Lee Odden

Recommendations for Collaboration Software

Lee Odden     Online Marketing

Part of our team members at TopRank get to work from home and the rest in our office on Lake Minnetonka. We’re researching upgraded collaborative email and calendaring solutions such as hosted MS Exchange and Zimbra, but everything we’ve looked at doesn’t seem to quite fit the bill.

I am curious if any of our readers have suggestions for a cost effective, hosted email and calendaring solution that is not platform dependent in any way. Or better yet, can remotely sync calendar and email on multiple client side platforms – we have Macs and PCs). Secure document sharing is nice too, but we already have that with another provider.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. I hear Basecamp is pretty good.

  2. Not quite sure if these are what you’re looking for but here are two others (full disclosure – both are clients):
    1) FaceDesk
    2) Portfolio Intelligence from 3 Olive Solutions

  3. Thanks Richard, we’ll check those out.

  4. Lee,

    We’re in the same boat, and haven’t found anything that fits the bill.

    Calendar and email solutions exist, but what is really hard is code collaboration. We asked Cutts, and even he didn’t have any good suggestions.

  5. Avatar Mike martone says

    It depends on what you mean by group collaboration.
    I will be featuring some possibilities on my blog at VerusNova (see link above) next week, but here are some things to look at:

    – Zoho Suite
    – BlueTie
    – Central Desktop
    – GroupLoop
    – OpenGroupware
    – Citadel
    – Joomla
    – Alfresco
    – Kolab
    – eGroupware

    Just enter these in Google to get the URL

  6. Have you looked at Sharepoint?

  7. Avatar Marc Ohmann says

    We tried Basecamp. While it was very simple to use it also lacked many of the features we require. The API would allow for our own development but we never took it that far.

    We ditched our Exchange server last year and completely switched over to GMail and Google Calendar. Haven’t looked back and we love how we don’t have to worry about administering outlook/exchange anymore. Outlook / Exchange was simply too slow for the amount of email we receive.

    We use Mantis for task tracking and TikiWiki for general collaboration. We ended up extending Mantis with our own time tracking / project management functionality.

    Of course our collaboration environment is always changing and 6 months from now we will likely be using other resources as well. It seems to be a part of our business that naturally evolves.

    I hope that helps a little

  8. Great feedback everyone it’s very much appreciated. I suspect there are others in a similar situation out there as well. When we make our decision I’ll try to post about it.

  9. XC Connect. Our company is 50/50 mac and pc, this was the best and cheapest solution. We though about an exchange server, but our mac users didn’t want to use entourage. this was the only software that supported both outlook and mac mail/ical. Works for calendar, contacts, tasks quite well, and you can manage permissions for each calendar, so one project is only seen by the people that need to see it.

  10. Our company (50 people) is in the process of migrating to Zimbra. So far everything looks great.

  11. hi, we are in the same boat. as a small consulting firm spread over multiple locations and a mac+pc platform, we need to find a simple easy to use collaboration system – that allows us to create project spaces, share files, seek and share information or inputs on projects and ideas…. in sum – a simple way in which we can get info / ideas from those who have it to those who need it.

    One more important thing for us is that since we have a lot of client sensitive info, a pure hosted service will not work. While we want something web-based, the info cannot be outside our environment (ruling out options like zoho, basecamp etc). Ideally something that also allows us to work on the web but also offline would be great.

    we are thinking that maybe buying the mac leopard server may be the way to go – it seems to be easy to set up and use, no major IT intervention needed and is not dependent on a single company’s idea of software / features.

    The other option seem to be somethings called Confluence, Zimbra or Jivesoftware’s clearspace.

    has anyone used mac leopard server? is it better than using something like jivesoftware or zimbra? what should we do?

  12. Suresh,

    a friend of mine works at a software firm and said they are using a software named ActiveFocus. I am not sure about all the features but I know that it is a web-based team collaboration application that is supposed to be one of the fastest of its kind, which is a hold up of a lot of web-based apps.

    I know they have either a hosted version or an owned version which will put you in total control of security.

    Their first license is free to use if you want to play with it.

    Good Luck!

  13. Hello Lee,
    Your post is dated 25th Jan 2007 and I can see you have received a number of responses 🙂

    Well, if you have not yet decided upon a software for your requirement, you should try cyn.in ( http://cyn.in ). It will certainly fit the bill.


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