You are doubtlessly making extensive use of e-mail in your organization. In addition, you might have heard about the enhanced collaboration and communication possibilities afforded by the use of push e-mail, where e-mails are delivered without user intervention directly to smartphones or mobile devices.
How does a SMB get started on this front, though - be it an organization-wide rollout, or equipping the sales and marketing team with this capability? Well, push e-mail has matured over the years, and you will be glad to know that there are ways you can leverage existing architecture in your business to set up push mail for your mobile staff, and that it doesn't require an arm and a leg to finance.
Before delving into the implementation details, there are some pertinent questions related to the preference and the needs of your SMB that you must answer.
- Who will pay for the smartphones or mobile devices?
Enterprises, in general, prefer to purchase the smartphones for their users in order to implement push mail. This is due to the larger number of devices that they handle, which translates into much higher running costs when dealing with disparate devices. Deploying company-owned smartphones will allow them to acquire the same models.
As you can imagine, the logic doesn't work out the same for the smaller SMBs, where being able to leverage user-owned devices will substantially reduce initial investments. Obviously, push mail will not run on every mobile device out there. Solutions do exist, though, and a lot of the more common smartphones and mobile devices can be configured to support push e-mail.
- Who will pay for the mobile and data subscription?
Mobile and data subscriptions are generally separate entities. It might be possible to subscribe to data-only lines in your region; then again, a separate mobile subscription might be mandatory. While the sales team might already have their mobile phone expenses paid for by the company, the situation is unlikely to be the same for the other departments.
Working out the mobile and data subscription costs will allow you to ascertain the running cost of implementing a push mail system.
- Will your e-mail server be maintained in-house or hosted with a provider?
For SMBs, I generally recommend hosting with a reputable and reliable provider. However, regulatory laws might prohibit that, or there might be other compelling reason to host in-house for your organization or industry.
The questions so far are only useful to help the SMB crystallize their implementation strategy and recurring costs for push e-mail. In my next post, I'll look at the major options that are currently available for organizations looking to implement push e-mail.