Hi David. Thanks for your reply. At work (UNC) I have a Mac Pro laptop running OS X Lion. At home I have an iMac running OS X Lion. I also have an iPad running iOS 5, but I don't use its email or calendar functions, though perhaps I would if I could get it properly synched with my other machines. I only recently upgraded to OS X Lion and I donut really understand yet just how iCloud works, and how it might serve as the basis for integrating my communications and calendar across machines.
I have three main email accounts, an Exchange account at UNC, an Exchange account at Duke, and my Apple account (used to MobileMe, now iCloud). I also send and receive email through UNC's Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment. Most recently my office has started using Microsoft Lync for instant messaging.
In a previous job we did everything through Google Apps-email, chat, calendar, chrome browser-and it was simple and efficient, and I'd like to get as close to that experience as I can given my current constraints. If I could figure a way to route all my Outlook email, calendar, contacts, etc though my iCloud account without losing any of the functionality, that might do the trick. In the past I might have sought assistance from our on-campus IT support folks, but they've been decimated by budget cuts.
So, if I had to summarize what I need, I'd say I need help integrating Outlook with iCloud in a way that eliminates my need to use Outlook.