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Email systems and Collaboration revisited - stay in control

by Mountain Computers Inc., Publication Date: Monday, December 20, 2021

View Count: 2864, Keywords: Email Systems, Collaboration, The Future, Hashtags: #EmailSystems #Collaboration #TheFuture

In the last week, I have had the chance to review just about every collaboration platform on the planet regarding simple things like email, calendar, tasks, notes, file sharing and it has come to my attention that simpler the better.
Let's compare given these facts:
1. open source versus closed source
2. free versus paid
3. not buggy versus buggy
who are the winners?
1. libre office beats microsoft office
2. libre office is free and microsoft office is not
3. libre office not very buggy and microsoft office very buggy *
* open source has bug lists that you can review, and closed source not available. closed source should be available and just like open source, ; submit a bug and track it. unless the closed source wants their bugs posted on #hackerone and let those chips fall with CVE's in the 5 to 10 range.
so what do you do? here are some fallacies and facts:
1. everyone seems to believe everyone knows word, excel, powerpoint, project, access, teams, sharepoint. is that true? No - that is not true. I support and watch people half the day and they barely know 5% of a products features, capabilities, etc. Probably because they only use 5% of the product.
2. is open source better than closed source? Yes and no. Yes, it works the same, lighter faster, cleaner, yet office is the defacto installation and freebie to academia and there in large part is the problem; train the sheeple to be familiar with a product by name and comfortable with it; rather than focus on the tool as a general purpose utility and then every producer of a tool gains an equal advantage. its just a tool. write, save, print, send, share, modify, delete, spell check, grammar check, format, add, subtract, divide, chart, print, compare -- that's it.
3. is from scratch and created in house better than build by others? yes and no. Yes, this blog is written in a custom language with custom rules and custom methods, and built from scratch. its not a product, utility, software, its just a custom written blog platform, that has one plug-in to manage the content editor window and the rest is all internally written and crafted.
Overall, what do you do as an owner of a company that has employees working on things for clients and offering products and services? 
1. enlist the help of smart and saavy consultants to just get you the nuts bolts and basics, the bare metal and what have you.
2. keep the cost low to zero, for purchase, installation, maintenance, upgrades, and modification. Most MSPs I know cost a lot and don't really do a good job. Therefore, we get rid of them, and create smart hands, smart policies, and rules even across cities and states.
3. keep the licensing if required and version sources, documentation and installation logs stored securely, close by and easily available for review and modification
caveat: do not give control  of your vital assets over to a 3rd party. always keep control and awareness because if something happens; and you are not in control or have admin back door access, you will be at a loss for words and look stupid. leaders cannot point fingers; though they do. i prefer to keep my clients in control and back them up as an admin just in case, and always seek their permission and keep their assets in their name, their control and their view. this avoids risk, compliance, and other legal issues, and of course, business security of assets, data, intellectual property, and more...
When I see a client give a non-technical employee control of vital technical assets without experience and then team up with a vendor and put them in charge of their assets and control who has equal or less technical experience, and keep the owner out of the control and access loop, I cringe and try to fix it and explain the pitfalls. Of course, even when in transition, i see mistakes, outages, and 5 deadly sins of domain, dns and email systems management occur, and I try to help yet for some reasons clients prefer to remain in the dark and unaware of the risks; even when presented clearly and poignantly - maybe they just are too busy to care. I just remain quiet and let them be; remain in standby and always be available to help when the crisis hits that could have been avoided.
Your collaboration data --- remember - "backups, backups, backups". Data corruption is also just as bad as data loss. Ransomware - that's another evil, yet avoidable. If all your stuff is in the cloud, have it in an offline backup rotation policy, yes, all of it. If you have 3TB in the cloud, you better have ~3TB offline and sync'd daily. If not, well, disaster does happen and leaders are to blame, not the consultants nor the employees.
more to come...

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