Open Sourcing Small Business

One of the big things I wanted to use this blog for was telling a story about Open Source in small to mid-size business.

I've specialized in IT for small and mid-sized business for some time now, both in an administrative and consulting roles. In my spare time I try and find/test open source solutions to needs which are met by prohibitively (and in many cases unethically) priced products.

I know it's the enthusiasm in the Open Source Movement that tends to turn a blind eye to some "minor" features when presenting the latest and greatest of products. I really can't blame them, the movement is getting more attention now than ever and with this excitement comes the desire for fast-track development. Some details get missed, but that's ok, the products are getting out there.

A new article I read today "Can Open Source replace Microsoft Exchange" is something I've been very interested in since before I advised the purchase of Exchange 2007 here where I work. It reminded me about all the same old questions that I was trying to answer over a year ago, and I am a bit disappointed that despite all this time and enthusiasm, nothing has changed.

From a small business perspective, they would readily jump if the solution simply had email, calendar, contacts, tasks and the potential to share a calendar and/or contacts. Make it so you can drop an email onto the calendar and get a new event dialog to pop up. It doesn't need the fancy unified messaging, the woefully inadequate junk mail folder system, or the other painful bloat that Exchange comes with (not to mention Outlook).

They have progressed much farther however so it is looking up.

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