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  1.    #1  
    Hello -

    While I have seen extensive conversations on the board dealing with individual e-mail solutins (e.g., SnapperMail), and some limited discussion of server e-mail solutions, I have not seen any real comparison of the different alternatives.

    From what I've gathered, there are at least 4 main solutions:

    Seven
    GoodLink
    Aileron
    Visto

    (Any other real contenders?)

    Some of these also have non-server solutions, but I am primarily interested in comments comparing the merits of each - especially if any of you have personal experience.

    I'm trying to weigh:
    - cost
    - usability/UI & ease of installation
    - attachment handling
    - ability to pull a second pop3 account in addition to mail from the exchange server
    - security
    - push e-mail vs. notification
    - real-time synch for server e-mail (i.e., if you delete from Treo, it deletes from server)
    - ability to handle different phones/wireless PDA's
    - minimum # of users required (e.g., GoodLink requires min of 5, while we may have only 2 or 3 at first)

    I would greatly appreciate any helpful comments. Thanks, everyone.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob1666; 10/14/2003 at 02:14 PM.
  2.    #2  
    .
    Last edited by Bob1666; 10/14/2003 at 02:13 PM.
  3.    #3  
    .
    Last edited by Bob1666; 10/14/2003 at 02:15 PM.
  4.    #4  
    (I tried to delete the last 2 messages, but the system rejected my deletion attempt. Those messages have been incorporated in the text of the first message.)
  5. #5  
    Bob1666,

    I don't have experience with some of the other solutions, but I can tell you that BizConn Enterprise Edition does most of what you want. Your one issue might be the number of users -- I think most of these solutions require a minimum of 10 seats. But who knows, it might be worth asking anyway? Not knowing where you are, I can't refer my Sprint rep, but you can use this form to inquire about pricing -- http://www.sprint.com/pcsbusiness/contact.html

    As for the specific issues you asked about (my notes in CAPS)

    I'm trying to weigh:
    - cost: MY SPRINT REP HAS QUOTED US $10/USER/MONTH, ASSUMING 10 USERS. NO UP-FRONT COSTS (UNLESS OF COURSE WE'RE GETTING MORE TREO 600s). THIS IS FAR LESS EXPENSIVE THAN ANY OTHER SERVER-SIDE SOLUTION I'VE EVALUATED.
    - usability/UI & ease of installation: THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOOD IN OUR OPINION.
    - attachment handling: THIS IS FAIRLY BASIC -- TEXT-RENDERING OF WORD, PDF, TEXT FILES. ALSO TEXT-RENDERING OF PPT, WHICH IS SOMETIMES HELPFUL AND SOMETIMES NOT.
    - ability to pull a second pop3 account in addition to mail from the exchange server: YES, CAN PULL 2 OTHER POP ACCOUNTS ALONG WITH THE CORPORATE ACCOUNT (THEY GO INTO SEPARATE MAILBOXES THOUGH -- NO INTERMINGLING IN THE UI)
    - security: THIS SEEMS LOCKSOLID. THEY HAVE A ~25-PAGE DOC ON SECURITY WHICH THEY GAVE US. THE ENCRYPTION AND TRANSPORT SECURITY WERE MORE THAN ENOUGH TO SATISFY OUR IT DIRECTOR.
    - push e-mail vs. notification: PUSH IS PART OF SPRINT BIZCONN, THOUGH APPARENTLY THEY'RE WORKING THROUGH SOME PERFORMANCE ISSUES ON IT WITH THIS NEW RELEASE. YOU CAN ALSO GET NOTIFICATION OF MESSAGES -- BEEPS, BINGS, TEXT MESSAGES ON THE SCREEN, ETC.
    - real-time synch for server e-mail (i.e., if you delete from Treo, it deletes from server): YES. THIS IS ACTUALLY TRUE BOTH FOR CORP EMAIL AND FOR THE 2 POP ACCOUNTS I HAVE ADDED.
    - ability to handle different phones/wireless PDA's: YES -- WE USE TREO 600, TREO 300, AND THE PPCs THAT SPRINT SELLS, WITH BIZCONN.
    - minimum # of users required (e.g., GoodLink requires min of 5, while we may have only 2 or 3 at first): WHEN WE FIRST SIGNED UP IT WAS 10, BUT YOU SHOULD ASK TO SEE IF ITS CHANGED
  6.    #6  
    Lakeside,

    Thanks for the detailed response, I do appeciate it. Since I originally posted we've investigated several of the solutions (primarily those listed in my original posting). We narrowed it down to two top choices, Good and Sprint BusCon-Enterprise.

    Because of the minimum number of users with Sprint (10) and the corresponding $15 monthly fee per each user ($15 with attachments, $10 otherwise), Sprint actually ends up being a bit more expensive then Good (around $150). (The minimum Good license is for 5 users.)

    However, we've decided to go with Sprint for now for two primary reasons:

    1. There is a good amount of appeal to having the administrative/technical hassle (for the most part) be on Sprint's shoulders rather than a combination of Good and our IT consultants (and in-house part-time tech person).

    2. As soon as we move past 5 users (we're starting with 3 users), the Good price jumps up dramatically, while our price with Sprint is fixed until we pass 10 users.

    The fees for sprint boil down to the $250 setup fee, the $15 per month per user fee (10 minimum), and the plan fees (which if you have the $100 calling plan or up includes the vision fee, picture handling, etc.). The only other fee is the calling fee, $5 for free & clear america. All-in-all, not a bad package.

    The only part of your response that concerns me was your description of the Sprint mail handling as fairly rudimentary. If I receive a Word or PDF attachment, will I be able to use separate software on my Treo to open/view in a close-to-native format? Or is "text rendering" much more basic? Is Good's attachment handling any different?

    I'm leaving for a week vacation this Saturday, and expect the contract details to be worked out by the time I return. I'm really looking forward to the Treo - and hoping that it lives up to all the glowing reviews and comments I've been reading the last two months.

    Thanks, again, for your comments.

    Regards,

    Bob1666
  7.    #7  
    Our firm has two offices, one in downtown DC the other in Manhattan (mid town). We travel throughout the US, and for some of us in Europe, Asia, the Carribean and South America on business.

    Bob1666
  8.    #8  
    Lakeside,

    I have one other question for you - I understand from what you said (and a quick check of Sprint's site) that attachment viewing using Enterprise is fairly basic. However, with the storage card, would it be possible to save the attachment to the storage card and then open it from a Treo/Palm software program that would display the attachment closer to its native format? Sprint Enterprise also allows you to attach local documents for outgoing e-mail.

    If this is possible, then doing so a fairly reasonable work-around. (I'm assuming there are better attachment viewers from my memory of past posts on Treocentral as well as reviews of other mail programs (like Snappermail).

    Bob1666
  9. #9  
    Bob1666: we found the same thing regarding cost -- Sprint was a better deal than anyone else out there. The curious thing about the pricing you mention for Good is that when we talked to them, it was ~$3000 up-front just to install their server (plus hardware, plus devices, plus service...). Maybe they've dropped that up-front fee now?

    As for administration of the BizConn service, I agree -- it has been super-simple. Our IT guy was involved on the day we hooked it up, but otherwise we haven't had to do a thing. I guess he (our IT guy) is the one who provisions new users (which he says takes him about 30 seconds), but that's apparently the only thing he needs to do.

    As for attachment support, I'd say what BizConn has today is fine for 90% of my needs -- puts most text-based docs (Word, PDF etc) into a readable format. It cannot render images or let you transfer them to an SD card. I only used Good before they had any attachment support, so can't tell you about that. On the other hand, BizConn has a web interface which I use all the time, which lets me access everything (email, attachments, calendar, contacts, etc.) I travel internationally a lot, including Europe & South America, and being able to use any PC browser to access all this stuff has been invaluable to me. Good luck figuring things out. I think you'll love the Treo 600!!
  10.    #10  
    Regarding your question on Good, per our investigation the fees for our team would have been:

    $1,650 per year annual license fee (with the mandatory minimum of 5 licenses);
    and then the Sprint monthly plan.
    There was mention of another $15 monthly "CDMA monthly service plan", but we believe that refers to Vision, though there was some uncertainty on that point and we never pinned it down.

    As soon as you move past 5 users, Good springs to $3k+ per year, unlike Sprint which at 10 or fewer remains the $10 or $15 per month fee (1200-1800).

    It's been a process, because every time we spoke with Sprint it seemed that a new fee popped up, but we're finally comfortable with the cost on their end and as soon as our rep returns (week from Monday) will sign and get delivery of the first three that week.

    Thanks, again!
  11.    #11  
    Originally posted by lakeside
    I travel internationally a lot, including Europe & South America, and being able to use any PC browser to access all this stuff has been invaluable to me. Good luck figuring things out. I think you'll love the Treo 600!!
    Lakeside - you use your Treo to access data while in Europe and South America, and you are on the Sprint network? I had thought only the GSM networks had the international roaming capabilities?
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by Bob1666


    Lakeside - you use your Treo to access data while in Europe and South America, and you are on the Sprint network? I had thought only the GSM networks had the international roaming capabilities?
    I was following this thread as I found it interesting. Bob1666 -- note that lakeside said "web interface" & "PC browser". You're right, Sprint doesn't work internationally.
  13.    #13  
    Good point. With Exchange server even pre-Treo we have the ability to access contacts/calendar/e-mail from all over (which is incredibly helpful). I take it that Sprint offers another interface point on top of the one that Exchange already offers?
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by Bob1666
    Good point. With Exchange server even pre-Treo we have the ability to access contacts/calendar/e-mail from all over (which is incredibly helpful). I take it that Sprint offers another interface point on top of the one that Exchange already offers?
    Yes. I assume you're talking about Outlook Web Access? We have that too, but we use the Business Connection browser access instead from our PCs when we travel. The main reason: have you ever tried accessing Outlook Web Access from a dial-up line in a hotel or airport lounge? It can be excruciatingly slow....The BizConn browser-interface on a PC is much faster.....
  15.    #15  
    Sounds like yet another good reason to look forward to the Sprint business connection. Thanks (again)!

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