$50/user/year could quickly scale to "not cheap", though, and it's a definite second-best to "full-fat" BES (even Express), for "real users", due to the handset management and control in BES.
Yea, i do agree, but I can not justify the cost of a BES installation which would include a Windows Server, On that server would be the costs of the hardware (around $2,500) Software (windows Server 2007 which is around $500) my time to implement ActiveDirectory which will be at least $1,000, for only 5 Blackberries. $50 * 5 is $250 per year and though this is a yearly cost it is much cheaper in the short term than the $4,000 investment. I have been with this lawfirm as a consultant for over 10 years, and in the past 10 years, they have shrunk not grown in the number of attorneys that are currently working there. At 250 per year, it will take 16 years to make that 4,000 investment.
If they increased the the staff in the next few years, then I will have to take this up again, but I don't see the Law firm growing anytime soon.
Funamobl has two points of failure. The client that is installed on the laptop or desktop to provide syncing services to the Funambol servers and the client that is installed on the blackberry that syncs from and to the Funambol servers. Should the attorney have a laptop, and he was out of the office for a few days he would not get calendar updates until his laptop was reconnected back to the office network and the Funambol servers had the opportunity to sync up. Also there are privacy concerns when it comes to storing contact and calandar info on public servers such as Funambol. As a lawfirm consultant I have to be able to look the judge in the eye and confidently say I did everything in my power to protect my lawfirms client confidentiality. I can not honestly say that if I use the Funambol service.
There are problems with AstraSync also, for example it requires that ActiveSync be installed on Scalix. The AstraSync client for the Blackberry drains the battery because it is a Java Application and needs to be "running" all the time to receive all the over the air data. Because the AstraSync Client is a java app, it can cause the Blackberry to lock up from time to time. The advantages out way the disadvantages in that their calendars and contacts are always synced, 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. For a lawfirm that can not justify the implementation of BES that is a big plus. BIS (Blackberry Internet Service) does not work properly because of the All Day event bug and BIS does not sync contacts.