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Selling Outlook Web Access to my users

By nd_clutch ·
I am a network administrator with a company that is based of the retail industry and have several stores scattered throughout the state. Each store has a handful of computers, with each being used by several different employees. (In other words, no employee has their very own PC.)

When I started with the company, some people used Outlook, some used Outlook Express and it was a very sloppy setup. Since then, I've removed Outlook from my store PCs and enforced users to start using Outlook Web Access (OWA) through our Exchange 2000 server. I even put a link to our OWA site on our local intranet homepage so that my users wouldn't have to remember the URL. My problem is that I constantly find myself trying to convince people that OWA is not a crappy product and that our retail employees use email very little so that this solution is the best option. to my boss, employees and even the owner of the company as the best solution for our retail stores where we have multiple users using the same PC. The owner of the company think Outlook is the savior of the software world and he along with the rest of us at our headquarters use Outlook because we have our own PCs. However, he along with others think that all of our employees should use it even though he doesn?t understand the mechanics behind authentication and it?s use at our retail stores. Some employees use the excuse of not being able to spell check email. To rectify that problem, I installed a program that integrates with Internet Explorer and allows them to spell check. Problem solved. However, I still hear people moan and complain about how they wish they had Outlook or Outlook express. At my last job, we used Lotus Notes and several employees including myself used the Lotus Notes web mail from home and had no problems. We loved web based email!!

How can I convince my users and upper management that using OWA at our retail stores is the most sensible solution in our situation and that it works just as good as Outlook and Outlook Express?

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Why is it the best solution?

by jdmercha In reply to Selling Outlook Web Acces ...

As good as the OWA is, the local Outlook client is much better. What's the problem with the client? If you get them all to use the Outlook client with IMAP, they can each have their own profiles.

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Cost Study

by BFilmFan In reply to Selling Outlook Web Acces ...

Use the Microsoft Outlook 2003 client bandwidth utilization to do a study on the costs of using Outlook versus using Outlook Web Access. Be sure to include support costs into your figures of supporting multiple instances of Outlook on remote client systems.

Office 2000 bandwidth Utilization:
http://www.microsoft.com/TechNet/prodtechnol/office/office2000/proddocs/field/10bandwi.mspx

Exchange 2000 Capacity and Topolgy Calculator:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/library/exchcptc.mspx

Client network Traffic with Exchange 2000:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/exchange/2000/library/cntwex2k.mspx

Best of luck!

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Outlook 2003/OWA on Exchange 2003

by julie.schneider In reply to Selling Outlook Web Acces ...

I don't blame users/mgmt to want the functionality of the Outlook client.
Exchange 2003 OWA offers more native functionality, or you can use IPC over HTTP supported in Exchange 2003 for native Outlook 2003 clients over the Internet. You may have a better time selling that.

Otherwise, using Outlook thru a VPN or SSL VPN with your current versions may be your best choice.

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re: OWA

by afram In reply to Selling Outlook Web Acces ...

I think what you need to do is in the best interest of the company and go along with management in this case. The users are going to complain non-stop and use owa as an excuse to not get things done. This will ultimately be a bad reflection on you as people blame the technology. Management won't care what you did at your last job.

OWA is great for users who are traveling, at home, or experiencing PC problems.

If your email server is set up properly, you should have no permissions/authentication problems seding/receiving email.

If you absolutely insist on webmail, upgrade to 2003, the owa page is almost identical to the outlook 2003 client, but you won't get all functionality unless you go to Active Directory 2003 (2003 mode)

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Agreed - Upgrade

by dafe2 In reply to re: OWA

In this case your users are correct OWA sucks.

(However)

the upgrade to 2003 will shutem up. It's the best version to date.

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TERMINAL SERVER SAVES THE DAY?

by jhansen In reply to Selling Outlook Web Acces ...

I have implemented terminal server to allow remote access to outlook client via many remote users and found it to work well. Depends on how many people are logged in at the same time but a decent server can handel 50 users at once. implement over a VPN tunnel and your set.

Jake

-------------------------------------
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Term. Serv.

by nd_clutch In reply to TERMINAL SERVER SAVES THE ...

Jake, I'm on the long journey of doing the same with my users. However, since I have several people using the same PC, I'm wondering what's the best way to handle employees who don't log off their session when they get up from a PC. I don't want another employee to sit down and have access to the other's desktop and Outlook.

I thought about setting the TS sessions to logoff or disconnect after so X amount of idle minutes. How do you handle this situation?

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