The possibility of running an all-open-source office just got a step closer with the news that Open Xchange
has secured a second round of funding.
reports that the startup, which has the lofty ambition of offering an open source groupware and collaboration system similar to Microsoft Exchange for companies, has successfully added to its round one funding of $8.8 million with a second round of $9 million, for a total investment of $17.8 million. Clearly, someone
out there believes that the world needs an open-source Exchange equivalent.
The lack of Exchange-like functionality is one of the reasons often given by companies as to why they don't switch to open source, away from the Microsoft monopoly in the enterprise market. Although there are all-in-one desktop applications like Evolution Mail which offer Outlook functionality, the open source movement still lacks an all-in-one backend system often required by any company beyond a certain size. By offering the ability to share e-mails and documents and to have centralised calendars and address books Open Xchange aims to give these companies something to think about next time their Microsoft licensing comes up for renewal.
While Open Xchange isn't the only game in town – other Exchange-alikes include Kolab
– this latest round of funding may finally bring the support and functionality up to a level where companies can finally start looking at open source as a drop-in replacement for their legacy software.
Do you know of any companies already using open source for their back end operations, or is it difficult to get the suits away from their Microsoft Partner Statuses? Is penetrating the enterprise market the key to extending the reach of desktop Linux? Share your thoughts over in the forums