Handling multiple exchange accounts in Outlook (incl. syncing etc)

Hi experts

We are currently using Mozilla Thunderbird but want to switch to a hosted-exchange structure. Managing multiple accounts in Thunderbird works perfectly fine. But with MS-Outlook several issues arise, especially when using exchange accounts.
first, I have to use different profiles or substitutes ( http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291626/en ).
different profiles would be clearly seperated, but I have users who have access to 4 mailboxes (1 personal and three "shared" accounts, like our info@ourdomain addresses). So they would have to open outlook 4 times (worst-case). not really a nice way. but syncing and sending emails wouldn't cause any headaches.
using substitutes would be nice because everything is in one place, but this is where some questions arise ;-)

When syncing with activesync what does get synced?
all accounts or just my main account?
is it somehow possible, no matter if it's propietary script or something, to get outlook to send a new mail with the correct account, without having the user to choose this manually (which is thunderbird's behaviour)

Or: are 4 mailaccounts simply "stupid" and redirections to the personal mailbox the way to go?

thanks for your help
LVL 3
ArikaelAsked:
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Jamie McKillopConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
Hello,

With Exchange 2007, you can add all four mailboxes to a single Outlook profile. You will need to assign the Full Mailbox access right and the Send As right to the account used to open the mailboxes. When you reply to an email in any of the mailboxes, or compose a new message, the message will come from the primary mailbox by default. If you want to send from one of the other mailboxes, you will need to enter that mailbox in the From field of the email.

There are third-party applications that allow the automation of this process - http://victori.hypermart.net/smartreply2007.shtml

JJ
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InderjeetjaggiCommented:
If all four accounts are exchange account you can use Outlook 2010 to resolve your issue
If you have only 1 exchange and other pop\imap\http, etc, you can check the sync error in sync issues folder for exchange account only(you need to select folder list view in outlook)

Regards
Inderjeet
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
Hi

I'm talking about Outlook 2007 and 4 exchange accounts. Unfortunately I can't wait until outlook 2010 (at somepoint later maybe)
there is no sync-error.

All my question are hypothetical because we don't use exchange currently but liked to in the future. but there are the issues mentioned in my first post I want to clarified first.
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
any other suggestions?
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
Hi jimck

thanks
does the solution with the "send as" you mentioned also work with exchange 2003 -> like this
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291626/en

I will test smartreply 2007, but it seems that I still have to manually choose from which account I'm sending. At least that is what the screenshots are suggesting.

can you confirm that?
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Here are instructions on how to grant the Send As permissions - http://www.cryer.co.uk/brian/msexchange/exch_howto_grant_send_as.htm

Yes, when you compose a new email, you will need to choose which account you want to send as. There is no solution to get around that, the software can't read your mind to determine what account you want to send as :). However, when you reply to an email, it will automatically send from the account the original email was sent to.

JJ
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
hi

when I use your instructions concerning "send as" I can only send mails, not recieve the mails from the other accounts, right=

to recieve mails from other mailboxes I would have to following this instructions, right?:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/291626/en
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
You only need to follow step 16 on in that document. Once you do that for each mailbox you want to add, you will see all four mailboxes in your Outlook Folders List. You will receive mail in the respective mailbox is was sent to. If you want all mail to come into your mailbox, you would need to setup forwarding on the other accounts.

JJ
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
thanks

I tested it, well, microsoft does not want to make my life easy, it seems ;-)
Additionally to manually choose the account, I also have to manually choose the correct signature.

Perhaps using multiple accounts is easier (personal account -> exchange, all other IMAP or POP). this would save the step of selecting the signature manually.
a major drawback would be that all my calendars etc. for the IMAP account are local only. But since the user are supposed to use their personal account for those things, this isn't a big problem, I suppose.

what do you think?
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Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Managing multiple mailboxes in one Outlook profile can prove difficult. Have you considered using OWA?

JJ
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
hm, not really. I think my users won't appreciate it.
I think I will install redirections for the most users (like it is today) and multiple accounts for the more advanced user who are capable of working with them.
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IvaSoftConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Google for RightFrom utility. It seems RightFrom fits your requirements much better then SmartReply.
Regards,
Victor
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ArikaelAuthor Commented:
this looks nice, thank you
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