What is Exchange?

Exchange is the server behind the Outlook email client. It is often—and mistakenly—referred to as “Outlook server.” In reality, there is no such product. Outlook is just the Microsoft email client, and can be used with a variety of servers. However, Exchange does much more than just email. Properly architected and implemented, those additional services—calendaring, contacts, tasks, and notes—can increase efficiency, saving time and money.

Exchange offers seven types of mailboxes. Understanding their functions and configuring them properly are keys to making your system run faster and keeping licensing fees to a minimum.

Types of mailboxes:

  • User
    Share messages and files, schedule meetings, and set up tasks using this individual email account. People use this account more often than any other.
  • Shared
    Access this account as a team. It’s great for projects.
  • Room
    Schedule meetings in conference rooms, book fields for practice, lock in event space, all from the central Room mailbox.
  • Equipment
    Borrow A/V equipment, schedule use of the 3D printer, lend out hockey sticks, using the Equipment mailbox.
  • Archive
    Create a record of past emails without filling up your mailbox.
  • Discovery
    Search for specific emails using the configurable Discovery mailbox. Legal teams can find only the data that pertains to their case.
  • Public folder
    Share contacts internally using this mailbox.

One of Exchange’s most awesome and most underused features is calendaring. Most people are familiar with Outlook’s ability to manage an individual calendar. Properly configured, it can do more than that. Calendar delegation enables an employee to manage many schedules at once. Since each conference room can have its own calendar too, staff can  match calendars, finding the best times for a team to meet and the best place to do it without the barrage of emails that usually precedes a meeting.

Exchange is the efficient post office you need to communicate with your team, plan meetings, and keep the right people informed—without wasting your precious time.

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