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horatio_too

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Setting up Efficient Departmental and Personal Emails

Hi

We are about to retire our existing SBS 2003 server and probably (TBA) replacing it with an SBS 2011 machine running Exchange 2010 [TBA due to the recent announcements re Windows Server 2012].

At the same time, we will be updating our PC clients to Outlook 2010.

The problem:-

For the last few years, we have mainly used 'team' email addresses for incoming emails (e.g. accounts@, sales@ etc). This has been implemented by means of distribution groups, typically containing 4-6 users.

Unfortunately, although this approach has worked, it is very inefficient, because:-

(a) Everybody in the distribution group spends time reading the same incoming email AND often we duplicate effort in multiple people attempting to action the email - sometimes contradicting each other in the process

(b) In addition, often this email will need to be forwarded to another department (e.g. from Sales to Accounts) and several users may do this, resulting in multiple copies being forwarded

(c) Finally, although the incoming email will be to the 'departmental' address, replies are sent from the users 'own' address (e.g. fredd.bloggs@), meaning that further replies often ONLY get sent to that individual, rather than the team.

What we would like to implement:-

(1) Each department to have its own 'mailbox' (including Inbox and Sent Items).

(2) Each user to also have their own mailbox

(3) Incoming departmental emails will be delivered to the new mailbox ONLY. This will allow the team to have a SINGLE copy of the email, which only one person will action (and other users will know that it has been read/actioned, as it will be moved from the Inbox once dealt with).

(4) Outgoing emails need to be sent from the departmental email address, although the signature would need to be 'personal' e.g.

Fred Blogs
Sales Department
sales@somedomainname.com

(5) However, each user would still need to be able to send and receive emails in their  'own right' for non-departmental stuff e.g. Staff matters, holiday requests etc

(6) From an efficiency point of view, we want users to be able to 'see' both their own and 'departmental' emails from the same Ourlook screen - we do not want users to be logging in and out of Outlook  to check different mailboxes.


My initial thought was to create Exchange 'users' for each departmental mailbox, delegate permissions to departmental members and then each user could open the departmental mailbox as an 'additional' mailbox on Outlook startup.

However, queries that I have on this:-

1) Would it work how I want ?
2) For replies, what would the sending email address be ?
3) Can I set up different signatures that would AUTOMATICALLY change according to which mailbox was used ?
4) Would each departmental mailbox require an SBS (or Exchange) license ?

Any feedback on my proposal would be appreciated.

Alternatively, if you have a better way of achieving what I need to do , then please let me know !

As always, your input is greatly appreciated

Kind regards

Horatio_too
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xDUCKx

1) Would it work how I want ?
2) For replies, what would the sending email address be ?
3) Can I set up different signatures that would AUTOMATICALLY change according to which mailbox was used ?
4) Would each departmental mailbox require an SBS (or Exchange) license ?

1.  Absolutely!  This is probably the most efficient way of completing what you've outlined.  It'll be easy for the users to adopt with very little training
2.  You need to make the "From" field visible.  http://www.msoutlook.info/question/121
3.  On Exchange 2010 you can setup some rules to automatically include signatures.  This might be a pain.   You might want to consider going third party for this option.  To avoid cost you can have users manage their own signatures (because there is always a Marketing gimic or sales event they want to include on their signature which means you'll be managing a centralized signature a LOT)
4.  Yes.  Any Exchange account that is not a meeting space (Has an inbox, Calendar, Sent Items, Outbox, etc) requires a license.
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ASKER

Hi xDuckx

Many thanks for the prompt reply.

That sounds like really good news.

A few bits:-

1) I can show the From field, but is there any way to automate the account used (or does it default to the name for the 'mailbox' in use anyway) ?

2) Do you have any views/recommendations on third party signature software ?

3) Also, it would be REALLY good to be able to tailor the sender 'display name' or 'alias' for ALL mailboxes to be more meaningful - i.e. Rather than just 'Fred Bloggs' or 'Sales' (as defined in the AD) to something like "My Companyname - Fred Bloggs" or "My Companyname - Sales Department" - any solution that you can think of for that ?


Kind regards

Horatio_too
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apache09
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Hi apache09

Many thanks for your reply.

Apologies for the delay in responding, but I'm in the UK and I suggest that we are probably in different time zones !

I really like your suggestion - my original proposal came from my Exchange 2033-centric view of the world and one of the main reasons for posting was to get fresh ideas.

A couple of questions:-

1) Do Group Email Accounts use a license ?
2) Being able to open three departments should be adequate for 95% of my users (Even for some of my Admin people that support several departments). However, I have some managers that oversee ALL departments. Do you have a suggestion as to how we might deal with these ? It is NOT a show-stopper, but would be nice to have a rounded solution that covers everybody.
3) On the basis of your post, I presume that you would recommend Group Email Accounts over my proposal ?

Kind regards

Horatio_too
1) Do Group Email Accounts use a license?

To be Honest, I’m not 100% Sure.

However, my thinking is, when you purchase Exchange licensing they are CALs
(Client Access License)
They can either be by User or by Seat
So as long as the User/Client that’s opening the accounts is licensed
I don’t think it matters how may they open, nor would I expect a license to be purchased for each email account each user opens.

Although, you may want to double check with your licensing partner, but im pretty sure the answer is No.



2) Being able to open three departments should be adequate for 95% of my users (Even for some of my Admin people that support several departments). However, I have some managers that oversee ALL departments. Do you have a suggestion as to how we might deal with these ? It is NOT a show-stopper, but would be nice to have a rounded solution that covers everybody.

For the Managers I would add just the top departments, or the most important ones for them.

If they are required to look or view another Departments Inbox they can simply use,
File>Open>Other Users Folder
Select the Department and change the dropdown to INBOX, Calendar, Tasks Ect Ect

Alternatively, If you have OWA enabled
You could simply give them the URL for OWA
Give them the logon details for the Departments they manage and the Password
They can then logon as the account

If they require a bit more than just a view of the Inbox and regular access...Depending on How many departments in total

You could try adding the Additional Departments as Additional Mailboxes to the default account.
However, this could get quite messy as these accounts won’t act the same as the Exchange Accounts. Over time I would tend to think the Managers would forget which ones were the exchange Accounts and which ones were the Additional Mailboxes.

Only other way around this would be to create an additional outlook profile(s) that contains the remaining Departments

The setup outlook to prompt for profile to be used on start-up

The managers can the select the profile(s) they would like to use, that contains the remaining departments


3) On the basis of your post, I presume that you would recommend Group Email Accounts over my proposal ?

Personally going by what you have described above I would use the Group Accounts along with personal accounts

Have used this setup in several organizations and overall works very well.
Hi apache09

Many thanks.

Although this is not a 'perfect' fit (Microsoft's fault for limiting Group Email Accounts to only three, rather than anything amiss with your answer), it should be a workable solution.

Thanks, too, to for all contributions to this question.

Kind regards

Horatio_too
No worries, glad to help

but a B?