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Options For Good (Not Expensive) Office Backbone For a Small Startup 204

An anonymous reader writes "I recently joined a startup, we have about 10 people altogether in various roles / responsibilities, and I handle most of the system / IT responsibilities (when I'm not in my primary role, which is software development). When trying to price licenses, I'm finding Microsoft offerings require quite a bit of upfront cost, so I'm trying the alternative solutions. LibreOffice and Google Docs work fine for the most part (we also have some MS Office users); however I'm having trouble getting a good / cheap / free solution to email, contacts, calendaring and user management in general. We have some Mac users, Windows users, need desktop clients for most of these uses as well — and there doesn't seem to be a solution that satisfies these myriad combinations." (Read more, below.)
Our submitter continues: iCloud doesn't natively support non addresses (workarounds seem prone to breakage so far), Windows Live Mail doesn't support Google's CalDAV, there doesn't seem to be anything that can provide a company-wide Contacts support, etc. Ideally I can deploy a solution that has the following: Sharing calendar (or look at other people's calendar), Company-wide Contacts Address Book, Add new employee / consultants and take them offline too (in terms of user permissions, access), Clients available on Windows, OSX, possibly mobile, which support the calendaring / meeting invites / contacts list set up. Maybe I'm just out of my depths here — can Slashdot provide some direction as to what I can look at? Or is a Hosted Exchange the cheapest option? Disclaimer: I did come from a company that uses Exchange / Outlook — but the costs seem high."
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Options For Good (Not Expensive) Office Backbone For a Small Startup

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  • by Neil_Brown ( 1568845 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:45AM (#40087911) Homepage

    I've only used mine (and that's a Snow Leopard Server, not Lion) at home, but it would seem to support a lot of what you are asking for, including, I believe, workgroup management for Windows users. You'd need to find clients which would talk to the various server-side applications, and I'm afraid I've no experience of that.

    Again from memory, and I may be wrong, my recollection is that Lion Server does not require client licences, so, once you've bought the box, and installed the software, you can connect as many people as it will handle, which might help keep costs down.

  • by Windowser ( 191974 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @11:15AM (#40088403)

    Get an office365 subscription.

    Hosted exchange + the full office suit. Honestly it's a decent way to do this until you decide to roll your own infrastructure. If you ever do. (We have it scaled across 15 companies and ~1200 users)

    And we all know what the 365 in the name means : it's down every February 29th

  • by MrNiceguy_KS ( 800771 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @04:21PM (#40092961)

    They're Google. They already have all your data. All. Your. Data.

    It's creepy, but it does have its advantages. Yesterday I couldn't find my car keys, so I googled them. Turns out I had left them in my gym bag.

Information is the inverse of entropy.