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I'm not sure why the exchange consultant would say that. Admittedly it is a tad more work for them to enable the IMAP module in exchange and then permit access to those application servers that need it. I doubt this is considered bad practice as the way to do is still described by Microsoft here:-
and they usually comment about methods being replaced or about to be dropped.
For Service Desk it is the only way to receive inbound e-mails.
You can have a look at this ER Support for Exchange protocol as well as IMAP for inbound mail perhaps this will behavior could be changed.