Here comes Google to the rescue for all you small, medium and large businesses out there. They offer Google Apps for Business, currently priced at $50/user per year (prepaid). They will give you 25GB of storage, allow you to sync your blackberries and smart phones, and even allow you to run Outlook (major caveat, I will discuss this in detail). For any users currently using GMail for their personal email, they will enjoy the similar look and feel when they log on to their corporate account. All of this sounds good, doesn't it? Yes!
I have used GMail myself and never had very many problems with it. They seem to have a good schedule when it comes to rolling out new features in their labs. It's great when you have a solid provider like Google hosting your emails and not have to worry about your email server going down. That's the kind of thing that would keep me up at night and it's an email administrator's worst nightmare to find out the server crashed in the middle of the night. The standard edition is free of charge, the only requirement is that you have a registered domain name to point your MX records to Google. Instructions are provided during the setup phase when you first sign up. I rarely had any outages with Google and their standard suite provides me with Calendar, Email, Chat, Voice, and Sites. I conduct all of my business through my Google Apps for Business email account because I'm able to connect my contacts, calendar, and email on all of my computers and my smartphone. Companies like Virgin America, Genentech, and Schumacher Group have already made the switch to Google Apps if that gives you any hints as to where we're heading.
Not all companies are alike and in conclusion, Google has made an extremely great production for small businesses like me to collaborate and provided an alternative to Microsoft Exchange for bigger companies that are looking to save some money from licensing fees. A big company like Genentech was able to make the switch to Google Apps and they traditionally ran off of Microsoft Exchange. My takeaway from all of this is to make sure you have users that are willing to make the switch. They will become intimidated and appear defensive if technology is not implemented properly. If you have a solid migration plan then your chance of success is great.