Shared mailboxes in SharePoint instead of Outlook

Shared mailboxes are used when several people need access to the same mailbox, such as company data or support e-mail address, reception or other function that can be shared by several people. You can also use the shared mailbox as a shared team calendar.

In addition, E-mail and documents are traditionally stored in two unique and separate data repositories. Most organisations work with both media. The challenge is that both email and documents are accessed through different clients. This usually results in reduced user productivity and a degraded user experience.

And ...,

  • However, a shared mailbox is not designed for direct login. The user account for the shared mailbox itself must remain disabled.
  • When too many designated users access a shared mailbox at the same time (no more than 25 is recommended), they may intermittently fail to connect to it or have inconsistencies, such as messages being duplicated in the outbox.
  • Your shared mailbox can store up to 50 GB of data without a licence assigned to it. Then you have to assign a licence to the mailbox to store more data. This is still limited to 100 GB. When a shared mailbox reaches its storage limit, you can receive mail for a while, but you cannot send new mail. It then stops receiving mail. Senders of the mailbox will receive a receipt without delivery.
  • User permissions: You must give users permissions (membership) to use the shared mailbox. Only people within your organisation can use a shared mailbox. You cannot give people outside your company (such as people with a Gmail account) access to your shared mailbox.
  • You cannot encrypt e-mail sent from a shared mailbox. This is because a shared mailbox does not have its own security context (user name/password), so it cannot be assigned a key.

Site post boxes in Microsoft 365

A better alternative is to move to Microsoft 365 groups with Sitepostboxes in SharePoint. Site mailboxes are a common post box that allows you to coordinate and store emails and documents in one place on a SharePoint site to save all common files. The site mailbox is a solution to this problem. Site mailboxes improve collaboration and user productivity by providing access to both Microsoft SharePoint documents and Exchange e-mail with the same client interface. A site mailbox functionally consists of SharePoint title membership (owners and members), shared storage via an Exchange mailbox for emails and a SharePoint site for documents, and a management interface that meets set-up and lifecycle needs.

When a project member submits e-mail or documents using the team mailbox, each project member can then access the content. Site mailboxes give users easy access to the email and documents for the projects they are working on and in. In addition, the same set of content can be accessed directly from the SharePoint site itself. With Site Mailboxes, the content is kept where it belongs. Exchange stores email and provides users with the same message view for email conversations that they use every day for their own mailboxes. Meanwhile, SharePoint stores the documents, bringing the co-creation and version of the document to the table. Exchange synchronises enough metadata from SharePoint to create the document view in Outlook (e.g. document title, last modified date, last modified author, size).

Docubird makes it easy

With Docubird you can easily add all metadata to these documents, either manually or fully automated in a process in the background. Docubird can automatically add all relevant e-mail data as metadata to the e-mail which makes searching for these data very easy.


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