Ask an IT Guy: Why Does My Business Have So Many Email Issues?
Emails run our daily lives. By a show of hands, how many of us check our email first thing in the morning? My hand is in the air too, so no judgment. It's just so easy with our pocket-sized computers, also known as smartphones, nearby. Slam the alarm and check your email, it’s a no-brainer.
So when it doesn't work, or it keeps giving you problems, it's frustrating. One of the most common problems executives have when they come to us is about the functionality of their email.
We've noticed some trends about why those issues are happening in the first place.
Ammon Becar, one of our Chief Information Officers, explained some common email grievances with us. He also added guidance on how the right process can be a game changer.
Let’s dive into the world of email and what it means for small to mid-size businesses.
Most Common Email Issues for Small Businesses
1. Email Won’t Sync
Like most things, if it's set up wrong, it won’t work correctly.
Think of it like this: if you have a bike and the handlebars are on backwards, does the bike still work? Of course. But is it as useful? That would be a solid no. Similarly, if your email won't sync properly, sure, it runs. But it might not work when and where you need it too.
“Let’s say you have your business email setup on your phone. Depending on the settings allowed by your consumer email server or provider, it can cause some serious sync issues when you return to your workstation in the office. Some emails are marked "Read," others have been responded to, yet they're still showing "unread," and some aren't deleted. What a headache!
In most cases, it's a problem with the email solution itself. Switching from a consumer-grade email system to an enterprise (or business-grade) email solution will go a long way to solve problems.
Whether you’re using an Exchange server in house or hosted in the cloud, somewhere like Office 365, enterprise email will set your business up for success and reduce email problems.”
2. My Domain Credentials (Password) Don’t Work
Another huge issue in the world of email is user domain credentials.
All email users should be joined to a company domain. This helps manage user policies and permissions, and of course PASSWORDS! Having a password policy and forcing users to change passwords every 30 – 90 days can drastically help protect your business.
“Everyone loves trying to remember all their different passwords, right? Domain credentials can help ease the pain.
One administrative piece to your Domain Controller (DC), is Active Directory (AD). AD can help manage all your separate mandatory passwords to a Single Sign-On (SSO). This one password can login you into your workstation, email, any other server or applicable software.
One password, with proper complexity, that you are forced to change every 30-90 days, will increase your protection and security.”
3. Server or Cloud Email Service Wasn’t Setup Right
Some people blame their email issues on the Cloud, while others blame it on their server. But in reality, if you don’t have the right setup or configuration, it won’t work regardless.
Correctly configuring your email system is the only thing that can stop 90% of the issues. Otherwise, it’s just a Band-Aid.
“E-mail is a mission critical part of your business. Without email, business communication is at a standstill. Not only having the best solution for your business, but having it configured and operating correctly for your business, is key.
The days of mega servers and storage for email are now a thing of the past! Thank you, Office 365 and G Suite! Depending on the size of your business, an email server might be a better choice, but for almost every small to midsize business these days, Office 365 or G Suite is the way to go.
With Office 365 or G Suite, no more on-premise server to constantly maintain and check storage, patch, and those awful Windows updates! All management can be done in the Cloud, so no matter where you are, Admin Controls are at your IT team's fingertips.”
4. Using Consumer/Personal Email When Business Email is Needed
Believe it or not, all email is not created equal. Some emails accounts are set up for consumer or home use only. While others are set up for business. This brings up its own set of issues.
“Many companies just don’t know where to start, but they know they need email. So they go to what they know. I see this a lot with small businesses.
Have you ever sent an email to a company @gmail.com or something comparable? These are consumer email accounts that most likely have multiple users logging in from multiple workstations or devices to check email. NOT GOOD! This can open up a world of disaster!
Consumer email, means consumer control. These accounts have very limited storage, and very limited extras. Good luck trying to setup with Outlook!
However, if you do find yourself as one of these companies, luckily there are tools out there to help migrate your email to business grade email, like Office 365 or G Suite.”
So, we hear you. When email isn’t working as it should, it's super annoying and disruptive to your day. Fortunately, there are some distinct ways to cut email issues to a minimum.
First and foremost, make sure that your system is up-to-date. Make sure configurations are set up correctly and always keep a strong spam filter active . Outside of those, ensure that you are using a business-class email program; they maybe look and feel the same as your regular Gmail account, but they are very different. We can’t promise that this will fix all your problems, but it sure could help take your frustration down from a 10 to a 3.
Work with your IT professionals to figure out the cause of your issues and solve that - remove all the Band-Aids for good.
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