Outsourcing your Exchange Server to the cloud is becoming increasingly common. We do it ourselves and have been very happy with the result. Because we use Hosted Exchange internally, Epicenter Server has supported Hosted Exchange since version 5.0, released summer of 2009.
Epicenter Server sits on top of Microsoft Outlook. If Outlook works, then Epicenter will work. Epicenter Server does not require any software to be installed on the Exchange Server, so there are no issues with custom protocols, firewalls, or complicated configurations.
The one thing that does change with Hosted Exchange is the security configuration. With Hosted Exchange, the Exchange Server is usually on a different domain than your workstations. It also means that you don’t have unrestricted administrative control of the Exchange Server. This makes it a little more difficult to set up your permissions so that Epicenter Server can open mailboxes for other users.
For a private Exchange Server, you’d run Epicenter Server under an account with “Receive-As” privileges. This is the same way that the BlackBerry Enterprise Server is configured. In our manual, we call this Technique #1. This can’t be used in a Hosted Exchange Environment.
The best strategy for Hosted Exchange, so-called “Technique #2″ in our manual, is for the administrator to configure the Exchange account used by Epicenter Server to have All-Access permission to each target mailbox. This allows all changes to be performed by your Exchange administrator, so users don’t have to be involved. Our primary hosted testing service is Sherweb. They allow end-user administrators to configure All-Access.
The final fallback, Technique #3, requires end-users to manually share their contacts folder and configure the permissions. This is done by each user from within Outlook.
So Epicenter Server works great with Exchange in the cloud, it just requires a change in how you configure the security.