I posted a poll about this a while ago (Original Thread
), and there was quite a bit of interest shown for it. The idea was basically a group co-op BES for people interested in the full BES functionality without running their own servers. This time I've gone ahead, and purchased all the licenses (Microsoft Exchange 2003 25-CAL, BES Small Business 5-CAL) as well as the hosting (Dedicated Windows 2003 Std Server on GoDaddy on 3Ghz box with 2GB RAM). I've already paid for the software licenses myself, and I'm not looking to make a profit, just to make enough to cover the expenses. I've already set up the server, and started using it myself. Since I have 4 BES licenses left over, I'm looking for other blackberry users that would like to share the monthly hosting cost with me.
The server's monthly cost is about USD $132 / month. I'd like to propose $30/month for each user, for Exchange and Blackberry access with 3GB e-mail accounts. However, if more users are interested then additional Blackberry licenses can be purchased reducing the monthly costs for everyone. Also, none of the proposed setup or figures are set in stone, if anyone has suggestions on how things might be done differently, please post to this thread.
I'm guessing the biggest concern that people have would be the reliability of the server, and maybe the trust issue of paying for the service without any guarantees. However, since I'm already paying for the hosting and I know that it's working well, I'd be willing to let people try out the service for a couple weeks to see how they like it, before paying for it, or maybe even paying me after the end of the month so that they're not risking anything. The biggest initial hurdle the first time around was that no one was willing to trust anyone else (understandably). However since I've gone ahead and covered the initial costs myself, hopefully people would be more interested in this service.
The co-op service is targeted mostly at people with larger mailboxes and those looking for faster speeds. I think most commercial blackberry bes services have 100MB accounts at around $20, however these servers are split among many users, so it is quite a bit slower than a dedicated box for 5 people or so. Also, once you start looking at mailboxes of 1GB or so, it starts to run much higher.
If anyone has any questions, or is still interested in the service, please PM me or post below.