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Currently, our company mainly communicates using email. But as projects get more complicated, email is getting a bit of a burden, so we started looking for alternatives. Now you guys have probably tried them all, so I ask you:

We are looking for a communication system that

  1. is persistent. That is, we want to be able to have a complete backlog of older messages that is available to everyone.
  2. is personal. We want have directed communication between sets of people. It should still be accessible for the rest of the team if need be, but we don't want to spam every message to everyone.
  3. is secure. We want to use it for discussing things about our company, so the information should not be available to the public.
  4. ties into email, if possible. It would be great if we could leverage existing infrastructure and knowledge. If this is not possible, adoption might get more difficult.

To me, this sounds somewhat like a mailing list (not 2), or a forum (not 2 or 4) or Google Wave (not 3 and not available). We would be fine with a commercial system if it is not too expensive.

Do you know any collaboration/communication software/service that we could use here?

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Yammer seems to be a perfect fit. – Sathya Apr 11 '11 at 8:29
wave isn't totally dead - there's an open source project based on it - which probably does 1,2,3 but not 4. however its not finished enough to use. – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '11 at 10:38
Good question (Sharepoint?), but it sounds like a shopping question to me. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 11 '11 at 13:18
+1 for Sathya - try [yammer][1] [1]: – vsltd Apr 11 '11 at 14:45

If you're already on Exchange (2003 or more recent) Sharepoint or Office Communicator will probably be the best tool. It has the ability connect VOIP phone systems, email, and IM.

I've not actually seen it in production myself, but you can count on it being probably a bit difficult to connect to everything, but probably pretty good at doing what it says it'll do.

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I second the Exchange server. It can be configured to be relatively secure. That is, if you don't secure the local machines, then there is nothing stopping them from just screenshotting messages . . – surfasb Jul 1 '11 at 1:08

I think that Wave in a Box is your best bet.

Google has opened source the Google wave code, and now it can be setup on your own server, so that all your data is secure. I recently installed it and found it to be quite easy to use.

For more details, see here

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