In every Company, people change. So it always creates a disconnect between the Company and the external stake holders. Mails bounce or go unanswered. To overcome this problem, most of the Companies have a few public email id’s which never change. For example sales, info, service, etc. These are usually listed and given to Customers, vendors, etc. This ensures that even if the person handling that function leaves the Company, the email id need not change. There are 2 ways in which you can create the public email id’s in Exchange Online, which is a part of Office 365. One way is via creation of an alias. The second method is by creating Shared Mailbox.
Shared Mailboxes in Office 365 (Exchange Online), allow a group of users to view and send e-mail from a common mailbox (e.g. department mailbox with a generic mail address such e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org ).
When you create a Shared mailbox, a separate mailbox is created. So suppose you have created a shared mailbox called “info”. A distinct mailbox called info is created. But it does not consume the Exchange License. To use this shared mailbox, a user needs to have his own Exchange Mailbox. This will appear as a different mailbox on the Outlook of the user. So all incoming mails will come to this shared mailbox. While replying to the message , the user needs to select the name from his drop down list of mailbox names and send the mail.
The good part here is that shared mailbox can also be used on OWA (Outlook Web Access) thus making it a very elegant solution for Mobile workforce.
Here are some details of the Shared Mailbox:
- There is no limitation to create shared mailbox in the Office 365.
- A Shared Mailbox does not require a license, but every user that accesses the Shared Mailbox must be assigned an Office 365 license.
- A Shared Mailbox has a maximum size of 10 GB. Exceeding this limit will require as a minimum an Exchange Online license.
- A Shared Mailbox can be used to store e-mails sent to and received by the Shared Mailbox.
So one important difference between “alias” and “shared mailbox” is that when you create an alias, there is no separate mailbox created while in “shared mailbox” a distinct mailbox is created.