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Google Apps Alternatives

Google Apps is the predominantly used cloud-based communications, collaboration and document management platform on the web. The free easy to use tools and consistent improved upgrades has provided education organizations solid solutions for email, calendar, document sharing/management and team collaborative sites. In response to Google, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Office Live and Live@Edu products, which will transition into the new Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft Office 365 is going to offer 25GB of storage with access to Office tools online.

While these two juggernauts continue to fight for the number one spot, I wanted to highlight some lesser known communication and collaboration platforms available for organizations.

HyperOffice – The HyperOffice collaboration suite offers tools that not only supports email, document management and calendars, but also project and contact management tools. They also have remote sharing features with their HyperMeeting product. The HyperBase features allows organizations to create customized databases for data collection.

Zimbra – Originally purchased by Yahoo in 2007, Zimbra was reinvented with the acquisition by VMware. The Zimbra Collaboration Server uses the power of VMware to create virtualized and cloud infrastructures for integrated email, contacts, document management, and desktop synchronization.

Zoho – It is probably not fair to call Zoho a lesser known product because this popular web-based application platform offers an abundance of products for organizations. In fact, it probably could compete with Google and Microsoft for the number one spot for web-based tools. The collaborative apps and business focused apps are widely used in many organizations. Zoho even offers integration with Google Apps.

ThinkFree – This solution provides a viable alternative to online office collaboration and document management tools, but doesn’t provide the full breath of communication features as the above products. Nevertheless, this free online office suite works with Microsoft Office tools and touts mobile document capabilities.

Gaggle – This online learning platform provides a more filtered and secure version of web-based applications. It is specifically built for education with ERate and CIPA compliance. The reason it is finally worthy of a comprehensive platform is because of its additions of Gaggle’s Apps integration with products such as Google Apps and Zoho. Gaggle offers safe and secure student email, blogging, document sharing, and social media filtered features.

Here are some other up and coming web-based solutions that warrants further research:

eyeOS – Web Desktop, Cloud Computing Operating System and Web Office

ePals – Safe collaborative technology for schools to connect and learn in a protected, project-based learning network.

Huddle – Project management software, collaboration software & file storage

Onehub – Customizable workspaces for online collaboration

  1. March 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Don’t forget eBackpack – web-based cloud storage made for teachers and students – online collaboration – file storage – digital lockers and more

    Free level for teachers or schools/districts can purchase unlimited storage for $1 a user!

  2. David M
    March 25, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Google apps puts some emphasis on integration, which is definitely an important aspect of business management. With no integration, you just have a mess of jumping between apps to do simple tasks. A lot of time wasted.

    I think it’s worth it to note that a good alternative for those that use multiple solutions would prefer an alternative like WORKetc, which combines CRM, project management, and billing into one, which could effectively take the place of the apps you would be using via google, except factoring in that WORKetc integrates them at the core which is even more efficient.

  3. John W.
    August 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Also thinking about 37signals.com for their suite of applications very much inline with David’s comments on integration. The biggest setback from Google internally for us has been privacy of information. I trust Google to handle reliability and provide services that are top-notch, but they are in the business of search – which means, IP gets sucked in to their search, no matter what they say otherwise. I mean, do we “Trust in Google” or take matters into our OWN hands by not trusting in Google to self-police? I think its better to not put your company in the cross-hairs if you handle sensitive information in any matter.

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