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On-premise Exchange vs. Office 365 – What’s Right for Your Business?


In today’s cloud driven world, organizations are continually faced with the decision to keep their email solution in-house, or utilize a public cloud solution like Office 365. The standard for years has been an on-premise Microsoft Exchange server. This solution still works for many deployment scenarios, but moving your email and calendar solutions to Office 365 is a growing trend. In a recent study by Barracuda, over 63% of respondents indicated they are currently using Office 365.

So, how do we choose either an on-premise Exchange solution or Office 365? Let’s look at some of the key reasons to use each.

On-Premise Exchange:

  • With your email hosted onsite, your company has complete control of the environment. This can be useful for things like configuring your backup solution, managing the size of user mailboxes, and how you want mail to flow through your email security solution.
  • Your IT department may already have engineers on staff that are experts with your existing Exchange deployment. With that said, moving to Office 365 may require you provide training for your current staff. This transition may present costs that your company might not be able to afford at this time.
  • If something breaks with your Exchange environment, your IT department can troubleshoot the issue immediately. Due to their familiarity with the configuration, they have a high likelihood of fixing any issues right away.
  • Your company may have a business security plan that requires all company data to be stored in-house, which would require an on-premise Exchange solution.
  • Transitioning to Office 365 requires planning and training for your user community that needs to be taken into consideration during deployment. There is also a cost that comes with new licensing and migration expenses.

Office 365:

  • With Office 365, your IT department no longer has to worry about performing security updates or Exchange Cumulative Updates. All of that is done automatically by Microsoft, without any downtime required. This also allows any new features to be utilized right away by your employees.
  • Hosting your email in the cloud means you no longer need physical equipment used previously. This means lower costs for purchasing the actual servers, switches, etc., as well as removing support contracts for that equipment. Add that to the lowered power consumption, and your IT costs will decrease.
  • Physical equipment also ages. Traditionally, the guidance is to replace physical hardware every 5 years or so. With Office 365, this requirement no longer exists.
  • Once you have migrated to Office 365, the ease of management increases. Your IT department requires less engineers to maintain your email, and lower level engineers can perform tasks that used to require more advanced knowledge of the Exchange setup.


Thrive can assist with looking at and managing your complete cloud integration. Feel free to contact Thrive today to speak with one of our experts.