Hosted Services – ExchangeDefender Blog

April 11, 2012

New Changes Coming to our Hosted Exchange

Filed under: Hosted Services,Software,Support — vlad @ 10:14 am

Today is a very exciting day for our Hosted Exchange team as we have finally approved the use of Address Book Policies in our provisioning process (Introduced in Exchange 2010 SP2).

mac-address-bookAddress Book Policies

Address Book Policies allow Exchange Administrators to easily assign and separate address lists for clients so that clients only see objects from their organization without using ACLs or AD splicing. Prior to the approval of ABP we’ve always used ACLs to control address list segregation in our Hosted Exchange offering. In short, when a new “company” is added to Exchange, we take their primary domain and group all users based on original domain. For the most part, this approach worked well.  However, there were certain situations that this would not fare well. For instance, if a new company was split into two sub companies and they joined hosted Exchange then each sub company would only be able to see their own users UNLESS all mailboxes were added with the same primary domain in the order.

With Address Book Policies we now have the ability to create an overall policy for the “Company” which links the appropriate address lists and offline address books to each user. This change will allow companies to utilize multiple primary domains and still see all users in the company. By default we will still create companies as “separate” organizations, but partners can now request that domains for a company be linked together.

The change to automation will be introduced to Rockerduck and LOUIE this week and monitored for a week before rolling the change to all 2010 servers.

Travis Sheldon
VP, Network Operations, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x757
travis@ownwebnow.com


February 29, 2012

Choosing Your Customers!

Filed under: General,Hosted Services,Marketing — Stephanie @ 11:39 am

6a0111688349f9970c0154329a0fb5970c-800wiCan you choose your customers???

Yes, you can choose them, not always the other way around. You can choose your customers with your pricing, your content, your promotion, your marketing strategies, and your product line.

When choosing your marketing efforts, and thus your customers, you should consider:

Based on what you are offering, how much does this type of customer need you/depend on you?

How difficult is this sort of customer to find/reach?

What does this type of customer need?

How valuable is a customer like this?

How demanding will this customer be?

It’s not a matter of who can benefit from what you sell. It’s about choosing the customers you’d like to have and helping them benefit from what you have to offer.

By asking yourself these questions you can better attract the types of customers that you would like to work with. 

At ExchangeDefender, our efforts have brought us a partner base that we truly enjoy working with!  All of our partners know what to expect from the partnership upon their signup.  We clearly state and outline what they get as part of partnering with ExchangeDefender.  Our terms of service, TOS, outlines the way that our technical support and business support works, and the best way to get assistance when it is needed.  Also, all of our products and services are heavily promoted, documented, and made available for partners to have access to and we provide materials which make it easier for you to be profitable.

Also, we make it easy for customers to choose us.  We work closely with partners and are available for help and questions 24x7x365! Also we offer great deals and promotions that help our partner base benefit! Check out www.exchangedefender.com/promotions.php to keep up with promotions that we are running! Currently we are running the Valentine’s Day Hosted Exchange and Exchange Essentials Promotion!

Stephanie Hasenour
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender
stephanie@ownwebnow.com


February 8, 2012

Essentials Launch

Filed under: Announcements,ExchangeDefender,Hosted Services,Webcast — vlad @ 10:08 am

Please join us next Thursday, February 16th, at noon EST for the launch of ExchangeDefender Essentials suite.

Essentials Pic

Click here to register now, limited capacity:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/130425112

We have blogged a lot about ExchangeDefender Essentials, E^3, Emergency and we’re officially launching it next week. This is our biggest competitive product launch so please make sure you tune in for special pricing offer that will be extended only during the webinar (you can lock it in, no purchase necessary).

Talk to you next Thursday!

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek, MCSE
CEO, Own Web Now Corp
vlad@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x500
(407) 536-VLAD


January 23, 2012

ExchangeDefender Essentials Emergency

Filed under: ExchangeDefender,Hosted Services,Support — Carlos @ 5:08 pm

Last quarter we launched a slimmed down version of ExchangeDefender to be packaged with Exchange Essentials 2010 and as a standalone product. This product was launched to provide a similar price point and feature set as some less robust Spam & Security solutions out in the channel. However, we were never comfortable with not offering a bundled-in business continuity solution. Enter… ExchangeDefender Essentials Emergency.

Emergency is the business continuity solution that is now bundled in with ExchangeDefender Essentials. It will capture a copy of all incoming email in similar fashion, but only inbound mail with a retention policy of 5 days for all items. This email is accessible via web portal and POP3/IMAP4 (although currently we are limiting the ability on the POP/IMAP to just download messages (to avoid open relay situations). So your clients will be able to continue to do business with the ability to receive, reply to, and create new emails from their real email address during an outage. Remember, that our 7 day spooling/mail bagging system is still in place so a combination of the two should minimize your client’s inconvenience.

The web portal is available at:

https://emergency.exchangedefender.com

Credentials:

Your primary user email address with ExchangeDefender (you cannot log in with an alias address) and your current ExchangeDefender password.

 

 

Once you log in all of your email will be available, with your identity pre-configured for use. There is no additional set up required. You can start reading and firing off emails as quickly as you can type.

Setting up Outlook (remember Read/DL message access only currently)

Fill out the information as below:

 

 

Your email address and user name are the same as your primary address in ExchangeDefender. The POP3/IMAP4 server is emergency.exchangedefender.com. Everything is on the standard ports for both SSL and non.

 

 

Our CEO, Vlad Mazek, will be providing a broader overview on emergency and its feature set when we officially roll it out in the next 2 weeks.

Carlos Lascano
VP Support Services, ExchangeDefender
carlos@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x737


January 18, 2012

Exchange Identity Switcher

Filed under: Hosted Services,Software — vlad @ 10:20 am

One of the most common questions that our support team receives with Hosted Exchange is “How can my client choose which email address I want to send as?” and many partners are shocked to hear the answer “You can’t”.

The above limitation has always existed in Exchange as you can only have one “outgoing” address. Sure, you can create another profile in Outlook and send via SMTP or create a distribution group and add send-as rights..but what do you do if you’re on hosted exchange and you don’t have the freedom to control addresses and configurations at will or find it rather rudimentary?

*Drum roll*

Now you can…

For the first time (as far as I can tell for any hosting provider) partners/clients will have the ability to control their outgoing address in our Hosted Exchange.

Utilizing our API and a brand new API designed by the ExchangeDefender team for direct client Exchange interaction we now can extend the ability for clients to control their outgoing address on the fly.

The current beta product is a windows based application and will soon be converted to an Outlook 2010 plugin.

If you or your clients are interested in test driving this software please reach out to me directly: travis@ownwebnow.com.

Note:  This only applies to rockerduck.

Travis Sheldon
VP, Network Operations, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x757
travis@ownwebnow.com


January 5, 2012

How to Position Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 So That Anyone Will Want to Buy it

Filed under: Consulting,Hosted Services — vlad @ 4:48 pm

You may be saying “Wait, this sounds impossible” or “It is too good to be true.” That would be because it really is.

It is not possible to honestly position any one email product so that absolutely everyone will see real value in it – there are just too many varying sets of needs and requirements out there. But you can quickly and easily get a few pieces of information that you can use to show your clients how they can take advantage of the wealth of value within Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender.

Your first task when you begin the sales conversation with any new client or prospect is to find out what Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 can do for them. How do you do that? By focusing NOT on the hosted exchange product or service, but rather on the client himself (or herself) and asking them the right questions, the right way.

In this questioning process you will find out what email service they are currently using, what issues they have with that service at that time, and how those issues are affecting them. The implications, or how their issues with their email service affect them, are the real meat that you are looking for.

What can Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender do for them? Chances are good that once you understand the issues and how they are affecting the client’s business, you can very easily illustrate how Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 will alleviate those affects by eliminating the issues.

For example, if you hear from a small business client running someone else’s web-based email that the limited support is extending downtime and costing the client business, then you know that a brief mention of the quick and effective 24×7 support available through ExchangeDefender might be highly enlightening to them, and may serve to enhance your value proposition significantly.

Remember, positioning any product is all about building value proposition and painting a picture. Our CEO, Vlad Mazek, calls it “Selling the Dream” – help the client see exactly how much better their lives and business will be with Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender and closing the sale becomes the natural, easy result of the conversation.

Do you find this information useful?

If you would like a lot more in-depth discussion about the cloud and how it affects you and your clients, visit Looks Cloudy http://www.lookscloudy.com where I blog daily about the adoption of the cloud in SMB, conduct live webcasts and podcasts with industry leaders, and more.

Kate Hunt
VP Community Development, ExchangeDefender
kate@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x777


December 6, 2011

Three Common Business Challenges…& How Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender Solves Them

Filed under: Consulting,Hosted Services — vlad @ 10:49 am

Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender can address a lot of different kinds of problems for a lot of different kinds of businesses. It can help many of our clients in a multitude of ways. Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender minimizes the upfront costs for a business to take advantage of stable, secure web communication and collaboration. Because it’s hosted in our cloud, it’s accessible from anywhere, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, on any device. We include everything that a business needs to leverage the power of Microsoft Exchange for their growing business for a low monthly fee.

Here are three common business challenges and how Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender solves them:

Losing time, wasting time, or not getting enough done as a group

For growing businesses, profitability is all about efficiency – doing more with fewer resources, less money, less time. It is mission-critical to make sure that employees are actually working, and can be really important to be able to see who is free to take on a job at the last minute, at any time.

Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender allows your clients and all of their employees to share calendars and tasks easily across the web. They’ll be able to tell who’s busy and who’s free right inside Outlook, schedule appointments on other users’ calendars, and save time by avoiding all the complexity of phone calls and emails for scheduling and coordination.

Lost or delayed orders from email server crashes

Many businesses today use email to track orders, orders from their suppliers and vendors, and also orders from their clients. When email is down, it can take a severe and expensive toll on the business.

With Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender, data is stored on our globally-redundant infrastructure and accessible via Outlook Web Apps, Outlook desktop client, and mobile devices. Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender is protected by the world-class ExchangeDefender security suite, so in addition to being reliable, messages will be free of malicious code and safe for consumption anytime, anywhere, and also comes with the LiveArchive service built right in. LiveArchive is the ultimate redundancy feature that enables real-time access to one year’s worth of messages via Outlook Web Access anytime, anywhere in case of any kind of hardware failure or outage.

chained-up-moneyLosing money by being chained to the office park

So many businesses today are beginning to recognize the opportunity. There are many efficiencies and benefits to deploying a mobile workforce. Smartphones, tablets, telecommuting, and the like are becoming more accessible, less expensive and generally more viable options for all businesses, especially growing ones.

Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 from ExchangeDefender supports automatic wireless synchronization with your Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7 device. BlackBerry support is available for a small additional fee, as well. Whichever mobile platform the client is on, contacts, calendars, and messages are kept up to date at all times.

…and another thing:

Speaking of losing money, perhaps the number one limitation faced by growing businesses is being tight on capital. Hosted Exchange is available for a flat monthly fee per user without the big up-front cost of servers and software licenses that come with traditional applications. It’s fully compatible with existing supported Microsoft Office desktop applications, and fully supported 24/7.

Do you find this information useful?

lcIf you’d like a lot more in-depth discussion about the cloud and how it affects you and your clients, visit Looks Cloudy http://www.lookscloudy.com where I blog daily about the adoption of the cloud in SMB, conduct live webcasts and podcasts with industry leaders and more.

Kate Hunt
VP Community Development, ExchangeDefender
kate@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x777


November 28, 2011

Learning from Experience…

Filed under: Hosted Services,Support — vlad @ 10:09 am

The past two weeks have been rather stressful and unpleasant for our partners and your end users on DEWEY due to the recent outage that left 17% of the users without full access to their entire mailbox for two weeks. Not only has this been our longest outage with any service, but it also has been one of the most “bumpy road” recoveries we’ve ever experienced. Our partners and their end users could compare almost every step of the recovery to pulling teeth; every step of the way, we let them down.

We’re extremely sorry…this was (and still is) extremely unfortunate, but we have learned a lot from this experience.

Here’s a quick break down of the experience:

10/31/11 – Users on two databases both lost connection to Exchange.

11/01/11 – Users are switched to dial tone recovery mode. Users with mobile phones lose contacts and calendar events on next sync.

11/06/11 – Users on DB2 regain access to old mail, but lose access to any new mail, contacts, or calendar entries since the outage began.

11/07/11 – Mailbox data for users on DB2 is fully restored; new and old data merged.

11/17/11 – Users on DB3 regain access to old mail, but lose access to any new mail, contacts, or calendar entries since the outage began.

11/19/11 – Mailbox data for users on DB3 is fully restored; new and old data merged.

In speaking to partners along every step of the way we heard every issue experienced by end users with the biggest issue being the dial tone recovery. During dial tone recovery any users with ActiveSync based connections will lose all Exchange contacts and calendar items on next sync after dial tone is activated.

When you break down our responsibilities and duties to our clients, at the very minimum, we need to provide a live running service as quickly as possible. Technology and software unfortunately have issues and can break, but as long as we can minimalize the direct impact faced by end users we can generally get through issues without upsetting a lot of partners. By erasing all cached access by mobile phones with the temporary mailbox, we put a lot of stress on our partners.

We are considering a disaster recovery policy control for partners..

The policy controls will give partners control of how we treat each mailbox during an outage. In giving partners the ability to control how we respond, this will greatly improve the overall experience during an outage and will allow the partner to provide direct expectations to their clients.

For instance, say partner ABC123 Computers has a client, Big Electric Company, with 10 mailboxes.

The partner wants to mark 3 users as “Do not activate dial tone” as these users are mobile and depend on their contacts and calendars and they cannot afford to lose them once dial tone is activated.

The partner then marks the CEO and CFO as “Do not reimport data after outage” as the partner plans to reimport cached data because the CFO and CEO cannot work on dial tone mail alone.

By allowing the partner to directly control our recovery process for mailboxes, the partner will then be able to set direct SLA expectations for their end users during the outage.

Plans for the future…

FutureIn the event that we experience another catastrophic failure (anticipated 6+ hours of downtime), we will wait at least one hour before activating dial tone recovery for mailboxes that are not opted out.

During the first hour, we will reach out to all partners via telephone whose mailboxes are not opted out from dial tone recovery to make them aware of the expected experience for end users. If the partner wishes to not activate dial tone recovery we will activate the mailbox option in service manager to opt out of dial tone recovery. Additionally, partners could ask (via support ticket) that the dial tone activation to be postponed for a few hours later if the partner wants to advise the end user to disable ActiveSync.

Once the original (or backup) database is back online we will once again reach out to all partners who have not opted out of mailbox data restore to let them know of the expected experience for end users. If the partner wishes to opt the mailbox out of data restore then the mailbox will remain on the dial tone database until the recovery of data for all users on the affected database is completed.

If you think the outage policy control would be a beneficial add on to our Hosted Exchange service, please let me know travis@exchangedefender.com.

Travis Sheldon
VP Network Operations, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x757
travis@ownwebnow.com


November 21, 2011

The Power of an All-In Solution

Filed under: Consulting,Hosted Services — vlad @ 10:54 am

Hosted email can be very simple – pay one flat price per month per mailbox for a set of great services that meets all the client’s needs. Yet some providers choose to make it very complicated – just determining what the per-mailbox cost will be can seem like solving an algebra problem. Hidden add-ons and fees abound, and add up very quickly to costs much higher than anticipated. When anything changes, like storage needs or mailboxes or additional services, account changes can be complicated, may affect the price dramatically (which wreaks havoc on your profitability), and can be difficult to manage.

At ExchangeDefender, our Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 offering makes it very simple. For one flat, all-inclusive rate per mailbox per month, you can offer your clients a hosted messaging solution that is flexible enough for their varying needs today and tomorrow, and robust enough to enable you to turn a profit on every mailbox every month.

“Under promise and over deliver”

promises ave and realiry wayLet’s say your client, like so many small businesses, indicates in the sales conversations that they “just need a basic email solution” that will work and keep them safe and secure. Well what if you could offer that to them, at a great price, with all the features that they could ever want to “add on” later built right in and ready to go when that time comes?

ExchangeDefender Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 solution comes with full ExchangeDefender protection, an Outlook desktop license, Live Archive service, web filtering, web file sharing, and even more great features built right in. If your clients don’t need or want any of them, you can simply disable them. You can deliver that fully-customized functionality with just the click of a button in your management portal. There’s no migration, no additional provisioning or payments, no updates. It’s just that simple, for you and your clients.

We offer ExchangeDefender Hosted Exchange 2010 + SharePoint 2010 to our partners for $10 per mailbox per month, with additional discounts available based on volume. You get to mark this up and charge your client at your discretion. We typically see the service being resold for $15-20 per mailbox per month, providing a nice healthy margin to the MSP partner. And the price includes everything, with no fine print or hidden catches. $15 a month for a full-scale, customizable Microsoft Exchange email service sounds very appealing.

It’s easy to manage, so you’ll spend a little less time managing each client’s changing email and messaging needs, which adds up to big impact on the bottom line. Remember that when the fee is fixed, the goal is to minimize your internal costs for managing and delivering each service to each account, to be most profitable.

Do you find this information useful?

lcIf you’d like a lot more in-depth discussion about the cloud and how it affects you and your clients, visit Looks Cloudy http://www.lookscloudy.com where I blog daily about the adoption of the cloud in SMB, conduct live webcasts and podcasts with industry leaders and more.

Kate Hunt
VP Community Development, ExchangeDefender
kate@ownwebnow.com
(877) 546-0316 x777


November 17, 2011

Exchange 2007: Leaving Old Technology in the Past

Filed under: Hosted Services — vlad @ 1:49 pm

technical_support_outage_advisoryA few weeks ago (10/31/11) our DEWEY cluster suffered a major outage at the result of old conflicting RAID policies that led to the dirty dismount of 50% of the DEWEY databases. Immediately, our team started the recovery process, which unfortunately took longer than ever expected (More details @ https://www.exchangedefender.com/noc) and prompted our side to start developing a new solution for DEWEY users to restore and maintain the expected service availability and reliability.

Lets be forthright…DEWEY has been somewhat of a nuisance not only to our staff, but also to our partners and your users.

Overall, Exchange 2007 was a drastic leap and improvement from Exchange 2003, but still lacked many features for service providers or any rapidly expanding company such as the ability to properly scale the solution and implement additional failovers after initial deployment. In comparison, I think of Exchange 2007 as Windows Vista – it brought a lot of new features and easier management from 2003, but after a year of management it feels like a bad tease.

Over a year ago, we decided to immediately start offering Exchange 2010 as soon as it RTM because we felt we hit the ceiling in terms of scalability with Exchange 2007. Sure, we could add more CAS servers and MBOX servers, but that would eventually end up with partners having multiple configurations to keep track of for clients in the same company. Taking everything into account Exchange 2007 was no longer the road we traveled down for new deployments.

Going back to DEWEY, we started experiencing more frequent issues in terms of reliability over the past six months. Between services failing to respond in a timely manner or even worse, not responding at all we knew we had to provide a solution before our partners clients threw up their hands to say “I’m done!”.

Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade

In order to provide a solution we must keep a few essential components in mind:

1. The upgrade must be seamless with no mail loss and no major service interruption.

2. The upgrade must be automated. We can’t expect partners to import/export data or reconfigure Outlook.

3. The upgrade must be scheduled so partners are kept in the loop on the migration progress.

4. The upgrade must be flexible for partners who want to slowly migrate or for partners who want to immediately move.

Unfortunately, Exchange 2007 does not provide the ability to seamlessly move users directly to any remote Exchange 2010 cluster (i.e. Rockerduck), but we can upgrade to a local 2010 cluster, then move the client to ROCKERDUCK.

The Solutions is Here…

In the past few weeks we have deployed and successfully tested a 40 user migration from 2007 DEWEY to 2010 ROCKERDUCK with very minimal effort on the partner’s end. Below is a rough overview of the process which was designed for a 2 week migration for clients:

solution1. Partner adjusts autodiscover CNAME record to NEWDEWEY (2010).

2. Move requests get created from 2007 DEWEY to 2010 DEWEY (Week 1, Monday).

3. Users on DEWEY will remain on 2007 throughout the work week.

4. Move requests will be finalized on Friday evening. Users will now be serviced on 2010 DEWEY (Week 1, Friday).

a. Users with BES devices will remain on 2007 until the final move to ROCKERDUCK.

5. Users come in on Monday, restart Outlook.

6. Move requests to ROCKERDUCK are created (Week 2, Wednesday).

7. Partner adjusts autodiscover record to point to ROCKERDUCK (Week 2, Friday at close of business).

8. Move requests will be finalized Saturday evening (Week 2, Saturday).

9. User comes in on Monday, selects “Repair account” on ‘Email Accounts’ list. User is now serviced on ROCKERDUCK.

10. Users re-setup ActiveSync and any Blackberry Enterprise Server accounts.

With the above outlined process users should not see any service interruption nor will users have to recreate their Outlook profiles.

Travis Sheldon
VP Network Operations, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x757
travis@ownwebnow.com


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