What’s the Best Option for my Business – Office 365 or Microsoft Exchange 2019?

Microsoft has remained a business mainstay for decades, with many companies relying on their products to handle day to day business functions.  To continue adding new features and robust security, Microsoft regularly releases new versions of its products, such as the Office 365 subscription and Microsoft Exchange.  The tradeoff, however, is that Microsoft cannot support legacy applications indefinitely, meaning important software being used across the world will eventually become obsolete and unsecured.

Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2016 End-of-Life

In May 2019, Microsoft made a notable announcement that Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2016 will be reaching its end-of-life in 2020. Exchange 2010 will no longer be eligible for technical support, bug fixes, and security updates from Microsoft on October 13, 2020.  Exchange 2016 will switch to Extended Support, receiving an additional five years of security updates, but will not incorporate any new design changes or feature requests.

So What Are Your Options?

Organizations that choose not to upgrade risk leaving their software vulnerable to attacks and future incompatibility. Without new security patches for Exchange 2010, one of the business’ most critical functions — email — could face new and significant security threats. And with no new functionality planned for either the 2010 or 2016 platform, users won’t be able to take advantage of new features and collaboration tools that many eventually come to expect.

Microsoft offers two paths forward for organizations migrating away from Exchange 2010 and Exchange 2016: implement Exchange 2019 or move to Office 365. This may sound like a simple decision — but each option offers a business a very different experience.  In simple terms, if you’re looking for features and collaboration, then moving to the cloud-based Office 365 might be the way to go.  For those who have legal and compliance requirements that restrict a move to a hosted or cloud environment, Exchange 2019 is the logical option.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 vs Microsoft Office 365

Exchange Server 2019 is a powerful and secure on-premises solution that runs on an organization’s servers. Built with high performance in mind, Exchange Server 2019 offers reliability and high-security out-of-the-box, as well as access to Outlook mobile and Exchange Online. Standard and Enterprise licensing is available.

Main reasons a business chooses to use Exchange Server 2019

  • They prefer to have total control over everything on their mail servers.
  • They have an in-house support team available to provide instant support for all Exchange server issues.
  • Don’t like the idea of paying for a suite of products, like Office 365, that will not be fully utilized by employees.

Microsoft Office 365 a cloud-based version of Microsoft’s Office suite of enterprise-grade productivity applications was introduced in 2011. Office 365 includes Exchange Online for email, SharePoint Online for collaboration, Lync Online for unified communications, and a suite of web-based versions of the traditional Microsoft Office suite.

Main reasons a business chooses to use Microsoft Office 365

  • It provides collaboration tools to make it easier for employees to work together.
  • Offers a full suite of products and access to new products and feature enhancements.
  • They have a small or no in-house IT team to support and manage Exchange Server 2019

Exchange Online is a component of Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription plan. Unlike Exchange Server 2019, Exchange Online hosts email on Microsoft’s servers, through an easy-to-maintain admin center and web-based interface. When part of a cloud-based Office 365 suite, Exchange Online integrates with a comprehensive collection of modern productivity and collaboration tools.

How to Choose Between Exchange Server 2019 and Office 365

For many, a path to upgrade from Exchange 2010 or Exchange 2016 may not seem straightforward. However, business requirements may dictate which solution is ultimately required: for companies that must have on-premises hosting for compliance or legal purposes, or prefer to host the software on sufficient hardware without using Microsoft’s cloud, Exchange Server 2019 is the logical choice.

If on-premises hosting isn’t a requirement, deciding which Exchange option is best comes down to the size and scope of the organization. Those seeking access to the rest of Office’s productivity tools, cloud collaboration, and hosting by a trusted provider like Microsoft should choose Office 365.

No matter which option you feel is best for your organization, the only wrong route you can take is delaying an upgrade, leaving critical software vulnerable to future attacks or exploits.

DWD Technology Group helps businesses throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan choose the best software to meet their needs. To determine whether Exchange 2019 or Office 365 is the right fit, contact DWD’s technology experts at 800-232-8913.