We had an exchange server 2000 get dirty shutdown on databases. This was solved in an earlier question. This prompted discussion of replacing the system. The only two things we use it for are calendar sharing and unified contacts.
When the system went down last year I created "outside" email addresses with our domain / email host, godaddy.com I also moved one office to the online calendar system which works pretty well and they are happy with it.
My users are addicted to the "internal" email system that allows them to choose a first name and send an email through the exchange system. When disconnected from exchange they don't get the concept of putting in an email address manually.....
When the exchange databases got corrupted last week it prompted me to move everyone to a duplicate online calendar. The desktop application allowed me to sync their personal calendar with the exchange calendar.
Now, all we really use the exchange server for is the contacts.
I tried some importing and exporting and ended up finding out that having 4 different versions of Outlook was difficult to get things like they are on the Exchange Server.
I like the idea of not having a server if I don't need it.
Thank you for your advise.