Ask an MSP ExpertQ: I understand the purpose of email continuity, but what makes it so valuable that my MSP should offer it to our customers? Which types of SMB customers will need email continuity the most?

Email continuity is a very valuable resource for MSPs to employ, even if some do not know it. And, for MSPs that work with SMB customers in certain specific vertical markets, email continuity is not just a nice resource to offer – it’s an absolute necessity to have available for those customers.

To get a better understanding of email continuity, the value it provides, and the circumstances where it offers an immense amount of usefulness to certain SMB customers, Smarter MSP sat down with Kevin Davy, Sales Engineer at Barracuda MSP. In our conversation, Kevin outlined why and how email continuity plays such a vital role in keeping an SMB business active, and how it can strengthen the partnership between an MSP and its SMB customers.

The importance of email continuity

For those who might not be familiar with it, email continuity keeps email accounts sending and receiving messages when email servers go down. Email servers, especially those on-premises, are prone to occasional outages. Users can utilize the new servers provided by their email continuity service to continue normal email activity until their regular email server returns.

Email continuity’s importance comes from its ability to keep businesses running, even when its email service goes down. Many businesses are dependent on their ability to send and receive emails. Without this capability, many modern businesses will nearly come to an absolute standstill. With email continuity in place, the SMBs that partner with MSPs can keep maintain productivity without missing a beat.

Many people think that because they are using cloud-based structured email services, like Microsoft 365, that they will never experience downtime. These email services still experience intermittent outages, and will only notify users that have been affected, which perpetuates the belief that there is more uptime than there actually is. Even when employing a cloud-based email service, email continuity is necessary.

Best practices when employing email continuity

Email continuity has a very easy and simple set-up process once an MSP signs on to offer it. Implement the service and make sure all domains are added to the system, to make sure nothing slips through the cracks. Make sure your systems are also properly configured with any email security services that you are employing from a vendor.

Remember that email continuity is a fallback plan, a ‘last resort’ option. It is not supposed to replace your email server whenever the server undergoes routine, expected outages such as routine maintenance. Email continuity should only be used when absolutely needed as a ‘safety net.’

Best uses for email continuity

Any organization with physical, privately owned servers that they are hosting themselves or use on-premises exchange will benefit the most from an email continuity. If the power goes out, then their email is out as well – simple as that. Most SMBs cannot naturally keep their email servers running at all hours, which is where email continuity can fill in that gap. Email continuity vendors utilize cloud resources, such as Amazon Web Services, in their back-end pool to keep uptime as close to 100 percent as possible.

Even if uptime is already at near max peak/potential, random periods of downtime can occur, and that’s where email continuity can prove its value. The more use and reliance an SMB customer has on email to conduct its business, the more value they will find from it, and in turn, from the MSP it partners with.

Email continuity is a simple service to add and offer to SMB customers, at limited cost for an MSP. For example, Barracuda’s email continuity service can configure with all email servers and only requires users to enter their domain into the system. It also comes free with any email service that you add from Barracuda. Email continuity provides tremendous value in protecting a customer’s business, while strengthening the partnership between an SMB customer and an MSP.

Photo: NicoElNino / Shutterstock

Bill Petherbridge

Posted by Bill Petherbridge

Bill is a Content Marketing Associate at Barracuda MSP. In this position, Bill is a key contributor to the management of the SmarterMSP.com and Barracuda MSP blogs. He also serves as copyeditor for Barracuda MSP content, in addition to maintaining Barracuda MSP's social media presence.

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