What open-source email system can I use for a small business of 25 employees?

bill May 18, 2012
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I do all the tech support for a small business and we want an email system that does not saddle us with costs. We want all email to be centralized and we can’t afford Microsoft licenses for software as things are very “shoestring” as it is.

We need to communicate using IM,email and occasionally collaboration tools. Is there an effective opensource system to meet my needs?

  1. Bill
    June 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Thanks everybody. Wow...I really appreciate the responses. I am going to temporarily suggest that they all get Gmail accounts and use Google-aps.

    I especially want to thank Bruce because after reviewing Simple-groupware ....I think it may..... eventually.... be the way to go. I plan to spend some time tinkering with it and use it on a few machines for a month or two. If all goes well then that may just be the solution.

  2. Joe Videtto
    May 19, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I'm another big fan of GMail for the reasons Oron mentioned - and would love to hear what you consider the 'cons' of Gmail.

    Also, I wonder how other users feel about the 'security' of what may be slightly confidential information between users and clients. Have any other big firms opted to use GMail and rely entirely on the integrity of Gmail security ? You would think if any company has the money and expertise to implement a secure email system, it's Google. I bet most other smaller companies' email systems and correspondences are way more hackable then Google's.

    • Amichai Rotman
      May 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

      In my opinion, there's no problem using Google Apps in your business, especially if you have few employees.
      I am using the free version for over two years and I have nothing but good things to say :
      1. High Availability.
      2. Secure (can be set up for two-pass authentication).
      3. No hardware and hosting costs.
      4. Portable - can be accessed from everywhere!
      5. Have I mentioned free of charge?
      6. Always backed-up. You can download a copy of all your mail to your local storage for backup purposes whenever you like.

      So why not?

  3. Oron
    May 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Another possibility is to use GMail accounts. It's not open source, but it is free and does everything you mention (and well!), and has the advantage of no hardware costs, although you obviously need the bandwidth to use it.
    If your needs merit it, you can get Google Apps instead, at $50 per year per account. This gives you more or less the same facilities, but higher storage quotas, your own domain, centralised management of accounts and some other facilities.

  4. Bruce Epper
    May 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Check out Simple Groupware (http://www.simple-groupware.de/cms/) It does much more than what you have listed. It is open source, free, and it appears to be highly extensible. Their team is currently working on even more functionality including a Human Resources module. It's current functions include the following: email, calendaring, contacts, tasks, document management, project management, synchronization with Outlook and cell phones, full-text search and more. This is one on my to-check list after I get through the current round of beta testing of other software.

  5. Laga Mahesa
    May 18, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Start your search with Linux and Sendmail, then follow the links until you reach your ideal solution.

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