A long time client of ours, FermobUSA, called us and told us they needed a more advanced email solution. Our brains really went into overdrive. The current POP3 based email schema was just not cutting if for them any more. They had five people all responsible for interacting with customers from one email address. The problem was even though they all had the outlook clients setup to pull the emails from the server they had no way of knowing who, when, or how the customer was responded to. This required that they constantly had to review all emails sent and received during they day to make sure that nothing dropped through the cracks. We dealt with a very similar issue in the past, and found a solution that worked really well for us. . .
Hosted Exchange Services
We shared with FermobUSA how our Hosted Exchange worked for us and the benefits that we saw in our business by utilizing the technology. Basically this service makes it possible to do the following things with ease: share a common inbox and view all sent items, share calendars and tasks, and much more.
The Good, Bad and the Ugly
First The Good - Setup is relatively easy. Once everything is setup in the host control panel correctly the client setup is a breeze. For this setup we are using one common inbox and setting up five outlook clients and three iphones. The really cool part is that using this setup everyone knows exactly who has responded to every email, in real time, whether they are in the office or on the road.
The Bad - Most of our clients are accustomed to using an IMAP or POP3 setup, so it requires some retraining for users to get accustomed to the new schema. One other thing worth mentioning is that if one of the users deletes an email, that email is deleted across all of the clients. The one saving grace is that there is the shared trash folder. If something is accidentally deleted they can recover it from trash like regular email.
The Ugly - So this is where our story takes a turn for the funny. After all of the clients were setup I made the mistake of telling Robert to transfer everything that was in the old inboxes to the server. Little did I know that there where 20,000 items in the users inbox. Robert also transferred all of the users individual inboxes for that account to the server. We ended up with something like 50,000 emails totaling about 40 gig trying to sync to the server all at the same time.
Talk about a fiasco! It completely bogged down the network because Exchange had to upload all of those emails to the server, then pull them all back down to the individual exchange clients. After two days of the sit and wait routine, I finally gave up. We recovered all of the inbox outlook profile files and canceled the server request. I had to delete all of the email off the exchange server and ask the client to only upload the old emails to the server that they needed. Five minu
Yet Another Success!
Thank you to FermobUSA for your patience. Thank you Robert for stepping up! Thank you Windows for having a previous version feature. Thank you Exchange for being such a good business resource...