutions in the Australian market.