Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Of course, in Ben’s day, they didn’t have software lifecycles to deal with. These days, we can add another thing to the list of certainties: software upgrades. Time marches on, and so does software development. Eventually, the old versions just get too expensive and difficult to support. The latest to hit the warning list: Microsoft Exchange 2010.
We’re now less than a year away from the end of support for Exchange 2010. Come next January, there will be no more patches, fixes, or security updates issued for Exchange 2010. The farther we go past that date, the more of a security risk Exchange 2010 will represent to your business if you continue to run it. So it’s time to start planning what you’re going to do next.
One question you should ask yourself is whether it really makes sense to continue to maintain your own Exchange server. Maybe it’s time to make the move to Office 365, and never have to upgrade Exchange again. Let’s look at how that pencils out.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you have 100 users in your organization, that you can get by with the standard editions of both Server and Client Access License, and that you don’t generally purchase Software Assurance for your Microsoft licenses. In that scenario, a new license for Exchange Server 2019 Standard Edition will cost you roughly $750, and Standard User CALs will cost around $100 each. So licensing alone for your 100 user mail system will cost you roughly $10,750. A license for Exchange Online Plan 1 (50 Gb mailbox per user) costs $4/month. So that’s $48/year, which pencils out to $4,800/year for your 100 users. So you can pay for Exchange Online for over two years with the money it would cost you for Exchange licensing alone. That doesn’t take into account the cost of managing that on-prem Exchange infrastructure over that two-year period, nor have we delved into the possible advantage of moving from a capital expenditure to an operating expenditure cost model (that’s a discussion best held with your tax accountant). But it gets even better.
An estimated 1.2 Billion people use the Microsoft Office Suite. Chances are pretty good that your employees are among them. Currently, a volume license for Microsoft Office Pro Plus, without Software Assurance, for a single device, will cost you roughly $530. So, if you upgrade Office for all 100 of your users, that will cost you another $53,000, bringing your total software license cost to $63,750. An Office 365 Business Premium license will cost you $12.50 per user per month, or $150/user/year. So buying Office 365 Business Premium for your 100 users will cost $15,000/year, meaning that you can pay for those Business Premium licenses for more than four years with the money it would cost for Exchange and Office licensing.
And these are extremely conservative estimates. We really should take into account the fact that Microsoft will upgrade its Exchange Online infrastructure on a regular basis, and your users will always have access to the latest version of the Office Suite. If you wanted that ability with on-prem licensing, you would purchase Software Assurance for your licenses, which would bump your license cost to roughly $84,000, and push your break-even point out to about five and a half years. We should also take into account that your Office 365 Business Premium licenses also include SharePoint Online and 1 Tb of OneDrive for Business storage per user and Microsoft Teams. Finally, we should take into account that your Office 365 subscription entitles each user to install the Office Suite of apps on up to five PCs or Macs, and up to five mobile devices, where traditional Office licensing only covers a single endpoint computing device.
Yes, there will be a cost involved in migrating your email to Office 365. You should probably budget roughly $125/mailbox to be on the safe side. But there would be a cost involved in migrating your on-prem Exchange 2010 server to Exchange 2019 as well – and once you migrate to Office 365, you’ll never have to do it again.
If these numbers make sense to you, please give us a call. Our automated migration tools can significantly ease the pain of an Office 365 email migration, and lift the burden of managing an on-prem Exchange infrastructure off of your shoulders. This would be a perfect time to make the switch.