What is the difference? What do I get? How does it measure up? What are the compromises? How much does it cost?

A lot of our partners are intrigued with the new addition to our cloud solutions portfolio, Exchange 2010 Essentials, but you are also asking a lot of questions. The objective of our Exchange 2010 offering has always been to provide an easy to use, simple and reliable communications medium; and that is something that has not been compromised in either solution. Currently, we are the only Exchange provider that delivers service on local systems, public folders, free 1 year of archiving, redundant failover, and the product under your brand – and now we even give you pricing flexibility with different options.

My goal is to introduce you to the two solutions in a conversational manner. This way you can practice the discussion around these offerings with your clients and be better prepared to explain the difference between the two solutions.

Unique Competitive Advantage

Exchange 2010 Essentials at its core is the same as Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 with a unique advantage – price! Businesses of all shapes and sizes can now have the additional option to rely on Exchange 2010 Essentials just without the additional services such as LiveArchive, SharePoint, copy of Outlook 2010, and so on – Just the best email communication platform at the best possible price. We decided to offer Exchange 2010 Essentials because our partners needed to be able to offer a more affordable solution that is the same great product but with a price that is cost competitive therefore allowing them to compete with some bigger players in the industry. However, something that we see as a sacrifice when going down the Exchange 2010 Essentials path is that it is only backed by ExchangeDefender Essentials – meaning that you will not receive all of the great features that come with the full ExchangeDefender platform like: LiveArchive, Encryption, Web File Sharing, Web Filtering, and Compliance Archiving. Although, if these features are not needed by your clients and you need to compete on price, then Exchange 2010 Essentials is your answer. Also, it is very lucrative because it will lead to you making more money than selling a higher priced solution.

In comparison, of course, we recommend our Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 product because of its business appeal. You can truly leverage the Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 suite and apply it to your business to increase not only your operational efficiency and increase revenues, but to also lower your costs through the deployment of a completely brandable email hosting solution. Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 comes fully equipped with ExchangeDefender and all of the additional features. One major differentiator and value-added feature with Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 is LiveArchive. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as 100% uptime, and that is where our new and improved LiveArchive comes into play. With LiveArchive you are always connected and can continue working if an outage were ever to take place. There are also many business benefits beyond just service interruptions with LiveArchive. LiveArchive allows for users to remain connected during maintenance periods and even while traveling through Outlook Web App. Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 is truly a turnkey solution that will be reliable for you and your clients as a complete email communication system.

Pricing Power

As far as pricing goes, if you just need email, and reliable email at that, think of us and the Exchange 2010 Essentials product, it is priced at $5.99/user/month. If this is what you want to offer, you now have another option that is fully supported by us and we always stand behind our products 100%. On the other hand, if you want a full communication and secure platform you can get Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 which is priced at $9.99/user/month. The extra per user cost for paying for the higher quality Exchange 2010 solution is made up with the true value in the offering. Some clients will see the value of having Outlook, SharePoint, and a Business Continuity solution in place, that they will be willing to pay the extra cost to have those features for convenience and also when they need them. The cost difference is miniscule when you think of the value that those features and additions actually add to the value of that product as a whole. If you position this product properly it almost always yields to getting a higher profit out of it.

With both Exchange 2010 offerings you have complete control of the client, the branding, and the billing. Your brand, your name, your image, your price, your billing, your solution!

What should you lead with: Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 or Essentials?

ese2010Having both solutions on the table will deliver multiple revenue streams, and also really differentiate yourself from others in the channel. Many resellers lead with one and only solution – and ultimatum – and having multiple options will convert more prospects and leads into long term subscribers. In addition, it adds to your set of tools that you have access to. If you only have one offering in your solution set when you are going to clients you are not offering them a solution, in essence, you are only offering them an ultimatum because that is your only option. Clients will tend to choose the solution that fits their needs but yet is the cheapest and most affordable for them. Therefore, it is very important for you to have a variety of solutions to offer so that your prospective client can really see the value in what you are offering to them. It is also a great idea to keep both Exchange offerings in your solution set because possibly at some point an Essentials client will need LiveArchive or Web File Sharing and you will be able to then provide that service for them and yet again yield a higher profit margin from the product.

Remember that price is not everything. But what we often hear from our partners is that decision makers frequently don’t understand or truly appreciate what all the features they really need can do for their business and focus on the price alone. By offering the alternative with essentials you can take the price off the table as the discussion point and simply ask: “Should the cheapest solution go down and you’re cut off from your email for a few hours, is $4/month really worth the savings?” Remember that nobody talks about worst case scenarios in sales and when those are not considered the lowest price always wins. Cloud solutions are extremely affordable – give your clients a chance to pick the right one for them.

Action Plan

We are confident that your clients will get hooked on our Exchange 2010 offerings because they will truly receive unparalleled support and a phenomenal product that will fit all of their needs. So whether you are choosing Exchange 2010 Essentials or Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 you can be sure that you are providing your clients with a product and service that you can both trust and rely on!

So what now?

1. If you are not in our Partner Program, join now.

2. Contact us (877-546-0316) for a free demo and get answers to any questions you may have.

3. Let us customize and brand the marketing collateral for the two solutions.

4. Start talking to your clients.

Finally, consider the solutions head-to-head (pdf). We’ll be bringing you these articles on a weekly basis so tune in and let me know what you’d like to hear about. I spend a lot of my time at trade shows and working directly with partners on their marketing agenda including running our own so feel free to email me or give me a call and I’ll do everything I can to help.

Stephanie Hasenour
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x735