Why web developers Biff Bang Pow recommend First Line’s Microsoft Exchange service to their clients

What with smart phones, tablets, flexible working, and cloud computing, the email landscape has changed completely over the past 10 years.

We now expect to be able to work from home, or from a client’s offices, or even on the beach while sending and receiving emails just as we would from our own offices.

The only problem is that if you haven’t changed your email provider or host since you first set up your website 15 years ago, you’re trying to do all that with a clunky and outdated system that is always teetering on the brink of an “outage”.

This is why website developer Biff Bang Pow made the big decision to stop hosting its own clients’ email, and recommended that they moved to First Line’s Microsoft Exchange Online service instead.

“When we first started Biff Bang Pow, we offered website hosting together with a free email hosting service,” said Managing Director David Burke. “Over the years, our clients grew and we started attracting bigger companies. Add to that the increasing expectations of what email should be able to do, plus the risks of viruses, and we were spending more time sorting out email problems than we were on our core business of web development and hosting.”

David started looking for an IT support company that would be able to provide the sort of email service that his clients needed. “Email is mission-critical to most companies these days: you can’t have down-time, or risk losing existing records. We needed a company that was experienced in providing support and back-up, and could guarantee email continuity for our clients.”

First Line IT was recommended by Nigel Spawton, a director of Biff Bang Pow and also Senior Partner of First Line client GBS Architects. By coincidence, David rang John Crozier just at the point when First Line was inviting proposals for building its own new website ‒ and Biff Bang Pow was a perfect fit.

So the companies have been working together in the roles of both supplier and client. David thinks that First Line IT got the slightly rougher end of the deal as they’ve had to talk a lot of new clients through the Microsoft Exchange Online service. “We had nearly 170 email clients to migrate.

“We suggested a range of options – including using Googledocs and gmail ‒ but strongly recommended that they transfer to First Line IT because they could offer more support. First Line managed all the transitions very smoothly, and I think all who opted for their Microsoft Exchange service are very happy.

“Even so, it wasn’t our customers’ decision and some were understandably disgruntled about suddenly having to pay for what had been a free service.”

He remains unrepentant, however. “If you’ve got a business, you should take it seriously and you should not be relying on a free email service. You expect to pay for your phone and your broadband – why not your email?

“A few pounds a month for each Microsoft Exchange mailbox is not a great expense but it does guarantee you 24/7 availability, support, and backup, as well as allowing you to synch your mail, calendar and contacts across all your devices.

“However small your company is, you should look at your IT as a whole and have a proper budget for it, and that includes email. ”