Instead of relying on an Exchange Server, traditional user licenses, and client-side software, InfoStreet's StreetSmart pushes email and essential business tools entirely online. Hosted, cloud-based options could save you money over running an Exchange Server. Plus, you'll be able to connect to email and other productivity apps through any web browser on any OS. Even a lightly powered netbook can tap in, so you can cut weight when traveling.
The software-as-a-service tools include customer and contact management, task management, calendering, email, file hosting, and more. You can customize the tools to your needs, but don't expect them to replace every client-based application you currently need. Instead, StreetSmart strikes at the core of Exchange Server functionality, going a little beyond those basics.
InfoStreet charges a monthly fee per user, starting at $10, hosting everything. Costs scale down with volume, but special support options--including phone calls and web-based training--raise the rate. Since StreetSmart replaces a core part of your company infrastructure, check out the 30 day demo to see if it'll fit your business.
StreetSmart makes the most sense if you're comparing to Exchange Server and its associated costs: user licensing, hardware, and even bandwidth. Especially after you start figuring in your own IT expenses, the streamlined, hosted alternative could make sense. You won't have to pay a lot up-front, and the fixed, monthly rate is easy to budget.
Zack Stern is building a new business from San Francisco, where he frequently contributes to PC World.