Open-Xchange 6.10 Helps Users Manage Social Networking Data

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 29, 2009

Social networking is so hot right now that many companies have given up trying to block workers from using it and are instead embracing it as a way to keep employees connected. Smart businesses even encourage it as a way to foster collaboration among teams, something that's been addressed often here at OStatic. On top of that, many companies are using social media to interact with customers as part of a larger marketing strategy. In short, there's a whole lot of social networking going on these days.

One issue that's beginning to crop up, however, is a lack of sufficient ways to tie together all the email and contact information people collect as they swing from network to network. You might connect with your boss and his assistant on LinkedIn, your best customers on Facebook, and your development team in a Google Group. That's a lot of contact info to keep track of and searching through an assortment of lists to find the person you're trying to reach is a huge time-sink. If you're dealing with that particular headache on a regular basis, then you're going to love Open-Xchange's the newest version of its open source groupware.

Open-Xchange is a great alternative to Microsoft Exchange that also syncs and supports Macs and Apple Mobile devices. It's used to manage email, tasks, calendars, documents, contacts, and now, thanks to a new concept called "Social OX," users' social networking communication as well. New features in Open-Xchange 6.10 include:

* Integration of any kind of existing webmail accounts (from Google, Yahoo, etc.) into a folder in Open-Xchange, including merging of data.

* Contact details from social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Xing will be added automatically to the Open-Xchange address book -- giving users easy access to the latest contact information within their personal network.

* In addition, Open-Xchange users can share their data with other users in a controlled way -- without sending the information via e-mail. For example, with Social OX published data can be shared so there is no need to send large documents as an attachment via e-mail.

If you're interested in getting some hands-on time with Open X-change and Social OX but have a fear of commitment, you can get a free test account on its preview server. It's just a beta and not meant for production use, though, so heed Open X-change's warning that "it could kill your hamster."