Author Archive

What’s the Buzz? Enter Collaboration Software, Exit Email

brand-logosAs our dear readers must already know, last month Shahab co authored a white paper with tech whiz James Gaskin on the subject of “managing the email overload“. Email overload is a problem almost everyone faces, and many novel strategies have been suggested to deal with it. Our white paper was our humble take on managing the email torrent.

To rewind, we had suggested that much of the problem of email overload comes not from spam, or even pesky online salesmen, or even journals we subscribed for before the beginning of time. The problem arises from internal corporate communications, or using email for the wrong things within the corporate boundaries, namely, coordination of schedules, collaborating on documents, delegating tasks, making group decisions. We had further gone on to say that the solution was to move to online collaboration software for the above stated purposes. This would achieve the dual purpose of drastically reducing the email deluge, as well as improve business productivity.

We seem to have struck a chord. The whitepaper lead to a new torrent, albeit a welcome one. The whitepaper got wide coverage, both by niche blogs, as well as some of the most well known blogs in the tech industry. Some flattering coverage is as follows:-

ZDNet – Take the Email Test – Can collaboration tools save time and money?

CMS Wire – Working Smarter – 4 Potential Ways to Avoid Email Chaos

Smallbiztechnology.com – Get Rid of Email In Favor of Proper Tools: Boost Productivity & Reduce Your InBox

TMCNet – Email Overload or Bankruptcy?

Collabo – Collaboration Software & Email: Designing Tools for the Problem at Hand

Mac tech – HyperOffice kicks off new webinar series for SMBs

Thanks a lot guys! We hope we were able to bring value to your readership!

Google Apps Sync – Old Wine in Google Bottle?

app-syncA few days ago, Google launched Google Apps Sync, a plug-in for MS Outlook, which allows users of Google Apps to sync mail, contacts and calendars with MS Outlook. Additionally, Google has positioned its new tool as an “Exchange alternative”, where it acts as a backend for Outlook, and saves businesses the costs and hassles of setting up Microsoft Exchange for business email, contacts and calendars.

Google has been trying to enter the enterprise market very aggressively with Google Apps, and this was the company’s acknowledgment that it is impossible to gain a foothold in the enterprise messaging and collaboration market, without offering integration with Outlook, which is THE favorite software tool of workers.

Well, what we have to say is, good morning Google.

Been There, Done that

HyperOffice has been firmly entrenched in the Exchange alternative market for SMBs since early 2006, when we had launched HyperShare, our Outlook integration plug-in.

Over many years of our experience offering online productivity solutions to growing companies, we learnt that there is a compelling need for a Microsoft Exchange alternative, especially in small to medium sized businesses. These companies would love to have the feature set of MS Exchange, which can bring great productivity gains (business email; shared calendars, contacts and tasks), but the thousands of dollars in costs and expertise needed to manage it are beyond the reach of most growing businesses.

We thought we could leverage the web based, software-as-a-service approach, where the infrastructure and management of the backend messaging system would be our responsibility, while customers could simply use the features of Outlook, by paying a low monthly subscription fees. Of this was born HyperShare.

Collateral Damage – Google’s “Micrososft Exchange Killer” Kills Outlook Search

Google Apps Sync’s release was received with great enthusiasm and fanfare, and colorful descriptions – “Google treads on Microsoft” (why do I see a big foot squashing a bug), “Google goes for Microsoft’s jugular” (gulp!).

The euphoria was short lived. Microsoft’s team soon gleefully discovered and informed the world of bugs in the Google plug-in, where the tool has a conflict with, and shuts down Outlook’s search capabilities.

Soon, Google itself discovered more issues, like the inability of Google Apps Sync to work with some Outlook plugins like Microsoft Office Outlook Connector, Acrobat PDF Maker Toolbar and Outlook Change Notifier, and more.

What about Task Synchronization Eh?

Those used to using MS Exchange as the backend for their Outlook would notice an important omission in new Google new tool’s feature set. As Google proudly announced synching for mail, contacts and calendars, one may hardly notice that it does not include synching for tasks. Shared tasks are one of the very important collaborative features of Outlook, where teams can manage team projects by creating tasks, assigning responsibilities and tracking progress.

SharePoint Alternative for Enterprises?

We can’t help but feel the slight self satisfaction of the “I told you so” feeling at the recent debate raging between corporate technology pundits. The moot point is “SharePoint in Enterprise 2.0” and it seems like almost every who’s who in the space has something to say.

The general verdict is in the direction “Sharepoint has serious shortcomings as an enterprise 2.0 tool”. What especially pleases us is that we have been making the same arguments for years now for growing businesses. We have long seen that Sharepoint has serious shortcomings as a collaboration solution for growing businesses, which is why we have positioned ourselves strongly as a “Sharepoint Alternative“, and have gained a high relevance in the arena (high ranking in  Google results for “SharePoint alternative” shall testify).

Now enterprises seem to be learning the same lessons.

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