Well this turned out to be an unexpectedly annoying and time consuming task, I hope my rambling may save someone else the wasted time….
We recently moved a client to Office 365. Before we were using an SBS 2011 server with the Red Earth signature product which had always worked brilliantly. They have recently been bought by another company who promote ‘mysignatures online’ as a cloud service for office 365.
The old Exchange server version worked at the Transport level, so signatures were inserted into any email – regardless of whether it was send from an Ipad, Outlook, an Android phone etc.
The new ‘online’ version however requires client software on every machine running Outlook. The online component simply serves the signatures to the outlook client. It requires that Iphone users use the ‘Microsoft outlook web app’ rather than the built-in activesync client. Windows phones are ‘not supported’. About the only thing is does automate is OWA sigs.
In short, if you need to enforce a policy to ensure all emails have a signature, it simply can’t do it. You probably don’t want to be installing clients everywhere either… In these days of BYOD this is a dinosaur of a product that isn’t really much more than ‘tacked onto’ the cloud
It’s horribly expensive as well – the old product was sold as a perpetual license, this one is about the same price for a one year subscription, so an effective way to treble your outlay and cripple your functionality. It’s horrible.
MySignaturesonline get a 2 out of 10 from me, though the salesperson was very nice and helpful.
Next up, I thought I’d find another package. I was delighted to find that CodeTwo offer a package called CodeTwo Email signatures which ‘Easily deploy personalised signatures’
Gah. It’s even worse though. Again it relies on client agents, doesn’t work on active sync.
To boot, this ‘cloud offering’ requires a software package running on a local server. The agent is configured automatically with the internal hostname of the server, so no travelling laptops can contact it without a VPN. ‘We don’t support updating over the internet’ according to support.
So, Cloud signatures in Code two world require: A server, a vpn infrastructure, a client agent. Even with all three it can’t manage activesync clients. I didn’t bother to look at the price. Am I being unfair or is that a stinker?
CodeTwo signatures gets a 0/10 from me. It’s more brick than cloud. To be fair, if you just want OWA sigs, or pc’s that sit on the lan,’ it’s probably fine.
Finally came across this one (they need to work on their SEO!).. It does actually work at the transport layer (the devs ‘get it’). You configure your hosted exchange with a rule to relay out to the service which is hosted on the azure platform. When signatures are applied, the emails are returned to 365 which then sends them out.
It works on everything. No client agents required. You can apply different signatures by groups or rules, including pulling attributes from the 365 directory.
As far as I am aware, this is the only product that can do this at this time, though I’d be delighted to hear of any others in the comments.
I don’t seem to be having much luck with applying a particular signature to ‘new emails only’ but I can live with a single new/reply signature for the time being.
It’s not cheap – much in line with the mysignaturesonline one, but seems to be the only option at the moment.
7 out of 10 so far, but we’re still in early days….