Partial view - there are other options out there
Well, there are plenty of high quality tools available for SME's out there. There is OpenVPN (open source / community edition) for VPN connections - which is relatively easy to configure (compared to other VPN servers, at least) and works on Windows, OSX and Linux - and has a strong track record security wise. I use Exim for SMTP, Dovecot for IMAP with Horde on top for email, calendar and contacts access. Horde even has ActiveSync functionality to connect mobile devices in Exchange mode to it. I use all of these on in-house servers where we have hundreds of gigabytes of storage available for next to nothing - instead of paying monthly to cloud providers for limited facilities. I also use KVM for Windows VM's when we need some Windows only app running at the server end. And all of the above is open source - hence no licensing costs. Notice I didn't say "free" - but the saving on licensing costs alone is significant for an SME.
Yes - all of the above requires a non-trivial amount of skill to setup, configure, update and troubleshoot when it goes wrong - and that is often a stumbling block for SME's. But if it is setup correctly, and a minimum number ports are open to the Internet to constantly worry about doors being rattled (except the VPN) - it can run (and it does in the setups I look after) for years with minimum of maintenance.
And besides, all of the talk about hosted services (oh, sorry, "cloud" services) being cheaper as you don't need on premises expertise falls flat on its face when things go wrong and suppliers leave you hanging because either:
a. A lot of them are just resellers and don't have the expertise in house either - they only fake it in the sales talk - but when the s**t hits the fan, it becomes obvious they are clueless
b. You have only paid for "cheap" services and you are not worth the time and energy of one of their "specialists" to solve the issue properly - so you are fobbed off with half arsed nonsensical explanations.
c. The supplier just realised they are making next to no profits as they've been selling stuff cheap to attract customers, and needs to ratchet all of their prices up - with moving away from them being a convoluted, expensive and highly disruptive exercise.
But I guess if you are an "IT" manager who's actually a literature graduate (no offence intended to those who study literature) - which I've seen in real life - who doesn't understand IT and aims to "manage" by staying as far away from technology as possible - then you might not have any choice but to buy into whatever fluff suppliers tell you - and to live in the fairy land of fluffy bunnies and "all is good and easy in IT" land. After all, with a bit of luck, you might have moved on to another company and somebody else coming after you will have to deal with the fallout of wrong strategic decisions which only fixed the "present" and ignored the fact that there is a "future" coming to bite in the backside.