||Using WebCentral's hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010 service, IML Design was able to deliver 100% on their goal of providing customers with first rate hosted email.
| Ian Lewis
IML Design has been providing email services and support for their growing customer base since 2000. They quickly realised that many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), like consultancy groups, physiotherapists and personal trainers, needed a reliable
email service but did not want to invest in or maintain their own servers. Many also needed help getting email set up with smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as ongoing support.
In response to this customer need, IML Design saw a business opportunity and decided to offer WebCentral’s hosted Microsoft Exchange service and set up their own web support portal (www.imlsupport.com.au)
to assist with setup and ongoing support.
For their new offering to be a success, Ian Lewis, founder and CEO of IML Design, knew it had to be founded on a solid, reliable platform with secure local back-up. “Communication is mission critical to our customers,” he explains. “A missed call or email
is often a missed opportunity.”
After investigating the options, Ian chose to re-sell Hosted Microsoft Exchange from WebCentral, Australia's largest web and application hosting company. “We evaluated hosted email products from Google however we felt the Microsoft product was better suited
to our customers’ needs because it’s reliable, fully-featured and is the standard operating environment for the majority of our clients who are comfortable using their products,” he explains. WebCentral's hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010 service is designed
with small business in mind, allowing them to simply pay by level of use, scaling users up or down according to their needs or seasonal demand. Customers can access email using a variety of platforms, choose the size of inbox they require – from 1GB to 25GB
– and get advanced collaborative tools such as centralised email, calendars and contacts. They can also add options that include Outlook anywhere access and mobile email access. This is all underpinned with highly secure, scalable local hosting in Australia.
Hosted Microsoft Exchange proved to be a powerful catalyst for new business. With more and more companies signing up it’s now become its own distinct business within IML Design, providing a revenue stream and growing their customer base.
Offer a first-rate hosted email service. “Using WebCentral's hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010 service, IML Design has been able to deliver 100% on its goal of providing customers with first rate hosted email,” says Ian Lewis.
“It provides customers with the communication tools they need to email, book appointments, and schedule meetings. Plus with a common address book for their staff and customer contacts, it’s easy for our customers to quickly find the person they need. With
Outlook Web Access they can access email on-the-go and it’s always synchronised and up to date. If they lose their iPhone or break their laptop, nothing is lost. It’s all in the cloud ready for when they log on with another device to continue working.”
Host it locally with high-level security. When choosing a hosting partner, Ian was focused on his customers’ business continuity. “Security was my number one concern when investigating the options for our hosted email service,”
he explains. “An unreliable service would be reputation-damaging and costly to support. Plus, we have customers who deal with defence contracts who need to comply with strict requirements to store their data under Australian jurisdiction.” IML Design chose
WebCentral because of their Australian-based data centres with high levels of redundancy and technical support. “We’ve been using WebCentral for hosting going back fourteen years and our customers have rarely had instances of downtime.”
Give customers scalable solutions. WebCentral’s ability to provide extra storage on demand using a pay-for-use model is extremely attractive to SMBs. “It’s not viable for them to manage their own IT, set up servers and pay
for troubleshooting. Our service provides the email service they need on a per-user, per-month basis. If they have seasonal demands or transient workers they simply pay for another user for as long as they need.”
Improve revenue and grow new business. WebCentral’s hosted Microsoft Exchange 2010 service has proved extremely popular with IML Design’s customers, bringing in useful residual income. “It also opens doors to new business,”
Ian explains. “We’re often called in to set up hosted email and from that we build a relationship which leads to other opportunities and referrals.”