SMTP server and Exchange

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SMTP server and Exchange

Postposted on Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:09 pm

Hi Guys. We've got a dispatching program at work that uses SMTP to send emails to our technician's phones. We've had nextel phones for years and we recently switched to verizon because nextel's coverage is horrible in some of the areas we are working regularly.

So, I'm sending pages to the technicians phones via the 10-digit phone number @ vtext.com (1234567890@vext.com). However, two problems I'm running into - (1) vtext limits texts to 140 characters and then just truncates whatever is after that - nextel didn't do that. So we're working around that for now. (2) because of the way I have to have it set up, we're getting blocked by vtext pretty regularly as being some kind of spammer.

The way I've got things configured is the dispatch software is pointed to our local exchange server (server.domain.local) which I have pointed to a yahoo smtp server via a Smallbusiness SMTP Connector (server is running SBS 2003). I don't honestly remember how I arrived at that arrangement a few years ago (when this was giving us trouble before) but I needed to have an SMTP server that didn't require Encryption, which I think just about all of them do now. It was working fine with the nextel phones when they had service, but now with the verizon phones (that have much better service) it's been nothing but painful.

So, the dispatch program sends it to the exchange server that forwards it the yahoo smtp server that sends it to vtext and ultimately to the phone, assuming we haven't exceeded some kind of spammer limit and been blocked by vtext.

At this point, I know the proper thing would be to upgrade my dispatch sofware to a version that supports encryption, and that's on the to-do list, but right now there isn't time or money for that. I don't know enough about the ins and outs of exchange to fix it on my own, so there might be a solutio there I'm missing.

Short term, I plan on switching to using mobile email on the phones (I have 2 configured as a test right now) to get past the 140 character limit of vtext, but I'm not confident that the whole limit thing with getting bounced as a spammer won't happen again.

We're not sending that many messages (maybe 100 a day?) but I think my exchange server isn't really a trusted source or something like that (we have a dynamic IP too) which might be causing some of our pain but that's the only way I could get it to work with our program.

So, all of that to say - does any one have any ideas or know a more reliable solution I should be looking at? Any "trusted" smtp servers that don't require encryption? Authentication (username and password) I can do, but not encryption.

Thanks in advance.
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frumper15
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Re: SMTP server and Exchange

Postposted on Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:46 pm

Why don't you just get the phones to download the messages direct from your exchange server?

Its been ages since I've seen a phone that doesn't support basic email with pop3 or imap. Granted this will use some data which you probably don't have much of on your contract but if you keep the messages short and plain text I can't need much more than literally a few MBs a month.

Setting up all the phones will be a bit of a pain too and basic phones probably don't support push email so there will be a delay between sending the message and being delivered.

Anyhow, sticking with what you've got I don't see why you need to worry about encryption... just keep relaying your dispatch software email through exchange and get that to worry about sending it on to your smarthost using encryption. You just need a better smarthost than yahoo. I can't recommend you anybody for this though as I've always got it free from my ISP (the advantage of using a good business oriented ISP :wink: )
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Re: SMTP server and Exchange

Postposted on Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:40 pm

I hadn't thought of trying to get the phones to grab the emails right from our server, but I'm not sure whether or not I could get it work work considering we have a dynamic IP address. We use a yahoo business email account so I don't have to support something as important as email on an exchange server so it hasn't been an issue. I would have to do some poking around to see if that would work or not, but it certainly is an intriguing idea...

Thanks for the suggestion and I would welcome any more.
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Re: SMTP server and Exchange

Postposted on Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:06 pm

I'd prefer to use a static ip but you can get away with dynamic DNS.
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Re: SMTP server and Exchange

Postposted on Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:49 pm

frumper15 wrote:I hadn't thought of trying to get the phones to grab the emails right from our server, but I'm not sure whether or not I could get it work work considering we have a dynamic IP address.


/facepalm

Please tell me you've got a DNS server so you can just use your mailserver's hostname instead of an IP address. Most places do (and you probably do as well) but gods know there are some truly clueless vendors who still expect static IPs and everything to live on the same network segment.
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