Jan, 2014

Intermedia Versus Office 365

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Intermedia versus Office 365

What are the differences between the two and how do you read between the lines to know what you are getting or how do you figure out what they right option to choose is.    This guide will help you make decisions and understand the true differences between the two options, with pros and cons for both.


Intermedia has a full court press on their website about how they are better compared to all other services.   Let’s break down what they are saying:

Support – Intermedia is and will be your support mechanism, so your in house it staff will have to go to them to solve their problems and only be able to accomplish the capabilities that Intermedia allows you to accomplish.    If there are features you are looking for that Intermedia doesn’t offer you have no recourse for getting them.   Intermedia is good for you if you have minimal email and collaboration requirements but not if you have advanced needs and qualified IT technicians that work for you or you outsource too.    Their support is geared more towards small businesses that don’t have any requirements and needs beyond low level requests. 

Migration Plan – They offer free migration services but you are forced to use their tools versus best of breed tools.  Intermedia’s migration tools aren’t as good as a lot of the other tools out there.    They use proprietary software and practices versus other highly recommended and used  migration tools.   Being forced to use their set of tools versus having the flexibility to choose your own tools and migration software is extremely limiting.  You are also at the mercy of their team, and you have to work with them and their schedule to get the job done. 

Features – Intermedia offers full exchange support as they are essentially reselling you exchange online services.  These features are confusing as they are offered.  With intermedia you are offered full features but at the discretion and control of Intermedia support.  With Office 365 you can access your backend infrastructure with Powershell.   This may be more complex but it offers a lot more control and ability to change things. 

Office Software – Intermedia sells you a version of the current office version, but office 365 basically keeps you current on your version of office indefinitely.    They argument is you pay for it forever while you own it outright with Intermedia, but you have to buy each version of office that comes out with Intermedia.   Also Office 365 offer cloud based office which can come in handy from time to time.  

Price – Intermedia has built packages that they think will be attractive to groups of small businesses and companies that have no IT support or any kind of support at all.  If you don’t have any kind of support in your company you may want to consider Intermedia, but they have created those packages at a higher price point then similar featured Office 365 offerings.  You have to pay a little more every month to make up for the support they are giving you.   For Intermedia, the more customers they have the more justified they are in boasting more options then office 365 but at a higher price. 

SharePoint – I have seen problems with Intermedia SharePoint and the limitations that it has. This begs the question of finding the right resource to recommend the right solutions.   You also need to choose the right Office 365 products as well. If you choose the wrong packages and features then you will most likely have to rebuild or start over from scratch.

Trusted Advisor- When you choose Intermedia you are putting all of your trust and the future direction of your communications into their hands.   They are a faceless entity that you have no way of truly communicating with like you do with an on-site technician.    If you choose to have a relationship with your IT provider and your Trusted Advisor they may steer you away from using Intermedia to something they have better control over versus waiting to hear that Intermedia has fixed their issues or not.


If you have no idea what you are doing, or you don’t know how to manage email or cloud services then you don’t want to choose office 365.  If you want a wide array of functionality and to pay less then you will choose this.

Options – you can purchase and deploy Microsoft Dynamics, include email archival, increase storage, enable and control who it is that uses SharePoint or Lync, you can manipulate mailboxes on the fly and change setting as often as you desire.  You are not limited to calling support and asking for changes to be made behind the scenes.   You control your destiny with 365 more so than Intermedia.  You control the environment more. 

Price Point – Office 365 is cheaper than intermedia and if you want to have the same features minus the additional expense, you sacrifice their tech support.    Office 365 support is not optimal and you need to rely on your IT provider to help you out.  

Tools – Services and applications that other companies create are geared towards office 365 and not intermedia.  So as the market moves forward with innovation it will be geared towards 365 and you can gain more benefit from this innovation then you can from other proprietary exchange providers like intermedia.   

Becoming the Standard – 365 is accelerating its sales and adoption rates are shooting through the roof.  Intermedia is experiencing growth but because they offer to take what they see as a burden and assume it.  They are basically making you pay a monthly fee for support on an ongoing basis.   It ends up costing more in the long run to do this. 

  • Elena Nakhmanson

    Hi Gregory,
    Very useful information, thanks. Can you elaborate, specifically what problems with Intermedia SharePoint and the limitations have you seen?