At work we use a Windows Server 2008 domain with over 80 computers and 60 users. We are a branch of a larger organisation and, although we manage most of our computing infrastructures, our corporate email services are provided by the "mothership" central IT department. This means that they store our email in their servers, they allocate email addresses, etc. We only need to configure our Outlook clients and use IMAP to check the email.
So far so good. Since email services are provided for us, we never had the need to deploy Exchange or anything like that. However, we are starting to feel a couple of needs that I believe could be nicely addressed by Exchange, namely:
- Organising distribution lists so that people can send mail to pre-defined sets of users.
- Sharing calendars, tasks and busy/free times among users.
I have very little experience with Exchange, but I assume that it can do these things. My question is twofold:
- Do you think that deploying Exchange in our organisation would be overkill just for those two requirements?
- If we decide to deploy Exchange, would that mean that we have to store email locally (on our Exchange server) rather than on our central corporate server (as it is now)? Or is there a way to use some feature of Exchange but keep email storage remote?
Edit: Please note that our central IT department, the one providing us with corporate email services, does not currently use Exchange. As far as I understand, they use a Unix-based email solution.