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I have used hosted exchange since version 2007. I have outsourced it for a couple of small companies asking for my help. The first company was Mailstreet.com, and they did well until they made every account pay for tech support even though they do not use the support. We never used their support and they refused to budge, so we ditched them. I currently use webhosting.net - and am very happy. They are running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and it works very well. I use it on an android phone with activesync and android pad. I also have users with iphones using it with activesync and it works great. We use standard OWA clients via browsers and apps that use OWA; as well as Outlook. I recommended them highly. They did a great job of migrating our data from mailstreet to the new server. It's worth it to outsource this stuff and take the extra pressure away from your IT staff so that they can concentrate on their work.
There is no reason that you should only consider Microsoft for this solution. As educated technology consumers, it is our responsibility to call the giants out when they are selling us the same stuff that others are giving away. Perhaps you are too entrenched in the Microsoft trap to really consider a bold move like migrating away from Exchange, but if that is the case, then I am disappointed in ITworld. Consider the following software:
My company has been using USA.NET for hosted Exchange for over four years now. We have both desktop and notebook users, as well as people using iPhones, Blackberries, and Windows Mobile devices with it. Their service is top-notch, and their rates are very competitive. I have no trouble recommending them as a good provider of hosted Exchange service.
I have used Rackspace hosting for larger clients (>15 users) , and Mail2Web exchange hosting for smaller clients.
My main points are:
1. Exchange is hands-down the best email / calendar / workgroup product on the planet.
2. However, the cost of running/maintaining a small installation (which I define as less than 50 users) is not really cost-effective.
3. Enter hosted Exchange - you get the benefit minus the headaches.
Typically small clients need Exchange, but don't have any IT staff to maintain it. Additionally, your data is backed up offsite. I call that the "double-whammy" benefit.