Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Online office

I have been looking into virtual office and other similar solutions over the past few weeks. The landscape of online productivity and organisation tools is getting
pretty crowded. I think we are headed for a consolidation there. There is a couple of providers I believe will survive though.

Groove is one who will survive because it's got great features and big Microsoft behind them. The service is quite good and did not experience any of the bandwidth issues a friend told me he had, but I seriously question their pricing scheme which is per seat: you see in my case I may have to share data with several of my customer's employees for a limited number of days during a business year; I could not imagine bearing the cost of full licences for each of those part-time users... So Groove's pricing is not adequate for me; in fact it's crap and looks like a legacy pricing scheme of a software house of the nineties. Unless I missed something, in whcih case I will have to reformulate: the way they communicate their prices is crap.

I like pragmatic solutions that work well instead of fancy interfaces full of AJAX gadgets. Virtual Office is such a pragmatic and apparently robust solution. It's worth trying out. I really like the way in which they included sunchronization features in their offering, thus allowing me to have data from my Palm on their platform as well as on my PIM. At least, I decided to test the Virtual Office solution seriously because I still have that dream that every morning I open my little shop offering my professional services and that this shop would be accessible all over the world. To be continued...

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