Archive for the ‘Software as a Service’ Category

5 reasons you should replace Exchange public folders…and MS Exchange itself.

OK, this is an inspired article. But since the subject is so highly relevant to the cloud collaboration audience, I couldn’t help but do my own version.

If we see collaboration as evolution, collaborating with Exchange public folders would probably qualify as Neanderthal. But ironically, people continue to use it widely – probably because it is so immediately accessible, or they just don’t know better. Here are 5 reasons you can do (much) better:

1. Exchange Public Folders are not designed for document sharing and collaboration

This is in Microsoft’s own admission. Public Folders do not have the advanced features associated with document collaboration such as version control, audit trails, comments, notifications and so on. As your team grows larger, you need more than a network drive where everyone just dumps documents. Our HyperOffice is an online document management system which lets exactly track who made document changes, when they were made, make sure no-one’s changes are overwritten, have discussions around documents, and keep everyone related to the document in the loop.

2. Administration of Exchange Public Folders is a nightmare

In an era where everyone is used to simple administration screens to manage users and permissions, many of the functions in Exchange, including Exchange Public Folders, have to be performed through command prompts and special commands (reminiscent of the DOS era). For example to specify permissions per user you’ll have to use the Add-PublicFolderClientPermission cmdlet. For the non-geeky amongst us, this is extremely daunting. HyperOffice has a simple admin console which lets you manage users with a few clicks and fine tune permission per user, or even fine tune permissions for groups of users at the folder, subfolder right down to the file level.

3. The lifespan of Exchange Public Folders is uncertain

While talk of Exchange Public Folders being killed off has been around since 2006, we can be sure we are nearer than ever to that event. Microsoft itself is encouraging users to move to other Microsoft tools like SharePoint and Office 365 for sharing documents. While you want to jump from Microsoft frying pan into the Microsoft fire is another question, keeping all your eggs in the Exchange Public Folders basket is risky.

4. Collaboration is more than sharing folders

Even if Exchange Public Folders were a robust document management system, companies are increasingly asking the question – are our collaboration needs limited to sharing folders? Companies are increasingly looking beyond simple information sharing to complete collaboration solutions which include tools like task management, team workspaces, wikis, social networking and more. HyperOffice is a fully integrated suite of essential collaboration tools like document management, project management, email, contacts, calendars, social business, intranet and extranet workspaces and more.

5. The cloud is where it’s at

In an era where companies, large and small alike, are looking to move their systems to the cloud because of undeniable benefits, a larger question to ask is – should you be looking to move away from Exchange altogether to the cloud even for email? Many experts have emphasized the clear cost savings of cloud email. So maybe it’s time to say goodbye to servers, Exchange server experts, ongoing maintenance, and Exchange Management Shell scripting. HyperOffice is a cloud based Exchange Alternative which lets your team just get on your web browser and access enterprise class business email features (including mobile and Outlook synchronization) fully integrated with document management capabilities, and even more collaboration tools like project management and team workspaces.

The Collaboration Patchwork Quilt Problem

We had the privilege of being featured in an article (HyperOffice one-stop collaboration) by Amber Singleton  Riviere at GigaOm yesterday, which is where I came across the expression “patchwork quilt problem”. The reference was an article by Simon Mackie of GigaOm. Simon discusses the issue of an ever greater number of web apps in organizations performing specific tasks, and the problem of integrating them.

How companies end up with a patchwork quilt

Normally, SMBs tend to add web tools in response to an immediate collaboration problem – sharing documents with offshore teams, managing joint projects with a partner, or the need to have distributed team meetings. But as these companies keep piling on the tools, they realize that they are compartmentalizing information which should be shared across tools, or is closely related. For example every project has associated documents, schedules, discussions, and meetings.  Managing each of these with a separate tool becomes increasingly inefficient, as information is duplicated or has to be manually moved between tools.  As companies add more and more to the collaboration mix, the more chaotic the situation becomes.

One solution is to invest money in integrating these disparate tools. But apart from the extra costs, the problem is that these tools were never primarily designed to work together, and have different architectures and interfaces. The result is more often than not somewhat hodgepodge – a patchwork quilt.

Collaboration patchwork quilt or a stitch in time?

Another approach is to have foresight, look beyond immediate needs, and invest in “integrated” collaboration solutions or a “collaboration suite”. As the word “suite” suggests, a collaboration suite is not a single all-encompassing magic bullet tool for all your collaboration needs, but a collection of tools. That is understandable, because “collaboration” is very broad, and involves a wide spectrum of activities in the organizational context – communicating, working together on files, co-ordination of schedules, managing and coordinating projects and tasks involving people across the organization, team meetings and discussions and so on.

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However, in a collaboration suite, tools are developed and designed to complement each other, and integrated at a data level so that information can seamlessly flow in all directions.

Workspaces and Collaboration

Intranet/Extranet workspaces are an ideal way to organize collaboration tools in a collaboration suite, and are also the design principle of HyperOffice. A “workspace” is a permissions protected collection of web pages and collaboration tools for specific groups inside and outside the organization. A collaboration suite can have multiple permanent and temporary workspaces depending on the company’s needs – an HR workspace, a workspace for a major client, a workspace for a temporary cross functional team and so on.

Apart from organizing multiple collaboration tools that a team needs in a single place, workspace pages also help create context around these tools. Workspaces can also be seen as a “virtual office” for teams, which managers can use to encourage and motivate team members who might never interact face to face. For example if team members log into their workspace, the landing page can direct them to group documents, highlight a prominent upcoming event, reflect the status of a team project, display the “team member of the month”, or display latest team news.

Conclusion

As the collaboration market matures, a general realization has started to dawn that being myopic can lead to problems later. Collaboration goes beyond solving a specific part of the collaboration problem brilliantly, but looking at the larger picture in light of expanding collaboration needs, and the information management problems that could arise later. The “larger picture” has always been the focus at HyperOffice, and we have sought to bring an ever wider range of essential team communication and collaboration tools in a single solution.

Does your company seem to be running into the patchwork quilt problem?

The HyperOffice Promise

Cloud email security is a hot topic these days, especially after the much publicized Gmail glitches a few weeks ago.

We felt this was a good time to reiterate our commitments to our customers, and bring your attention to what we offer in terms of stability and security, and our track record.

The vendor-customer relation in software-as-a-service is fundamentally one of trust. The customer entrusts the vendor with sensitive corporate data and the efficient working of systems which impact their business performance. This is especially true of a solution like HyperOffice which is a pervasive part of your day to day operations. At HyperOffice, we hold this trust in highest regard. Our customers are at the centre of everything we do, which is how we have grown over many years, and will continue to grow. We have systems and procedures in place that are at par with the very best in industry, to ensure that you get the best products, services and stability.

HyperOffice offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which is the highest standard offered in the industry. We have a narrow allowance of .1%, meaning 8.76 hours per year, or around 43 minutes per month, to include all unforeseen contingencies AND scheduled downtime. In all previous years, we have maintained an impeccable record, and have been able to keep well within this slim window. This is one the best records in the industry, compared to even prominent solutions like Google’s Gmail, which has experienced well publicized outages over the past couple of years, including one just last week, where it took them as long as four days to restore affected accounts. In close to 10 years of operation, HyperOffice has NEVER experienced a data breach or lost customer data.

HyperOffice is  hosted at  the best data centers in the world, manned and monitored by engineers around the clock. We incorporate redundancy across every node in our network of servers and the latest fault tolerance technology to maximize system uptime. Security is implemented at multiple levels, and all problems attacked and resolved within minutes of them occurring. With such systems in place, you get continuity and stability that would be near impossible for most businesses to achieve  in house. A study from Radicati Group found that on-premises email averaged 3.8 hours of downtime per month, and the number was even greater for Microsoft Exchange.

At times, for all our preparedness, there may be problems caused by external factors beyond our control. For example,  there may be network problems on the internet preventing your request to connect to HyperOffice servers from reaching our servers. There are also times when because of network saturation or poor connection you may experience slower than usual speed with HyperOffice. Note that HyperOffice is a rich and robust application that requires adequate connection speeds, bandwidth and processing power on your system.  Regardless our engineers are working hard to constantly optimize the performance and stability of HyperOffice despite external or internal factors.

We would like to reemphasize that you – our customers are at the centre of everything we do. Our customer focus remains one of the key pillars of our company, and our “personal touch” is one of the reasons you choose us over larger players like Google and Microsoft.  We are totally committed to provide you with the highest quality services and products.

We are ever ready to go that extra mile, for your continued trust.

Email Archiving and SMBs

“Email archiving” wouldn’t normally ring a bell for a small business owner. The general impression is that the regulatory requirement of keeping all company email records for a certain number of years, falls only on enterprises, and hence the inapplicability of email archiving software to smaller businesses.

This is not totally accurate, since there are certain categories of small businesses, which are affected. There are thousands of small companies in the financial sector, for example, that are affected by regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC and National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD).

But the general indifference of SB owners towards email archiving does not come as a surprise, given the price points, which more than outweighed any benefits. It typically involved purchasing and implementing specialized software like MS Exchange, and setting up dedicated servers – running up costs from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

However, thanks to the cloud revolution, email archiving is another area that has moved to the cloud. Companies can now access email archiving tools over the internet for a reasonable monthly fee, without the need to host solutions in-house. Given this substantially reduced price point, small business owners would do well to consider the benefits. Specifically, the benefits are as follows:-

1) Safeguard Mission Critical Data. It is not an overstatement to say that information that is critical to any businesses – client communications, documents, records, contracts, invoices – flow through its email system. Often, this information is lost or locked away in individual inboxes, frustratingly inaccessible when needed the most, and hostage to a fickle email system or a disgruntled employee on his way out. Email archiving ensures that all this information is stored, backed-up and safeguarded centrally on an ongoing basis.

2) eDiscovery. Email archiving solutions have search and discovery tools built into them to ensure that companies have access to the specific information they need, when they need it.

3) Legal Concerns. Although a large majority of small businesses are not required by law to store and conserve their business email communications, they may find themselves in a messy litigation, and required to produce historical email records under a subpoena. At other times, the presence of historical email records may help the small businesses owner in building a case in litigation against, say, a defaulting partner.

4) HR Benefits. The HR department may find email archiving to be an invaluable tool at their disposal, and a protection against staff email misuse. Numerous situations can be thought of to exemplify this – an in house investigation, monitoring for workplace harassment, or arbitration of employee tribunal cases before going to court.

Given the above benefits, small businesses may want to give email archiving a long and hard thought.

At HyperOffice, we constantly look to bring more and more features and functionality into our messaging and collaboration suite, to ensure that our customers don’t have to shop around as their needs expand. After expanding our email/messaging capabilities with push email support for almost every major mobile platform a few months ago, email archiving was the logical next step. Email archiving is currently in beta, and we hope to make it widely available very soon.

Microsoft BPOS is now Office 365

Office 365: What is it?

A couple of hours ago, Microsoft announced the beta release of Office 365, a cloud service that wraps its major offerings – Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Office in a unified cloud environment.

Experts expected Microsoft to announce that it will upgrade the backend of BPOS to its 2010 range of products, and also include Office Web Apps, its much covered web version of MS Office. Since there was no mention of BPOS during the keynote it is unclear if Office 365 will replace MS’ Business Productivity Online Suite or be an additional product (Marie Jo Folie of ZDNet is of the opinion that BPOS goes).

The unexpected news is that Office 365 will also include Office Professional Plus, a desktop client which includes MS Office and some other collaboration features.

Crudely, Office 365 can be seen in the following terms


Microsoft gives the cloud a bear hug

This keynote is probably the strongest endorsement of the cloud by Microsoft yet, where they called the cloud a “once in a generation technology shift” and ”of the magnitude of a change to the graphical user interface.”

We were glad to see much of our messaging echoed in the keynote – that the cloud changes the rules of competition by enabling small companies with the same technologies as enterprises; it allows cost savings of up to 50%; that small businesses need technologies that are easy to use and quick to deploy, and so on.

Microsoft would have you believe that it was all part of its “vision”, but the truth is, market pressures have forced it to give the cloud a central position in its strategy. Cloud computing for businesses was made mainstream by Google Apps in the last couple of years, but confidence was built slowly and steadily over years by early cloud players like SalesForce and HyperOffice.

Where HyperOffice fits in

We are more than glad when a large company like Microsoft endorses and evangelizes the cloud or software-as-a-service market. It validates the market, and we have to exert less effort trying to convince users about the benefits of the cloud, and can focus on telling them about what differentiates our product from others.

We know we placed our bets right – the online collaboration software market, which apart from HyperOffice, only had one or two other players in the early 2000s, and is now the most exciting market in business IT.

This news also further validates the integrated online messaging and collaboration software market, which breaks down the traditional barriers between “communication” and “collaboration” applications. We have been offering “integrated” solution for years now, and Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS have made this approach mainstream in the last couple of years.

We do not have the grand plans of Microsoft and Google, of swamping the enterprise market with cloud solutions. We are confident that HyperOffice brings one of the best solutions for our target niche – small and mid sized businesses – and of our ability to continue to operate profitably in that niche.

Microsoft BPOS, and its possible new avatar, Office 365, are ultimately refurbishments of its enterprise focused technologies, and retain some of the complexity. Companies with IT resources will find themselves best positioned to make advantage of these solutions.

HyperOffice, on the other hand, being a small business ourselves, we are more in touch with the needs of growing companies. SMBs need solutions they can implement without the benefit of in house IT expertise, and require strong customer support. HyperOffice brings users a lot more functionality “out of the box” than Office 365, developed over years of real experience with SMBs. Moreover, we bring a strong customer service ethic, and a service package (free training and phone support), which Microsoft cannot replicate with its network of partners.

Listen to HyperOffice at the Small Biz Tech Tour

Small Biz Technology, a premier online journal dedicated to tech issues related to small businesses, is launching the Small Biz Tech Tour, the first edition of what is going to be an annual event. Spread out over 43 days, the Tour will stop over at 5 cities including Mountain View, CA; Salt Lake City; Boston; Washington DC and Atlanta. If you are a small business owner near any of those venues, make haste to get yourself over there!

It is going to be a grand show, featuring a lineup of star studded speakers representing thought leaders in small business tech from the analyst, journalist and vendor community. You get a chance to hear and ask questions from 35 speakers including Ramon Ray (smallbiztechnology.com), Brent Leary (CRM expert), Laurie McCabe (SMB Group), Patrick Schwerdtfeger (Bloomberg TV), and, our own Shahab Kaviani!

Click here for the itinerary and further information

This series of events will give owners insights into the most pressing contemporary question for small businesses – to cut through all the chaotic talk and find how to make use of modern internet technology, which makes available to them tools formerly in the sole dominion of enterprises, to be more effective and competitive.

You also get to network with your peers. Speak with technology vendors. Participate in discussions. Eat. Win Prizes.

HyperOffice at the Tour

We are glad that HyperOffice was invited to share our experiences and insights. We’ve served small businesses for more than a decade since 1998. We were one of the first companies to offer software-as-a-service solutions to the business market, and one of the earliest players in online collaboration, the most explosive market these days.

Importantly, we have dealt with the needs of small businesses on a day-to-day basis over all these years, learnt invaluable lessons, and built our solutions and services around that knowledge. And Shahab has been in the thick of it since the early days of HyperOffice listening to customers, spearheading our marketing efforts, helping define a nascent market and educating small businesses about it. Be sure that he has some serious pointers and tips for you.

Be there!

HyperOffice featured in SMB Group Study: Moving Beyond Email – The Era of SMB Online Collaboration Suites

SMB Group, a premier consultancy group which specializes in analyzing and researching the SMB market, recently released its study “Moving Beyond Email—The Era of SMB Online Collaboration Suites”.

The SMB Group brings deep expertise in how latest technology trends impact how SMBs operate and compete. The study follows the increasing importance of distributed collaboration in SMBs, and the consequent increase in use of collaboration technology. According to Laurie McCabe, co author of the report: -

“Until recently, most small and medium businesses (SMBs) could get along just fine with a few tools such as email, calendars, document sharing, and the good old telephone. But today, many SMBs are finding that they need more effective collaboration tools to share knowledge, streamline processes, and keep everyone in the organization “on the same page”. They need to make information easier to find, share, and use as well as to connect with the right people at the right time—on any device”

As Laurie points out, email is no longer the collaboration tool of choice, and workers have moved their many of their collaboration activities to other tools. But it is not an either or situation, as email continues to be important, as most of us can testify. Keeping in mind this close relationship in mind, we had started offering integrated email and collaboration tools. In the past couple of years Google and Microsoft have also entered the arena with Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS, making the “communication and collaboration” space well defined.

An SMB Group survey found that a quarter of SMBs intend to invest in collaboration software in the coming 12 months. And the online, or “software as a service” model for collaboration solutions is ideal for SMBs because it has been designed for their specific needs and budgets.

Recently, have been numerous reports on the SaaS market by Forrester, Gartner, McKinsey, IDG and AMI on the SaaS market in general, but none deals with the online collaboration market in such detail.

The study brings more than abstract, high level information of the kind that SMBs find particularly hard to digest. The report brings a detailed assessment of the top 8 players in the online collaboration suite category. We are more than pleased that HyperOffice has been featured in a lineup that includes names like Google, Microsoft and IBM.

The intuitive “SMB Readiness Grid” compares the eight vendors in terms of their marketing strategies, solution capabilities, service offerings, and differentiation for the SMB market.

In addition, the report also brings interviews of SMB customers who have used these suites.

The purpose of the grid is not just a feature assessment of the suites, but their fit for the SMB market. We believe HyperOffice will stand out in this respect because Microsoft BPOS and Google Apps are more focused towards the more profitable enterprise segment, while our bread and butter comes from SMBs, around whom we have developed our solutions.

Journalists interested the SMB market will find bountiful insights in this research, and of course, SMBs will find it immensely useful is devising their collaboration strategy. You can download the research abstract here, and find further details on how to purchase the report.

HyperOffice Collaboration Software Suite Featured on Two High Authority Roundups

After getting a flattering review from PC Mag, HyperOffice was covered again last week by PC Mag in “Ten Apps That Can Make You More Productive”.

Sean Carroll, the author of the article, felt that collaborating online HyperOffice can help workers “work smart instead of longer”. Although “having enough time left over to play Fantasy Football”, isn’t exactly the reason you would want to be more productive, as Sean cheekily puts it, greater productivity is something every business strives for.

You can click on the image below to see the slide show with all the suggested products, including the HyperOffice Collaboration Suite.

HyperOffice #6 in GetApp Top 20

HyperOffice also had the previlige of being listed at #6 in the “top 20 applications of September” by GetApp, a well known marketplace of cloud apps, which has been covered by top tech blogs like TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb and InformationWeek. HyperOffice is the top app in the collaboration software arena.

The ranking is based on a composite algorithm that incorporates several criteria, including listing popularity on GetApp.com, number of reviews and comments, social media presence such as Twitter and FaceBook followers, volume and quality of integration points, and input from analyst reports. The ranking is updated monthly.



RIP Google Wave – The Lessons we Learnt

Recap

Google Wave was born over a year ago, with Google’s weight right behind it. I remember watching a video of the Google I/O ‘09 conference where Wave was announced to resounding applause by the charming Lars Rasmussen, co founder of the Google Wave project.

Right from the outset, everyone recognized Wave as a revolutionary product, built with the latest internet technologies, taking the “real time” web to a new level. Lars introduced Wave as “communication and collaboration software” but “commboration” would have been a more apt description, as it blurred the lines between email, IM, documents, wikis, text streaming, social networking, image sharing and more. It set itself an ambition no less than “redefining email”, the primary communication technology for over 40 years.

It is ironical that the gap between “Google Wave launched” and “Google Wave is dead” stories was a little over than a year.

As the readers must already know, Google Wave was formally put to rest as a stand-alone product on August 4th, low adoption by users cited as a reason.

An Analysis

In the consumer market, a drastically new technology has fair chances of taking off, because consumers like to experiment, and are forever looking for something new to cater to short attention spans. The business market however, is less venturesome, and the capabilities of a technology need to be clearly mapped to organizational needs. The important question is – what can it do for us? For example social networking and tweeting may be big hits with consumers, but are only gradually finding their way into businesses, after much debate.

There’s a big debate around why Google Wave died. We have our own opinions on why Wave didn’t take off in the business market, some of which we proposed at the time Wave started to catch on. Here are our arguments:-

Ill-defined uses

Ever since Google Wave was launched, the emphasis was always on its capabilities – you could co author “Waves” in real time character by character, you could embed images and video, you could use it as a platform to build cool applications, you could replay a wave as it evolved and so on. But there was never very clear articulation around – what can you use it for?

It was clear from the outset that Google expected the market to define the use cases for Wave. It felt that if it just put this powerful and compelling technology out there – uses would emerge from the user and developer community.

This strategy may work in the consumer market, but not in businesses. The technology follows well defined uses, defined over years of experience – collaboration on documents, text communication, audio communication, tools that help manage the customer cycle and so on. Sure, technology pushes the limits of how you can work better, but the changes are always incremental, never drastic. Software-as-a-service had to prove itself for years before being widely accepted as it is now.

No Structure

Business have also developed over years ways of thinking about its information – there is email, documents, IM, forums, wikis – each serving a somewhat separate purpose.

There is information we categorize as communication (email, IM), which is not highly structured, and does not need to be revisited often; and recurring use information, which is highly structured and needs to be visited often (documents).

Then there are different ways of how we work together on information – asynchronously (one person contributes at a time)(email) or synchronously (all participants contribute at the same time)(IM).

Google Wave threw all these different types of information – email, IM, documents, wikis, communication, collaboration, asynchronous, and synchronous – into a real time soup called a “wave”.

If that wasn’t already confusing, all waves were bundled together in a single inbox style interface. This was always calling for a new kind of “information overload” without even the benefit of familiar segregations in information types.

The whole structure was counter-intuitive from the start and expected a huge leap from its users.

The Workspace

Over years of working with businesses we have discovered that a collaboration solution needs to reflect the structure of an organization. Real time collaboration on information may be good for some situations but teams don’t need to work together just once, but on an ongoing basis, often on complex tasks involving sub tasks, deadlines, and sequencing of activities. They also need repeated access to the same information (forms, contract documents) and for information to be stored and archived for future access (if not for regulatory compliance).

Imagine different team members trying to find documents in their Wave inboxes.

These needs are best met by the “workspace” structure, which is the design principle of HyperOffice. A group workspace is a collection of all the information and tools a group needs to work together and coordinate activities – online document management, project management, shared calendars, wikis, shared address books and so on.

A permissions system allows only members to access group information and tools. Advanced permissions help distinguish the rights of members within the same group. This helps implement organization policy controls based on organizational roles. Policy control within Wave would have been a nightmare.

A single person can be a member of multiple team or project workspaces, just as is the case in organizations.

The workspace also helps achieve the HR objective of engaging and motivating employees. A workspace desktop is where a motto of the month may be displayed, or an “employee of the month” be recognized.

An Important Lesson

The Wave story also has strong lessons about how Google operates. It is well known that Google’s profits are overwhelmingly generated by its advertising business. Its Google Apps and enterprise software wing forms only a fraction of its profitability, and accordingly reflects its importance in the larger Google scheme. If Google finds something is not working out for it, it will simply drop that module/function/product or divert resources, manpower and development effort away. It is not primarily concerned about how much energy and resources business users may have expended transitioning to it. The skewed negotiating power of large vendors and small sized customers was nicely elaborated by Phil Wainewright in his article “Web giants and the helpless individual.”

A smaller company like HyperOffice, on the other hand, has a single minded focus on its collaboration business. Having no other product line or services, we devote all our energies and resources to our collaboration offerings  to ensure continued patronage from current users and win new users in a competitive market. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that our very livelihood depends on this.

Conclusion

Even if Google Wave had been successful it is hard to imagine to be used for more than as “email on steroids” or an ad-hoc collaboration tool. It didn’t having the makings, or maybe never even intended to be a full blown organizational collaboration software.

However, Google Wave has certainly left a legacy. It has pushed the limits of “real time collaboration”, and used cutting edge internet technologies in innovative ways. As Michael Arrington says, maybe it was just ahead of its time.

It will certainly be remembered as a daring attempt to topple email from its four-decade reign.

The Push Battle: Comparison of Push Email & Mobile Messaging Solutions

The era of the “mobile worker” is upon us. Employees are increasingly likely to be at home, traveling, on-site with the customer, or located in distributed offices. According to an IDC study published in Dec 2009, the world’s mobile worker population will pass the one billion mark by the end of this year.

This has spurred the demand for mobile messaging solutions – solutions that enable access to business information like email, calendars, contacts, tasks etc on mobile devices. This has been added to in no small measure by the comeuppance of swanky and powerful mobile devices like iPhone, BlackBerry and Android, which users now see as business devices.

Keeping with the trend, we added HyperSynch to our HyperOffice online collaboration software earlier this year, a service that lets users push email, contacts, calendars and tasks to their mobile devices, and keep them in sync across the cloud, their mobile phone and Outlook.

Solutions already exist in the market, ranging from powerful server based enterprise mobility solutions to personal information managers. With HyperSync, we sought to overcome three shortcomings we felt existed in the market, keeping our target small to medium sized company segment in mind.

Many solutions work only with a single device, forcing companies to purchase business mobile devices based on their mobile messaging software. Ideally a solution should enable any mobile phone employees already have.

The most well known solutions in the market are server based enterprise solutions, simply out of the reach of SMBs cost wise.

Other solutions are personal information managers, not ideal for team scenarios, where users also want to share information.

Based on the above, we have created a matrix comparing HyperSynch with well-known mobile messaging solutions in the market for users to see which one best fits their needs.