Originally Posted by gary599
But I have been thinking about dropping the BES/outlook for Gmail and the program that syncs the gmail calander and your BB.
Has anyone done this, you know dropping the BES for GMAIL?.
I'm a youth sports photographer and in a round about way I was on BES and changed to Gmail/Google. I had a Treo (BB Pearl now) that was not on BES but my account manager was on BB with a hosted BES account that I reimbursed her for. She had her own domain where all of her mail went and I was on my domain.
Since you currently don't get multiple calendar sync (it's coming) here is what we do. Say we schedule a new league where we will need 3 of our freelance photographers and 4 of our part time support staffers.
1. Account manager signs account and sets date.
2. She determines who she will need for the job. Everyone has their own Gmail/Google Calendar account or their own account on our domain which is hosted by Google and we use a "master calendar" for our work schedule.
3. Appointment is set in master calendar.
4. Employee needs are determined and all people needed are invited to event.
5a. On BlackBerry you can accept meeting invitations. Accept it and Google Sync adds to your Google Calendar.
5b. In Outlook accept the invitation and it works in reverse. Google Sync updates Google Calendar and Google Sync on BB updates calendar on BB.
6a. When people accept you have a list of who will be there and an electronic copy of their acceptance of the job. No excuses. They can also add comments to their acceptance, like, can only work half the day.
6b. When someone declines we have an electronic copy of that as well (prevents people saying "why didn't I get to work that job") and we invite another employee. People can decline with a comment as well, like, I am out of town on vacation that day.
7. Reminders are sent to all employees scheduled for a job at 7 days and at 3 days before the event. We use return receipt requests for that electronic copy and those that don't return them are replaced on that job if they fail to respond. It never happens any more.
It really does work for us in that all we care about is our calendar. It is no more manual than a BES solution because you still have to go through all of those steps to get an event scheduled with invitees. The big difference is it takes a little time for your event to sync to your BB/Outlook depending on where you accepted the event.
Google gets $500 a year for me for my hosted email. You could do that part for free it you wanted to. All of the Google Calendar Sync apps are free. Hosted BES costs you what, $10 a month per user? Hosted Exchange is another $10 a month per user?
Google is said to be adding multiple calendars to their sync tools as well as contact and task syncing. If/when that happens there won't be much need for Exchange for small to medium businesses. Use the Google hosted service or just a plain Gmail account with Outlook and your BlackBerry and get contacts, calendar and tasks for cheap.