I received notification today that OnlineGroups is out of beta and has been released. GroupServer powers email lists with a web forum interface, that supports file-sharing and chat. They aim to achieve the equivalence between the email and web interfaces that Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups have. The difference is that allows the creation of email groups on a site that you can manage.

OnlineGroup has released the same software that powers their own SaaS offering – they’re banking that they’ll levarge the open source community development of the product, as well as pick up some implementation consultancy work from the uptake of the offering.

As they say (and I posted about a year or so ago);

SaaS with OSS works for Automattic with WordPress, and for SugarCRM, so why not us?

Good luck guys – it’ll be interesting to watch developments.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

1 Comment
  • Thanks, Ben. As well as leveraging community input, and swinging implementation gigs, the strategies you suggest in A response to the challenge… fit what we’re doing pretty well — except perhaps for “Adopt a persona of the underdog”.

    The incumbents in our space are too monstrous and numerous to be worth picking battles with. While it goes against the “protect your IP” flow, we figure that we can protect our IP better by giving (well, licensing) it away. Customers of our free SaaS services, those who pay subscriptions, those who host the software themselves, whether or not they engage us, or contribute code, all add to the passion and the community that we can build.

    The risk mentioned by smoothspan of a competitor taking our code and starting their own SaaS is mitigated by the fact that _their_ competitors can do the same. If that happens, even if not everyone plays nicely, there is still potential to make the pie bigger.

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