I spoke with a company with an interesting product set today, which is just coming out of development and onto the market. Kayxo is based in Germany, Argentina and Denmark. They offer four products that bring more data into Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, all built around Microsoft’s Office for Business Applications (OBA).
Insight and Exchange Adapter provide basic access to data in databases/web services and applications through Biztalk respectively. Their Exchange Appliance Connector extends the Google Search Appliance into the Exchange data stores, so that users can search through their messages, contacts and calendar entries using the Google interface.
These three products are aimed at enterprises. Kayxo also used their Insight product to build a consumer-oriented product with enterprise possibilities called Kigoo, which manages Google Calendars through the Outlook calendar user interface. It costs $10 / year.
None of these products are going to change the world, but they do scratch various itches that I have heard customers describing. It reflects a split I commonly see among many organizations. Some say that workers spend too much time in their email clients and are looking for ways to coax them to use other tools like wikis, portals and social software platforms, lessening the fixation on email. Others figure that since so many people spend most of their days in Outlook anyway, that is the place to go to expose additional useful data. Kayxo certainly supports the latter strategy.
I am not ready to throw up my hands and declare Outlook the universal inbox to everything, just yet. I think that reducing the time spent there is generally a Good Thing. At least, I certainly want to reduce the time I spend in it. However, I certainly see the value in exposing targeted information in that context when it makes sense.
What do you think? Do we spend too much time in email clients or not enough?