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Outlook Recommendations

outlook server exchange

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Hello everyone.  Here is my dilemma:


I am a new associate at a very small law firm.  We have a server running SBS2011, which is essentially a glorified network hard drive, and 5 networked computers running Windows 7.  Because I know more than the average Joe about computers (but far insufficient for this task), they've asked me to come up with a solution where calendars and contacts can be synced and shared through Outlook across this network and our cell phones. 


I've considered trying to figure out what an Exchange Server would run, as well as what it would cost to have someone else host it.  I've also explored alternatives to Exchange Servers.


After taking my findings to the partners, they're convinced that since we have a server, we can just install Outlook on it.  It has been my experience that this is a horrible idea. 


What we need is a program that we can record all our client interviews on, use it to print day sheets for the attorneys, view and make changes to each others' individual calendars, and receive alerts prior to the events on our cell phones. 


We currently run Outlook through the Google Business apps and use Sunrise to alert us on mobile.


Doesn't that seem like the preferred alternative to moving to another system?  Is there something simple I don't know about, such as biting the bullet and installing office 365 on the targert machines?  Any input and discussion is appreciated.  Thanks!

Edited by LankMatthews, 30 September 2015 - 01:46 PM.

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    Je suis Napoléon!

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SBS comes with exchange as an option. not sure what the default SBS exchange licensing is though. i.e. I don't know if it includes a batch of default exchange CALs (Client Access Licenses).


to use exchange in the way you're talking about...for the purposes of calendar sharing and such. you'd pretty much need to move your email from Gmail to exchange for simplicity's sake. you don't necessarily HAVE to.....you could set up the accounts and just NOT send email to/from the exchange addresses and JUST use them for calendars. each user would have two accounts attached in outlook, their current GMail one, and the exchange account.


of course....as far as I know, google business apps email and what not allows for shared calendars as it is. and I believe those calendars are still accessible the same way through outlook. and clearly, you can connect everyone's mobiles to the google accounts. and get any notifications that way as well.

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