IS gives Exchange users free hotspot use across SA

Always-on Email

Internet Solutions (IS) yesterday announced that all of the company’s Microsoft Hosted Exchange clients will now have free, secure access to email at any AlwaysOn Wi-Fi hotspot in South Africa.

Recently launched, this value added service now enables all IS Microsoft Hosted Exchange users to securely access their email on the go at any IS AlwaysOn Hotspot in South Africa, free of charge.

The IS AlwaysOn Wi-Fi network provides high-speed wireless internet access from over 850 AlwaysOn hotspots around the country, including all ACSA airports, Sun International hotels, City Lodge Group hotels, Three Cities hotels, Seattle Coffee Company, Dulce Cafés and Mugg & Bean outlets, making it the largest Wi-Fi hotspot provider in South Africa. Once in an IS AlwaysOn hotspot, IS Microsoft Hosted Exchange customers will be able to access their fully redundant, enterprise level, hosted email Exchange service, without having to pay for the data used.

“This offers our Hosted Exchange clients the most cost effective and efficient means with which to connect mobile devices to company email, which enables staff to conduct better, faster business,” explains Hayden Lamberti, Innovation and Technology Manager; Communications at IS.

“A relatively small change has allowed us to rapidly increase the value proposition of our Hosted Exchange solution, which is very exciting as Hosted Exchange is about seamlessly connecting people, increasing mobility and therefore increasing knowledge worker productivity. As such, this change will allow our clients to be that much more productive, especially while roaming, as it removes the common barrier of finding connectivity before accessing mail while on the move, making ‘email anywhere’ a reality,” he continues.

“We are very excited to be partnering with IS to bring this solution to market, as we see it as an innovative way for the vast number of Exchange platform users in this country to securely connect to a Software as a Service layer, to really see the value of cloud computing,” says Nick Keene, Cloud Sales Manager for Microsoft South Africa.

According to Keene, Microsoft’s journey into the cloud is a high priority growth area for the software company, as more of their customers look for different ways to deliver their solutions. “By partnering with tier one service providers like IS we are better able to deliver solutions that meet this growing appetite for cloud solutions,” he continues. “This solution also circumvents a major barrier to cloud adoption for many end users in this country, which is connectivity. The ability to now connect to IT services hosted in the cloud via a wide and reliable Wi-Fi network is a major step forward in solving these issues, as it gives customers access to email on any device, at any time.”

Both Keene and Lamberti agree that the ability to deliver software and IT services in an opex model has grown exponentially, with massive growth in the adoption of Hosted Exchange solutions experienced globally, in preference to capital intensive on premises solutions. “Hosted email is the mainstay for driving the demand for hosted services, and we believe that it will be the base from which we can deliver more unified communication solutions, like Microsoft Hosted Lync,” explains Keene. “A number of our customers are already looking to include this service with Hosted Exchange, to create a more collaborative platform from the cloud,” he concludes.

Existing IS clients who want to securely access their Hosted Exchange email services over Wi-Fi for free can simply connect to any AlwaysOn hotspot and open their email to enjoy this value added service. “With the ability to now securely access your hosted email from any AlwaysOn hotspot, it also makes more sense to move to IS’ Hosted Exchange service if your business is not already making use of this solution,” concludes Lamberti.