I had made a post about this on howardforums, and blackberryforums, and someone suggested that I post here as well.
I have basically set up a BES on a dedicated server that I want to run as a (not for profit) blackberry co-op service, for those of us non-corproate users that are interested in a BES, but whose needs don't necessarily match the services offered by the commercial vendors. I'm proposing $20/month for a 3GB mailbox, and full control over the e-mail account, (e.g. receiving on multiple e-mail addresses, remote wipes, etc). The server is up and running, and anyone interested can PM me for an account to try it out to see how they like it.
Since I'm a new member, I can't post links, so I'm including the original post on BlackberryForums below. You can also search for "Blackberry (BES) Co-op" on HowardForums or BlackberryForums for the previous discussion.
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 $20/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.
Why didn't you just sign up with a hosted exchange and BES provider like MailStreet? It would have been much less expensive for you.
The price on a co-op is much lower overall in the long run. For example the mailstreet service you list charges $12.95 for Exchange, and $9.95 for BES for 200MB accounts. And $49.95/GB. For a 2.2GB account, that runs about $123/month instead of the $20/month for 3GB with the BES co-op.Originally Posted by mgiampapa
What are you going to be doing for domains? Charge for registration and set them up for users?
I think most people would prefer registering the domain by themself and just pointing the DNS to my server so that they own the domain themselves. But if they'd like, I could register the domain for them as well. I also have my own domain that people can use, if they don't want to purchase a domain.
Originally Posted by tburke
Any updates on this?
In my office we have about 10 email users, but only one blackberry, mine.
What would happen with their mail, since they dont use the blackberry?
Hi,Originally Posted by kermalou
The service is up and running, and we have a few users using the service that seem to be happy with it. If only you have a blackberry, then that's fine. All your other users would access their e-mails normally. You would be able to send and receive e-mail from them without any issues.
What a great idea - nice job! I am very pleased with the service and performance of this hosted BES Co-op. In the long run it will be far less expensive than most hosted BES/MDS services.
I would highly recommend for non corporate BB users that wish to take advantage of the BES features available to your blackberry.
Last edited by twj332; 07-09-2007 at 10:31 PM.
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