“If you need the kind of groupware functionality you get from the Exchange ecosystem, there’s really nothing for you on Mac OS X, and that’s a real problem for Apple which is trying to gain traction in the Enterprise,” John Welch writes for Datamation. “Groupware is a mission-critical need in corporate America. The ability to have your email, contacts, events, scheduling and tasks all working together is no longer a luxury of the Fortune 500. While things like iCal, and Web client-only systems may work for a select few, in a modern enterprise it’s not going to play. Things like delegation, public folders, real handheld support, instant messaging integration and the rest are not ‘highfalutin’ options anymore. They’re basic functions that an enterprise needs to coordinate the functions of its people.”
“And every time Apple has to throw up its hands when asked about groupware and admit that its only calendaring solution is .Mac, they lose a lot of credibility outside of the server room,” Welch writes. “Groupware is one of the biggest holes in Apple’s Enterprise offerings. There’s nothing out there that runs on Mac OS X that you can use to replace Exchange, or Domino, or Groupwise. Apple offers a solid email solution, and a good directory service, but that’s it. There’s no calendaring, and if you aren’t on Mac OS X 10.4 Server, good luck with using network address books. That’s just not going to cut it.”
“Now, as a Mac writer, it probably borders on heresy for me to be using Exchange, or to be as happy with it as I generally am. ‘John, why aren’t you using something that runs on Mac OS X?’ Well, I’d like to, but at the moment, there aren’t any mature groupware servers that run on Mac OS X that support enterprise groupware’s range of needs. Note… I said mature. There are some products that come close for a subset of those features,” Welch writes. “I know a lot of companies that regularly evaluate competitors to Exchange, but other than Domino, GroupWise or possibly Oracle Collaboration suite, there really aren’t any. And on Mac OS X, there are none. The opportunity is there. It’s rich, and it’s waiting for someone to ‘Think Different.’ It’s only a matter of time before someone does, and it would be silly if the first enterprise-ready groupware solution on Mac OS X didn’t come from Apple.”
Full article, highly recommended, here.
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