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Windows Thread, Exchange - Help me sell this to SLT in Technical; Give me as many advantages you can think of. I'm desperate to get rid of RM Easymail!!...
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    Vegas's Avatar
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    Exchange - Help me sell this to SLT

    Give me as many advantages you can think of. I'm desperate to get rid of RM Easymail!!

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    webman's Avatar
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    Can't really think of any... it's expensive (especially if you want remote access), uses a proprietary datastore for emails, large hardware requirements, missing advanced functionality, non-standards-compliant in many ways.

    Event Microsoft know this - http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-9799638-16.html
    Last edited by webman; 15th December 2008 at 04:51 PM.

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    Try to sell it by saying it can prevent missed meetings (if your school has lots of meetings with staff) there is a really good feature where you can invite attendees to a meetings, if they accept the meeting, it then gets added to their calendar and then it prompts them when the meeting is due.

    I sold this to staff and we find lots of staff use this feature and has proved invaluable.

    If you go with exchange 2007, mention how exchange can link in with Voip and if messages are sent to a voice mail, it can then email that up as an attachment and send that to a users inbox, all these types of features improve communication in the schools.

    Have a look at Microsoft papers, your probably find lots of things that exchange can do that RM easy mail can't.

    If you do decide to upgrade make sure you go for exchange 2007, make sure that your server needs to be 64-bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Can't really think of any... it's expensive (especially if you want remote access), uses a proprietary datastore for emails, large hardware requirements, missing advanced functionality, non-standards-compliant in many ways.

    Event Microsoft know this - Microsoft's curious infatuation with Zimbra, redux | The Open Road - CNET News
    you can't think of any..?

    over RM EASYMAIL?!?!

    Craig, I know you're a "Linux Fanboi 4 lyfes yo" but I can't believe you think that.


    My last school moved from QueasyMail to exchange, and it changed the way the school worked.

    using it was far less painful, the main points included

    1. AD integrated - so no more multiple passwords
    2. Much easier to access extra features - address lists, calendars
    3. The potential for MUCH bigger mailboxes

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    We still have easy mail. The main reason we don't have exchange is the cost of setting it up. In a school the size of ours, a new server and associated costs haven't reached the top of the budget pile, and aren't likely to do so anytime soon.

    What drives me nuts at EasyMail?
    - Separate password maintenance from AD
    - Pretty rigid mailbox sizes - you have to pay for extra storage
    - calendars cost extra - so we still have to make do with paper diaries to share appointments
    - RM's slow response to any problems

    As a basic email package it seems to do just fine. I do like the alias facility and use that a lot. Most users use it purely online - a few staff (Office, SMT, me) use it via Outlook in school.

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    another point thats alwasy worth mentioning is that exchange will still allow staff to access e-mail when the internet goes down. also I have to admit that we have very little downtime with exchange servers that i have managed and ones that have been used in schools i have worked in.

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    Have a look at Kerio. We use that. It's cheap, very reliable, easy to build and maintain,
    runs on Windows and Linux and the server only needs to be slightly more powerful than a toaster

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    Add to the list of pluses the fact that since it's local you're not chewing up your internet connection accessing mail and it'll be much more responsive to users. We switched from Easymail to Exchange 07 and the OWA interface is light years ahead.

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    One of the biggest selling points really is that most organisations use exchange and you are developing the future workforce and giving them the tools they need for the workplace.

    Exchnge is brilliant, especially the new powershell that lets you change many attributes reall quickly.

    The new mail transports rules wizards are brilliant, that work similar to ISA rules. This meant that when i migrated from Exch2003 to 2007 I could remove the need for GFI Mail tools. I created a rule that drops any email from or to a pupil automatically where previously you had to modiy AD attributes!

    OWA is brilliant in this version, it enables the pupils to change themes and personalise their experience.

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    Jay
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    Quote Originally Posted by simontaylor83 View Post
    One of the biggest selling points really is that most organisations use exchange and you are developing the future workforce and giving them the tools they need for the workplace.
    I'd be a little wary of using this argument, anyone trained to use email as a tool should be ok with any solution, not just one. Exchange isn't the only player in the enterprise market. Will probably go down well with the non-IT SMT though.

    Having said that, the biggest selling point (aside from it's got a shiny 2007 badge) for us has been calendaring and sharing, typically together. You might want to see what your VLE offers though, as VLE intergration could be even more valuable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    you can't think of any..?

    over RM EASYMAIL?!?!
    Exchange isn't really that much better, although you could probably consider it the lesser of the two evils.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    My last school moved from QueasyMail to exchange, and it changed the way the school worked.
    Fantastic. We moved to Zimbra and it changed the way our school worked, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    using it was far less painful, the main points included

    1. AD integrated - so no more multiple passwords
    2. Much easier to access extra features - address lists, calendars
    3. The potential for MUCH bigger mailboxes
    Likewise for us with Zimbra ...

    All those points made in the article linked to are quite valid.

    All I'm trying to say is that if a school is looking to replace or implement email, exchange isn't the only option. As was highlighted by the HeliOS blog, many people are unaware there is life outside of Microsoft.

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    Agree with you webman, it's expensive and may have many features but for the everyday teacher experience a little like overkill if you ask me.

    For free you can use the open source equivalent "Zimbra" which has the shared calender feature and other advanced features besides plus good support forums like this one.

    his is just my opinion but it's a good one!!!

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Exchange isn't really that much better, although you could probably consider it the lesser of the two evils.



    Fantastic. We moved to Zimbra and it changed the way our school worked, too.



    Likewise for us with Zimbra ...

    All those points made in the article linked to are quite valid.

    All I'm trying to say is that if a school is looking to replace or implement email, exchange isn't the only option. As was highlighted by the HeliOS blog, many people are unaware there is life outside of Microsoft.
    Indeed there is, but Zimbra has plenty of flaws too.

    It's expensive if you want support. Backup is a pain if you don't pay for the commercial version, upgrades are slow. It's had it's fair share of nasty bugs too, tomcat dying, bugs in the web interface stopping html messages displaying etc.

    It *is* a perfectly valid contender and I do perfer it to exchange, but I get exchange cheap with decent backup etc.

    All too often it's a case of arguing between the two view points of "YOU MUST USE THIS!" Rather than suggest what options are available.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Indeed there is, but Zimbra has plenty of flaws too.
    Yes, no software is perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    It's expensive if you want support
    Professional, yes. But community is excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    Backup is a pain if you don't pay for the commercial version
    Not really... stop services, rsync & tar & gzip, start services, job done. It's hardly a pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    upgrades are slow
    ... unlike Microsoft? Since April 2008 we have gone from 5.0.4 to 5.0.11 (I think every 4-6 weeks). How many upgrades has Exchange had in this short time? The development method they use is great because you get the newest features as and when they are available, instead of waiting 4 years for them to decide what you can have and even have the nerve to charge you again.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    It's had it's fair share of nasty bugs too, tomcat dying, bugs in the web intrface stopping html messages displaying etc.
    Yep, it has... It no longer uses Tomcat (replaced with Jetty - faster, uses fewer resources and more reliable) and I believe that HTML display bug is now fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    All too often it's a case of arguing between the two view points of "YOU MUST USE THIS!" Rather than suggest what options are available.
    I agree. It's just disappointing to see that people think the Microsoft answer is the only answer when there are comparable and better solutions out there for a fraction of the cost which are overlooked simply because it's not MS.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Not really... stop services, rsync & tar & gzip, start services, job done. It's hardly a pain.
    I use a lvm volume, stop services, snaphot, start services then rsync afterwards from the snapshot. Less downtime that way


    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Yep, it has... It no longer uses Tomcat (replaced with Jetty - faster, uses fewer resources and more reliable) and I believe that HTML display bug is now fixed.
    Dumping tomcat was one of the best things about 5.0, although I've not made it to 5.0.11 yet to fix my html mails.

    I'm currently looking to sort something out for student mail, I'll probably use a seperate domain name or sub domain and zimbra when I finally find out what the users want (I've trying several times in the past but never got anywhere so it's just been ignored).

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