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.
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.
(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