I run a small but very successful startup, that has been around for 13 months now. We are a 10 person team, but are rely on an aging Exchange 2003 server for our email, calendar, and contact support.
The reason - our initial seed funding was by a private equity firm, that has a diverse portfolio, but unfortunately has been slow to upgrading their infrastructure due to the economy (they were heavy real estate investors, trying to make a jump into different industries).
As an affiliated/child company, we were happy to get our email set up for us without extra cost or effort, but with such an aging system, its really starting to become a problem. If you needed further confirmation, Exchange 2003 does not work well with Mac OS Mountain Lion... At All.
So now that we're growing at a faster rate, and this email/calendar problem is starting to become a problem for the business. Luckily, its my job to solve it.
What are the recommended 'best practices' to get enterprise-grade email/contact/calendar support for a 10-250 person company? At the current rate, we think we may need to support that many users in the coming 1-2 years, so I'd like to develop a program that is going to work for us until we can afford to drop $50,000- $100,000 on our own Exchange 2016 server.
Something I've learned in my life (that has kept me away from Google, in particular) is that it is of utmost importance to own and control my information. I do not want anyone searching or using my email content for 'Big Data' initiatives, and I absolutely want the ability to delete, export, and update what I want, when I want, where I want. Obviously obeying any/all laws - I do not want that to sidetrack the discussion, please.
So I figured I'd ask the other businesses on Stack Exchange - Does anyone have some advice on what to do? I've looked at Rackspace, Office 365, and a couple of others, but have not yet made a real commitment. Anyone have experience conquering a similar problem and have any advice for a young startup founder?
Thanks for any comments,