Outlook Web Access has a direct positive impact on the communication effectiveness of a company’s staff. Communication is everything, with team members in all roles and at all levels expected to read and respond to email virtually around-the-clock and from almost anywhere. A reliable and highly accessible corporate email system, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, is a must — even for small companies. The advantages of Exchange Server over various open-source email systems are numerous, which is one reason why Exchange has long been considered the gold standard for business email systems. But one of the traditional drawbacks of Exchange — the requirement that users connect to it with the Outlook personal information manager, available only for Windows PCs and MacOS — has been eliminated by the availability of a web-based client, Outlook Web Access (also called Outlook Web App or OWA).Here are four ways Outlook Web Access delivers efficiency benefits for businesses of all sizes:
1. Outlook Web Access eliminates per-user licensing costs
The Outlook desktop PIM is bundled with the Microsoft Office Suite, is sold as standalone retail software, or is available under Microsoft’s various licensing programs. Providing an entire workforce with licensed copies of Outlook can be a costly proposition. Instead, Outlook Web Access closely replicates the full feature set of the Outlook PIM right in a web browser, doing away with the need to license expensive software.
2. Outlook Web Access slashes software support costs and headaches
The costs of deploying the Windows and MacOS versions of Outlook don’t end with the licensing fees; users with Outlook installed on their desktop or notebook computers frequently require technical support, either from in-house IT personnel, or through a Microsoft support subscription. Plus, the familiar problem of corrupted .PST files — the file format Outlook uses to store email messages on an end-user’s local computer — is completely eliminated.
3. Outlook Web Access is BYOB- and traveler-friendly
As more corporations adopt pro-BYOB (bring your own device) policies, Outlook Web Access makes it easy for end users to utilize the device(s) of their choice when and where they prefer; staff members can access their email with any Internet-connected computer with a web browser, from anywhere in the world.
4. Outlook Web Access supports email compliance requirements and security
With OWA, email is no longer stored on end-user computers; all email is maintained on the server. This simplifies compliance with government and industry compliance requirements, ensures that all email is password-protected and encrypted, and does away with the risk of sensitive email falling into the wrong hands when portable computers are lost or stolen.