Hosted exchange recommendations please!

I have some people that are using google for their domain based email (they have their own domain, google handles the mail, calendar, contacts).

They want to move to exchange.

Any recommendations for a hosted exchange provider?  I'd think office 365 makes sense because of the price, but moving things from gmail and this being my first hosted exchange setup, I'd like some hand holding. don't think I'll get that from 365?

Is the feature set for hosted exchange the same for all?  Either the feature is available from all or just isn't doable in a shared / hosted environment compared to an in house exchange server?

I don't know it well enough to cite too many examples, but things like shared calendars, permissions?  (some people can see another's calendar, others can add to it, maybe delete or change an existing entry, others see just busy / free?  All let you do that?  and contacts - you can control who can see my contacts, who can edit my contacts, etc.?)

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I QasmiTechnical LeadCommented:
I prefer going out for Go daddy hosted exchange

and also intermedia hosted exchange is also the one to check for
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If my hand was forced to go to Cloud, I wouldn't look past Office365. Cloud is expensive enough as it is, and the only way you will get the handholding is to pay more, but you will keep paying for it. Why pay the additional per month for an extra few days, it will cost a lot of money over three years.

As you coming off Google, you can do this the easy way - just create the accounts in Office365, setup Outlook, switch the DNS records then move the content manually as required.

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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
Sembee - thanks, but I don't have all the points you have (and the experience! : ) to go 'the easy way'.  What about this - I just found out appriver is a 365 reseller for $5 a mailbox rather than $4 dealing with microsoft directly.  Appriver would be the support for that.  I get the lower cost of 365 (plus a dollar) AND the support I expect I'll need.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
The resellers don't have access to any other tools that a direct user has. Therefore the most they can offer is knowledge of the internal systems, which you would build up yourself over time anyway. You haven't said how many users are involved, but if you take 100 users, over a 36 month plan, that is $3600 extra, or put it another way, you are paying $1200/year for support for 100 users, doing things that you can do yourself.


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BeGentleWithMe-INeedHelpAuthor Commented:
thanks.  I totally understand your point, but it's 7 users with minimal chance of getting above even 10 in the next few years.  so that's $84 or a bit more a year.  for me, it's worth it to be able to draw on more experience.  My justification for EE membership also : )  

this looks like it's a moot point anyway. they are balking about a  'managed services' charge of $20 / month / machine for patching, monitoring, maintenance and antivirus on their 10 PCs.  They'd prefer to run things till they break (their words, not mine). they had a guy that had a full time IT job for a big business in town that would take care of their network as available.  They had a long list of complaints about that arrangement, but don't want to spend for 'real' service.  they seem comfortable complaining how appointments they would put in the phone getting wiped by the desktop calendar being pushed to the phone (1 way sync, not 2? Is that the case with google apps?)  if they don't value IT as a needed tool, they are not for me.
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