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The Perfect Collaboration Environment Sought

October 13, 2011

Help me out here. I’m looking for a solution for a small company (under 50 users), mostly heavy travelers. They need easy to use and reliable email, calendaring, file sharing and collaboration (presence, IM, meetings, discussion/micro blogging, etc.). They need to collaborate and share files with each other and with clients and prospects.

They need contact management. They need off line capability for when they’re on airplanes, in secure buildings, etc. They need platform independence — at least Mac OS X and MS Windows, iPhone/iPad and Blackberry but Linux and Android wouldn’t hurt.

It needs to be a shared system: They need shared address books for mail, collaboration and contact management. They need to be able to check each others’ calendars, schedule meetings and reserve rooms and resources (e.g. conference lines). They need to be able to have administrative staff manage their contacts, add entries to their calendars and do mailings on their behalf.

The system needs to be secure without being too hard to use. They need some granularity so they can share certain files with only certain clients. The whole thing needs to be easily and reliably backed up.

They still use the phone a lot. They would like to be able to dial from their address book when on the PC and when on their PDA. They want to be able to take advantage of IP telephony for ease of use and to reduce costs, especially when traveling outside the country. They want to receive voice mail in their inbox.

Simple right?

Please share your thoughts. I don’t want a proposal. I want discussion and ideas on how to make a small organization as productive as possible — preferably at reasonable cost and with a solution that’s simple to manage.

[I want to treat this as a wide open search for the best solution, but I’ll post their current solutions list in a comment for those that are interested.]


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One Comment
  1. Anonymous permalink

    What’s there now:
    IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, Sametime and Quickr with BES and Traveler for PDA sync
    iEnterprises/SugarCRM’s iExtensions (
    Cisco Unity/Call Manager


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