By Martino Corbelli, Marketing Director, Star (www.star.co.uk)

Email is regarded as a standard, but mission-critical, business communication tool and although it causes real problems when it’s not working, it doesn’t add any value to the business and effectively just needs to operate smoothly in the background.

As business email is ubiquitous it offers no real competitive advantage because everybody else has it too. However, the real competitive advantage on offer today is getting rid of email all together. As it has become increasingly complex and expensive for organisations to manage email in-house now is the time to release company resources from this operational bondage, so that people, money and management effort can focus on more productive activities.

With message volumes continuing to rise, file attachments steadily increasing, security threats and data loss always prevalent, IT departments are constantly battling to keep ahead of the challenges.

What’s more, they are now scratching their heads and thinking how they are going to approach their board and tell them that soon they will have to update the software and hardware to prepare for Microsoft Exchange 2010 — a conversation about capital expenditure they are not looking forward to, let alone have any confidence about what the outcome will be. Therein lies an opportunity, tell the board to throw email out, once and for all, that you are going to save them from spending significant capital expenditure and still deliver the latest and most efficient business email solution.

This is the revolution that forward thinking CIOs are joining in their droves. By changing their thinking and habitual ways of doing things they are finding new and liberating solutions that will change the landscape of their world forever, and email is just a part of it. CIOs can now get their business grade email delivered to all their users as a service so the user experience is exactly the same as before and the only difference is that they can now get their email from anywhere, anytime and from any internet connected device with a browser. Further, no one gets pulled out of bed at 3:00am to fix a problem because the service is delivered from secure UK data centres with around the clock professional support maintaining every mailbox. Suddenly the world looks very different from a CIO’s perspective and much more appealing, not to mention the Finance Director also feeling quite pleased.

No longer does the CIO worry about email security, archiving, discovery, back-up, business continuity, disaster recovery, patching, maintenance and upgrades — all of this is part of the service. Based on a per user per month price that can flex up and down in line with business requirements and paid for from operational expenditure, suddenly there is a new and more compelling way to deliver business email that will let every CIO sleep better at night.

With telephony also converging with applications, email will become the central point for all communication, collaboration and conferencing, all delivered as a service from the cloud, meaning our dependency on the email application will continue for quite some time to come.