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Smart Document Management

The two main alternatives to SharePoint: Nuxeo and Alfresco

If you’re thinking of implementing an enterprise content management system, it’s likely that SharePoint is one of the options that you’re considering. It’s not just because of its widespread use (more than 125 million licenses, 65,000 clients and a network of 700,000 developers of solutions for SharePoint): it’s also because, probably, it’s the product that is closest to the software that your business usually uses.


Nonetheless, you should also be aware of the significant problems that SharePoint brings with it. In other posts, we’ve talked in more depth about the inconvenient aspects of SharePoint, but today we’re just going to do a quick summary of those which, in my opinion, are the most critical ones:


Pricey licenses: Not only for SharePoint itself, but also for all the technical requirements connected to software that choosing SharePoint implies. And though many would say that SharePoint Services is free, they also have to admit that WSS has insufficient functionality which isn’t enough to meet the content management needs for the majority of medium-sized and large businesses.


Technical infrastructure: SharePoint is a collaboration platform, and a powerful one at that; but it has to be “constructed”, not just simply implemented. What’s more, performing development work on SharePoint requires fairly deep knowledge of the platform and, unfortunately, it doesn’t have the most perfect learning curve out there. That means that, before choosing SharePoint, we should ask ourselves if the infrastructure that we have is the ideal one to deal with these problems.


Going back to our original topic, let’s take a quick look at the ECM solutions which we, and many others, consider to be the best alternatives to SharePoint.


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Hosted Exchange Email

Is Hosted Exchange Ready for Your Business?

Email is the primary means of exchanging business communications both internally with employees and externally with clients and business partners. It's also your calendar and scheduler. It's how you stay connected when traveling or working remotely, either through web mail or mobile device support. It serves as a document exchanger and, in many cases, a massive filing cabinet for company memos, presentations, and other important documents. Maybe you've implemented unified communications (UC) through Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 so that Exchange also acts as your company PBX and voice mail system.


Exchange Server can be your company's complete communications hub. An immediate question, then, is can you retain all this functionality if you outsource your messaging infrastructure? A quick scan of the marketplace shows there are many hosting providers, including Microsoft itself, that offer Exchange as a hosted service. Some smaller providers don't include every feature of Exchange, particularly more advanced features such as UC. But there are plenty of providers that offer the full-featured Exchange package, so if that's what you need, you'll be able to find it. Vendors distinguish themselves by the additional services they provide.

Hosted providers offer service level agreements (SLAs) that spell out what sort of uptime the service guarantees as well as what penalty the provider will pay if it fails to meet its uptime commitment. Most large providers offer something in the range of 99.9 percent to 99.999 percent uptime; this number might vary depending on whether you subscribe to the provider's standard service or if you upgrade to a dedicated server option. 123Together.com began offering a 100 percent uptime guarantee for its dedicated Exchange hosting option two years ago; Apptix recently began offering a 100 percent uptime guarantee for its Apptix OnDemand hosted Exchange service. With the massive data centers that are possible and the improved high-availability story through continuous replication in Exchange 2007, I wouldn't be surprised to see more service providers begin offering a 100 percent uptime guarantee.

Basic security, antivirus, antispam, and some level of support or Help desk are usually included at no additional fee, and often you can pay extra for premium services in these areas. Most hosted services also give you the option to pay for extra services: email archiving; mobile device support, including Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone, and others; and fax support through email are common add-ons. Larger Exchange hosting services can provide SharePoint and Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS) as well.


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Hosted SharePoint

On premise vs. Hosted SharePoint: How to choose the right SharePoint solution?

How to find the right SharePoint solution? When you are looking for a business class document management and collaboration application, SharePoint is an obvious choice.

For large and complex project management where multiple teams are involved, SharePoint becomes necessary tool. It promotes team management and collaboration. With SharePoint, employees can securely share their work, ideas and documents via easy to access web-based platform. What makes it more useful is that it’s flexible and customizable.  Definitely SharePoint is the right solution for your collaboration and document management needs. The next question is what’s the best SharePoint solution for you – on premise or Hosted SharePoint?

For deploying on-Premise SharePoint solution you need to have efficient technical resources and no budget constraints. In case you don’t have expert and certified IT resources and sufficient budget, it would be better to consider Hosted SharePoint solutions. Hosted SharePoint 2010or the latest one- Hosted SharePoint 2013could be deployed immediately at affordable monthly subscription fees. Along with predictable costs, Hosted SharePoint 2010 is reliable, secure and scalable. Hence if you are a growing business, it would be better for you to choose the cloud based SharePoint which comes with scalability and predictable costing. There are no hidden fees and deployment pre-requisites with Hosted SharePoint as it is cloud based software.



If you have a good IT team with extensive knowledge for SharePoint deployment and later technical support, it may be good to have on premise solution but for companies with no relevant IT expertise, Hosted SharePointis a boon as it comes with free 24X7 technical support and automatic updates. Hence no IT resources are required from your end for deploying and managing Hosted SharePoint.  Also Hosted SharePoint provides frees your existing IT team from installations, upgrades, fixing performance and network issues. It helps them to focus on their development and business process improvement stuff.



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