Calendar Recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by kernel_panic, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. kernel_panic macrumors newbie

    kernel_panic

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Indiana
    #1
    We've been using OS X Server for about 5 years. The only component we utilize is the calendar. We have 26 users with calendars, and we use resources like conference rooms, projectors, etc. Lately, the calendar has been causing issues. Resources are difficult to manage/reserve, and some users have completely lost their delegates randomly.

    I'm tasked with investigating some alternative calendar solutions. We currently use the basic email service offered by Rackspace. They're value added resellers for Google Apps and Office 265 in addition to offering Hosted Exchange, so those are my obvious choices.

    We currently use Google Docs for a lot of text documents, spreadsheets, and slide decks, so Google Apps for Business might be a natural fit. I don't have any experience with the Google calendar in a business setting, but I know many businesses use it.

    Exchange would work since we already have all the Office desktop apps. Unfortunately, we're not up to date with those apps, so Office 365 might be an even better option. Microsoft seems pretty dominant in the group calendar space, but I don't have any personal experience with it.

    Anyone care to share your thoughts on these options?
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I went with O365, straight from MS and purchased through their portal, with the Enterprise E1 package. $8 per month per account. It's been trouble free since Day 1. The only reason I went with E1 over Business Essentials was for the "Professional digital storytelling tools" in the Enterprise options; the Essentials may suit your needs, for $3 less per month. E1/Essentials don't include Office, but we have standalone options for that plus I have a couple of Office Home installs to use.

    The "sales" web pages are pretty, but there's more info here on the plan options: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office-365-plan-options.aspx - there's 30-day trials, extendable to 60 days of Business Premium, E3, and E5 plans.

    I was on board with Google Apps when they started offering it, and moved to O365. I tired of the "moving" feature set, sharing calendars was a PITA, and none of my counterparts (coming from the Exchange world) had the patience for Google's absofrickinlutely pathetic (lack of) customer service when they're product didn't work properly. Never again...

    I have a Mini Server, and it now hosts software updates and some archived files. I've stopped using Server - I've read that it's improved, but therapy is $250 per hour and it's just not worth my time to try it out again for calendaring.
     
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #3
    Pretty sure I'd go along with your suggestion but I have one question: What is your experience with customer service regarding Office 365?
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    Excellent, for both my Business Premium (for personal) and E1 (Business) accounts. My two accounts aren't tied together - there's no way MS knows that, for my personal use, I have 55 E1 accounts - they pick up the phone in the same period of time, regardless. I have different IP addresses for both uses, so they can't map my usage to find out who I am - regardless of where I am, they pick up the phone or answer emails promptly, I still have a hard time believing that $8 per month gets that level of service, in a good way...
     
  5. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #5
    I'll toss in another suggestion for O365. I am the IT director for an independent real estate brokerage. I've got 250 employees and agents currently on Google Apps. In June last year I migrated our in-house escrow company of 15 employees to O365 Business Premium and I have been nothing but pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. Very painless migration and the support has been excellent.

    You can request a support rep call directly from the admin dashboard and the two times I have used it, I have gotten a call within 5 minutes from someone that was 110% competent and amazing phone and email follow up/follow through afterwards. Makes Google's phone support look as horrible as it really is.
     
  6. Geeky Chimp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    #6
    We've recently moved from Exchange (on Premise) to OS X Server for Mail and Calendaring. All is going well so far.

    We've had some dealings with Office 365 Support for a few things and found them slow to respond and usually unhelpful.

    No experience with Google Docs though.
     
  7. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #7
    Interesting that with Office 365 Enterprise E1, $8/month/account gets you phone support but with the $4/month (lowest tier) domain hosting, which I have one domain on, you get a user forum with MS reps.

    I have to say I've never had a serious issue with the service. It's been rock solid. If I could have called it would have been twice at the most in almost four years.
     

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