Email–The New Comms Medium

In business communities worldwide, email is
fast re-placing the telephone and the fax as the primary mode of communication. It is not
just that email is instantaneous and cheap. It has a number of other advantages that
cannot be matched by most other forms of communication. For example, you can do mass
mailing at the same cost as a single mail, by just adding the additional addresses. And
you can retain a personal touch in the most formal of communications. But email has been
slow in catching up with Indian corporates. The reasons are many. To start with, email
services are still available only at a couple of dozen or so cities. And many email
service providers initially set up shop and signed up clients only to go belly up.

But things are getting better. Email
service providers have stabilized their offerings, and slowly more and more cities are
being added to the email/Internet map of the country.

There is no reason why your business should
not reap the full benefits of a networked world. Here is how to go about it.

When it comes to setting up email for your
office, you have a few choices. You can use one of the commercial email services like
RPG-Sprint or you could have your own email server on the Internet. Of course, you can
also subscribe to one of the many free email services available on the Internet, and
connect to it using an Internet account from VSNL. If you are in any sort of business, you
would not want to carry a ‘free’ email address on your card. Among other things, it does
not go with the image you would want for your business.

Choosing a service provider has its
advantages. You are spared of the headaches of setting up the systems and administering
it. You also get access to a number of value-added services. But you end up paying hefty
packet for this convenience. And the more the volume of mail you generate, the more is
your bill. Also, your email address could end up being something long and confusing:
like-HYPERLINKmailto: you.yourcompany@service.ems. vsnl.net.in you.yourcompany@service.ems.vsnl.net.in.

The best solution is to have your own
domain registered and have your mail server on the Internet. This is not as complicated or
costly as it sounds. Besides, if you opt for having your own mail server, then you would
end up with multiple benefits. Your domain gets registered. You can set up your web site
and can have your own mail server. With the right type of contract, you will be paying
only for disk space and maintenance, and there will be no additional payments to be made
as the number of users go up or as the volume of mail goes up. And unlike the services
currently provided by email service providers, your users can retrieve their mail from
where ever they are located, provided they can get connected to the Internet.

You can get your site (and mail server)
registered and hosted by ISPs abroad and then use a dialup (or leased line) connect to the
local VSNL node to get on to your mail. If you set up a local mail server in parallel on
your network, mail between users on your network can be routed through this, saving on
connect time and bandwidth.

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