When Cheap or Free Is Not Advisable: Ensuring Business Continuity

There are many free or very cheap services available to businesses.
Web hosting, email hosting, file sharing, CRM and more – you can find just about any service you need for free or very low cost, thanks to the growing of the Internet. Think about it, for all the power of Facebook and Twitter, when is the last time you received a bill from them?
On the other hand, there are a few things in your business that you should NOT select a vendor for based on price alone.
I was recently reading news about how Intermedia one of the best email hosting companies, now offers a 100% uptime guarantee. This is on top of their already offered 99.9% guarantee.

This promise could be nothing more than a publicity stunt and way to generate some more sales. However as one of their customers, I have NEVER been down in the years I’ve used Intermedia and their customer support is rock solid.
As you are looking for companies to service your needs, such as hosting your web site, providing your email, it’s important that you consider how important these services are to you. If having an occasional “down time” is something you can live with, that’s fine. But if a particular service is of the utmost importance and should always be available you might need to pay a premium for it.
Customer support is also very important. Many of the free or low cost services do not provide 24/7 customer support. I rarely need customer support for email hosting, but when I do, I know it’s available.

One thought on “When Cheap or Free Is Not Advisable: Ensuring Business Continuity

  1. Cynthia Greenberg

    Excellent column! Business continuity is a critical issue, especially for small- and mid-size businesses where even a small setback can lead down a path that is impossible to recover.
    I do want to clarify Intermedia’s service level agreement (SLA). We have traditionally offered a 99.999% up-time guarantee – equivalent to less than six minutes of downtime per year. We continue to offer this guarantee and have now added to it with a 100% Data Protection Guarantee, applying to the data our customers keep in Exchange. Email is a critical business communications service. For the reasons your article illustrates, we take the availability of that service and the protection of the data within it very seriously.
    Cynthia Greenberg, communications manager, Intermedia

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