Exchange mail for users in remote office stuck in Exchange server

ianmal2
ianmal2 used Ask the Experts™
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Have just taken over a job with a strange mail set up.  Remote office users did not have an account on Server located in head office.  They receive mail from 3rd party Mail host (main office Exchange Server collects mail from 3rd party using POP3).  The 2nd office collect their mail via POP3 to the 3rd party

I, stupidly, created new users on the main office sever with the same user name and email address as the users in the remote office which has resulted in all mail generated in Head Office intended for people in 2nd office being held by the Main Office Exchange Server waiting to be locally collected which they never will be.  Hope that makes sense.

I can see the mail using the Message tracking centre so my questions is;

1. How can I cause the mail for the people in the 2nd office to be ‘sent out’ and collected via 3rd party mail host?

2. How can I change the account so that the mail is no longer treated as internal but retain the account for future use.

3. How can I create new user accounts which do not have mail accounts when created or can configure mail to be sent out ?

Thanks!
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Well, the ideal solution would be to stop using POP-3, since it really isn't designed for business use, and as you are now seeing, can make life difficult.

If you did that, all email would be received by your Exchange server and then users in the remote office can use RPC over HTTPS (Outlook Anywhere in newer versions) to get their mail from the Exchange server.

Do you really want to keep configuring complex workarounds instead of setting it up correctly?

Jeff
TechSoEasy

Author

Commented:
Agreed but it doesn't solve my immediate problem!

Ian M.
Principal Consultant
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
Ok, then I'll try to answer these:

1. How can I cause the mail for the people in the 2nd office to be ‘sent out’ and collected via 3rd party mail host?

First, disable the users mailboxes in ESM.  The GAL won't update immediately, but you can force an update (http://exchange.sembee.info/2003/oab-error.asp) but Outlook may not update it's copy for 24-hours.

Then,  in ESM locate the Default SMTP Virtual Server, right click on it and select properties.

In the properties window click the messages tab and at the bottom there is a box Forward all mail with unresolved recipients to.  Enter the external mail serer name.

Restart Exchange Services just to be sure that takes, and then all mail sent to external users should be routed properly.

2. How can I change the account so that the mail is no longer treated as internal but retain the account for future use.

The above steps took care of that.  When you want to switch over to SMTP email, just re-enable the mailboxes.

3. How can I create new user accounts which do not have mail accounts when created or can configure mail to be sent out ?

If you are eventually going to switch to SMTP email, just create the users normally with the SBS's add-user wizard.  Then disable the mailbox the same way as above.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Author

Commented:
Thanks for your excellent answer TechSoEasy.  I'm going to award you the points but if possible can I ask your indulgence and ask what you think of this as a temporary solution.

Change the MX record so that all mail is delivered to our ES.   If there were no users created for the users in the other office how do I arrange for this mail to be auto forwaded to be processed the 3rd party mail host which woul then diliver the mail to the people in the other office.  This would be the same action as for mail generated in the main office for people in the other office?  Would the forwarding procedure you details would for external as well as internally generated mail for the other office users?

This way when I'm ready to ditch the 3rd party I can just create users on the Server in the main office.

Hope that makes sense.  

Thanks
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasyPrincipal Consultant
Most Valuable Expert 2016
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
If you are going to change the MX record (which I wholeheartedly recommend) then you wouldn't forward email for external users at all.  Instead, they will just retrieve their email from your Exchange Server via RPC over HTTPS (if using Outlook) or via OWA.

For customized instructions on how they would configure Outlook in a remote situation, please go to your Remote Web Workplace main menu and click the link that says "Outlook via the Internet".

This isn't a temporary solution, it's the permanent one.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

Author

Commented:
Ok. Point taken.

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