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This should be simple (because I assume everyone has this problem) but googling and searching of serverfault didn't help much.

I'd like all messages sent to our "office@companyname" to be visible by everyone and I'd like anyone to be able to respond. I also need everyone to at least SEE that a given message has already been answered (the ability to see the actual response would be nice).

I tried using an shared folder for this but it fails miserably because replying to emails leaves no trace, not even for the user that actually sent the message.

I'm open to any kind of solution, even commercial add-on solutions.

EDIT: Upgrading to Outlook 2010 or Exchange 2010 are not viable options because of cost.

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More of a workaround than a solution, but what if you were to move the answered messages to another folder? If you use exchange and outlook, everyone else should see the change instantly. They do over here anyway! –  HannesFostie May 19 '10 at 7:05
    
Technically that would work, but we get enough email for that to become a problem (one extra step that needs to be manually taken) + I don't really trust humans with anything repetitive. –  Cosmin Prund May 19 '10 at 7:14

2 Answers 2

Probably best solution currently around:

  • Drop the shared folder. Go with a shared mailbox
  • Upgrade to Office 2010, possibly exchange 2010, but I Think it should work without.

Outlook 2010 allow one to open multiple mailbxes at the same level - so you give everyone rights to the office mailbox, and everyone interested can open the office mailbox as second mailbox (I currently have three open). THen answers etc. go into the office mailbox, too.

Pre Outlook 2010 support for that was sluggish at best (and that is the nice way to say it). Handling mulötiple mailboxes was simply only painfull. Not it is doable.

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Outlook 2010 and Exchange 2010 are not in the cards. I'm upgrading my SBS 2003 server to an SBS 2008 server right now and I'm looking for a better solution for my "office" email problem. There's no SBS with Exchange 2010 (if there were, I'd have gotten that). –  Cosmin Prund May 19 '10 at 7:30

You could try this with Exchange 2007:

  • Create a user with a mailbox called: Office with office@domain.com email address.
  • Create a group of people who have full access and send on behalf permissions for said Office mailbox.
  • Add your end users to the group.
  • Have the users in the group (In their Outlook clients) have access to this mailbox via File -> Open -> Other Users Mailbox OR a setup in their email accounts area (Tools -> Email Accounts).
  • When one of your end users responds to an email sent to office@domain.com, get them to set the From field to office@domain.com so that the corespondent can easily reply back to the office@domain.com address. You can enable this option when sending an email with View -> From field.

I'm making a few assumptions here about your network but this is a method that we used to use before we switched to our helpdesk@domain.com mailbox to a distribution group called Helpdesk for various reasons.

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I was using a distribution list for my old SBS 2003 (I'm upgrading to 2008 right now and looking for better options). With the distribution list user A doesn't know if user B already responded to any given email. And sometimes user C simply forgets to delete the SPAM that came in on the office address - so I no longer want a distribution list. The solution with a second mailbox is really, really hacky! But I might give it a try anyhow, see how it goes (if something better doesn't show up) –  Cosmin Prund May 19 '10 at 7:37
    
This is how we've handled it for small groups of users, such as ap@domain.com for the 3 accounts payable people. But, replying is a headache for the user since they have to remember to change the sent from email field to the other, and then change back if it shows on theirs. Mostly Outlook 2003 but some Outlook 2007. Another option is this setup, but don't connect to outlook, just have everyone use the webmail. Haven't used it that way, but could work. –  Brian Jun 2 '10 at 23:06

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