Gordano Messaging Suite

Well integrated collaboration features put the Gordano Messaging Suite ahead of the competition, with price the only real drawback.

Installation and setup are fairly painless, the whole package taking around ten minutes to configure with the main components run as background services on both Windows and Unix/Linux versions. Management is via a browser with quite a complex interface that takes a while to master. That said, there’s a lot of functionality on offer and the supporting documentation and support services are both very good.

Relay protection comes as standard, along with the ability to limit SMTP connections and manage access by address range. Disclaimers can also be added to outgoing messages, but if you want to filter messages for spam or screen out viruses you have to buy add-on modules, and these bump up the price. Antivirus protection for 100 users, for example, adds a further £16.90 (ex. VAT) per seat, while an anti-spam licence will set you back a further £4.20 (ex. VAT), both renewable annually.

Unusually, the WebMail client is also an optional extra (£6.90 ex. VAT per user for a 100-seat licence). However, the implementation is better than most with a choice of interface for desktop, handheld and WAP use. WebMail users can also be granted access to a shared global address book; shared calendaring using the browser client is another optional extra.

Of course, you don’t have to buy the WebMail software, as any POP3/IMAP4 client can be used, including Microsoft Outlook. However, the GMS Collaboration Server is required to share information with Outlook -- this costs £13.18 (ex. VAT) per user for 100 seats. A plug-in for Outlook is provided as part of this option to enable address books, calendars, tasks, notes and journals to be shared. The way this works takes a little getting used to, but it’s easy once you know how and WebMail users can access the same shared calendars and address books (support for other shared folders is due later this year).

The Collaboration Server also includes a free/busy publisher and, through support for open standards, can also be used with collaboration clients such as Mozilla Calendar and Apple iCal. It’s also possible to add instant messaging support (£6.90 ex. VAT per user for 100 seats) with either a Java or Windows client that can, again, be integrated into Outlook.