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Enterprise Software Thread, Email problem that I have. Suggestions please! in Technical; Good Afternoon One of our small branch offices to the main school has a problem we need to solve. They ...
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    Email problem that I have. Suggestions please!

    Good Afternoon

    One of our small branch offices to the main school has a problem we need to solve. They have no connectivity to the main site and will not do in the forseable future. They run a small 5 computer network with a win2003 server acting as a DC, File, App and print.

    Previously they used popmail via Tiscali, which although has poor tech support and wasnt the most reliable, gave them an 'out of office' feature in the web based mailbox. This was useful as they close down for 6 weeks in the summer. We moved them to plusnet and whilst the service is far improved, they don't have the web based out of office feature.

    We planned to forward their mx records from plusnet to MS 'Office Live Small Business' and imported the domain in, which would have allowed them to use hotmail as their mail front end allowed them to use the recently restored out of office function. However, this is all changing to Office 365 of which we most definately don't want. Especially as it will cost around 400 a year and most of the features will not be used.

    So, options:

    1) Install Small Business Server 2008 of which I believe comes with Exchange 2010. A PROPER solution with other benefits, although costly for such a small office and definatley overkill for the 'out of office' problem. Bearing in mind we will need to also invest in a backup solution for exchange too.

    2) Use an alternative to Exchange. Probably a lot more economical, but does anyone have any experience of these types of mail centre?

    3) Use a web based mail solution and forward our mail to this as we planned with MS Live Small Business. Does anyone know if this kind of thing even exists?

    4) Backtrack and choose an ISP of who's webmail supports 'out of office'! Not really favoured as plusnet service has been A1.

    Regards

    Adam

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    jstuttard's Avatar
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    if the branch office has internet access, why not setup a VPN link to your main site?

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    (Assuming you provide external webmail access to students and staff)

    Create accounts on your main site's mailserver and let them use those?

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Can you not configure Outlook rather than the mailserver to send the replies? get them to leave their machines on and itll be the client replying rather than the server?

    (ive not tested this, but theres a lot you can do with client side rules)

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    Thanks for the swift replies chaps. Indeed we do use an exchange 2010 solution for inside/outside mail access on the main site.

    The issue here, is that this small site has super confidential information of which they want totally seperated from our main network! They also use a totally different domain name to the main site.

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    exchange can handle multiple accepted domains, and its a doddle to change the default smtp address.

    All they need is an account on the main domain and a mailbox set with the mail address of whatever their domiain is. Modify the MX of that domain to point to the exchange server, add the domain as an accepted domain, and then they can access their email either via OWA or outlook anywhere.

    edit: if it is super confidential, how good is tiscali / plusnet as a choice.. do they even offer secure mail or is it all smtp/pop?

    at least OWA and Outlook anywhere it is over HTTPS

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    1. Agree with what Rabbie says. This is your ideal solution and they key is "super confidential". What makes this small office think that there data is confidential? Are they using secure pop3/smtp.
    2. Wha happens with the data on the POP server?
    3. Wha happens with the backups ? Where are the backup tapes? Are they secure ? etc....

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    Backup tapes are indeed securely stored. Probably using 'standard' pop3.

    I think currently my gut feeling is to ensure the power settings are correct and simply leave their PC's on over this period!

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    Quote Originally Posted by superatticman View Post
    Backup tapes are indeed securely stored. Probably using 'standard' pop3.

    I think currently my gut feeling is to ensure the power settings are correct and simply leave their PC's on over this period!
    Have I missed something? HOw does leaving there PC's help you?

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sukh View Post
    Have I missed something? HOw does leaving there PC's help you?
    Outlook can do the auto reply using rules. ;-) Suggested above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    Outlook can do the auto reply using rules. ;-) Suggested above.
    Thats what I had planned. There is an article about it here How to Set Up an Out of Office Vacation Auto-Reply in Outlook - About Email

    After that, then the chances are we will simply move them to another ISP which supports webmail based out of office. Bt Business provide this.

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