EVO Collaborator for Outlook

    For the past three years since 2010, we have realized that EVO nevertheless cannot draw an equal sign to Microsoft Exchange Server. With EVO Mail Server alone, our customers equipped with Microsoft Outlook are able to use SMTP/POP3/IMAP for mail services only. To those who prefer using Contacts, Calendars, and Tasks of Outlook for collaboration, they can do nothing but starring at these cloud-based features. Even though iPhone, Android and Thunderbird do support EVO's CardDAV and CalDAV, collaboration services only hooked up to a smaller population than the popular Outlook people. As a result, EVO is not yet able to provide end-users a complete user experiences over the cloud-oriented collaboration platform.

    In early 2014, EVO R&D team is releasing EVO Collaboratior for Outlook (ECO). It is fully compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2007-2013. End-users will be able to experience collaboration services integrated with CardDAV and CalDAV of EVO Mail Server Prime Edition.

    Yes, we did it! From now on, Outlook users are able to synchronized their Contacts with EVO's CardDAV service and their Calendars & Tasks with EVO's CalDAV service. Moreover, ECO also supports synchronization with iCloud, fruux, Yahoo! (read-only) and AOL (read-only).

    Why major enterprise corporations pair Outlook and Exchange Server as their collaboration platform?

    On this platform, the way end-users manage their Mails, Contacts, Calendars and Tasks migrate from a stand-alone envrionment to a cloud-based circuitry. It means users are able to communicate and interchange information between each other.

    The most valuable benefit for end-users is the nature of cross-platforms and cross-devices. For example, when you add a contact on your desktop PC, your iPhone will show the newly added contact almost instantly. Another example, when your colleague is meeting a customer and arrange an appointment on his smartphone, this appointment has already been synchronized onto his Outlook Calendar automatically before he makes it to office.

    How do Outlook and Exchange pair to achieve collaboration services?

    As you may be aware of, the collaboration platform paired by Outlook and Exchange Server is leading the industry for the services that it provides in most of the Fortune 500.

    Microsoft's proprietary protocol of MAPI and EAS seamlessly hook up mail clients such as Outlook and iPhone with Microsoft Exchange Server. Various types of devices are able to communicate through a cross-platforms information relay. At the same time, end-users are able to exchange information more than just email messages, such as appointments and tasks and etc.

    Traditionally, jobs such as Contacts, Calendars, Tasks and Journals were manually handled by secretaries or assistants. However, in this fast-paced business environment, such traditional methods no longer fulfill the needs. In a company deployed with Outlook-Exchange Server collaboration services, examples of jobs electronically handled are as below:

    1. End-user's Outlook Contacts is maintained by Exchange Server and can be downloaded to client's Outlook with periodic updates.

    2. End-user maintains his own Outlook Calendars, which will be synchronized up to Exchange Server so that other colleagues may check that user's available time-slot for arranging an appointment.

    3. Colleagues can update their Tasks progress to Exchange Server on a daily basis so that their supervisors may browse what is done and what is not.

    4. Employees write down their own Outlook Journals that reflect the actual work progress. This is a valuable piece of information for quarterly or annualy review for better performance in the future.

    TCO analysis for Exchange Server deployment

    Exchange Server's TCO is known to be high. Why? A various licenses besides client side's Windows OS and Outlook must also be purchased:

    1. Exchange Server software x 1

    2. Exchange Server user account cost x company's total user accounts

    3. Windows Server software x 1

    4. Active Directory user account cost x company's total user accounts

    From what we have read above, we now understand both Exchange Server's high cost as well as the convenience and effiency for daily running business. However, for small and medium business, their boss may worry a bit about the high TCO.

    EVO, ECA, ECO: An Exchange alternative that make collaboration services affordable

    For those who cannot afford Exchange Server solution, EVO releases an option that make their Outlook users smile with on-cloud Contacts, Calendars and Tasks.

    EVO Collaboration Add-on (ECA) enables EVO Mail Server to provide users the CardDAV and CalDAV collaboration services. EVO Collaborator for Outlook Add-in (ECO) acts as a bridge between Outlook and ECA so that end-users can enjoy the same on-cloud Contacts, Calendars and Tasks in a non-Exchange Server backend environment. ECO provides services listed as below:

    1. End-users can download the most updated company contact list from ECA's CardDAV service. At the same time, they are able to upload their personal Outlook Contacts to EVO for cloud backup purposes.

    2. End-users can arrange their Outlook Calendars and Tasks and synchronize them to ECA's CalDAV service.

    3. End-users can obtain the most updated Outlook Contacts, Calendars and Tasks from cloud to computers or mobile devices they are currently using anywhere anytime.

    4. End-users' colleagues can browse their Outlook Calendars and Tasks for further collaboration needs.

    5. Supervisors can review subordinate affiliates' Outlook Tasks progress.

    6. End-users may arrange a meeting invitation or task dispatch through an email message.

    7. End-users set date and time on their Outlook Calendars and/or Tasks as alarm clock that will reflect on their mobile devices wherever they go.


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