HyperOffice Reinvents Its Online Collaboration Suite

HyperOffice has rolled out a re-engineered beta of its namesake online collaboration suite. Rebuilt from the ground up, the cloud-computing service integrates a range of SaaS (software-as-a-service) business applications including shared calendars and contacts, business-class e-mail, document and project management, Web conferencing, databases and more into one unified portal.

Targeted at businesses with five to 250 employees, the new version of the service uses an array of Web 2.0 technologies to deliver improvements in performance, scalability and security. HyperOffice has also tweaked the user interface to be more streamlined and flexible.

For example, the beta’s Ajax underpinning supports drag-and-drop so business owners can build customer and project portals in minutes. Also new are color-coded calendars, more robust project management capabilities and tabs that let employees open multiple e-mail messages at once.

As before, the online nature of HyperOffice makes setup easy. “There’s no hardware to buy, no software to install, and no geeks required,” said Farzin Arsanjani, president of HyperOffice. “We can get you up and running in as little as an hour.” Just as importantly, business owners don’t have to worry about constantly updating and maintaining desktop- or server-resident software, since HyperOffice handles that in the background.

 “Our customers wanted to get back to work,” said Arsanjani. “They didn’t want to bet their future on some mix-and-match combination of software that is never up to date, that they have to keep fixing.”

In addition to e-mail and calendaring tools, HyperOffice office provides strong document collaboration capabilities. Business owners can build project-specific portals and let both employees and clients share documents and make changes, complete with user rights, versioning, commenting and backup.

The service also delivers online forms, forums, polls and wikis. A manager can use HyperOffice’s settings and permissions rules to determine who can see changes made by others, which data collected by a Web form is private or shared, and who has access to groups, documents and other corporate resources.

Arsanjani noted that, unlike other SaaS services, HyperOffice offers all of the communication and collaboration tools a growing company is likely to need, integrated into one tool with a single sign-on for employees.

“Teams are bombarded with new Web 2.0 tools that do one job well — for instance, just sharing calendars or documents, or Web conferencing, project management, chatting, or tracking sales calls,” he said. “But these are ‘point’ products that leave SMBs struggling to manage multiple vendor relationships. They lose productivity from double entry with disparate tools. With HyperOffice, SMBs get all their collaboration and messaging needs with one integrated suite of tools.”

The monthly subscription fee for HyperOffice starts at $7 per month, per user. For business owners looking to migrate online from Microsoft Outlook, SharePoint, Exchange and other conventional desktop and server platforms, the company provides free tech support by e-mail and phone, Webinars and free online training options.

The private beta is available immediately for qualified customers and prospects upon request. You can learn more about the new service by watching the video demo posted on the HyperOffice site.

Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology writer and editor with nearly 14 years of experience covering the latest hardware, software and Internet products and services.

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