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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 DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:41AM (#40087843)
    I would recommend checking out Sogo. [] This would provide a good groupware solution. In their upcoming version, 2.0, it will have some goodies like Exchange Server emulation so it will integrate well with those using Outlook. For collaboration, you can check out Alfresco. [] As for a common identity management solution therein lies the trick. If you are brave, you can check out using Samba4 and configure all of your clients to authenticate against their version of Active Directory. The Samba [] wiki has some good instructions on that. I know that there is an open source software package that helps integrate Linux with Active Directory but I cannot remember its name. It does get packaged with Ubuntu, however. Hope this helps some .....
  • by Gwala ( 309968 ) <(adam) (at) (> on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @10:41AM (#40087847) Homepage

    Yep - the magic words to google are "Microsoft Action Pack Subscription" - for startups it's great. Tons of useful software for cheap. You may also qualify for BizSpark which is even better (and cheaper - although $500 isnt too bad.)

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!