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Bringing the World to Your Outlook Inbox

by Jeffrey Mann  |  March 6, 2009  |  2 Comments

image 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?

Category: email  microsoft  startup  vendors  

Tags: integration  oba  outlook  ui  

Jeffrey Mann
Research VP
14 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Jeffrey Mann is a research vice president for collaboration and social software at Gartner Research. Mr. Mann focuses on social software, team workspaces, the collaboration market and knowledge management. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Bringing the World to Your Outlook Inbox

  1. Ed Brill says:

    Jeff, the answer could be to think about that e-mail client as more than an e-mail client. In Lotus Notes, we have capabilities to integrate with data in databases (Notes and non-Notes databases) and workflows, integrate with Google’s Desktop Search, and federate Google calendars into the Notes calendar. In Notes 8, we describe the Notes e-mail experience as “a catalyst for productivity”…not so much about the individual e-mails but rather about bringing together all the different things I need to get my job done (from sources as diverse as Google gadgets, RSS feeds, etc.). So, my answer is “yes”, we could spend more time in an integrated collaboration client and be far more productive.

  2. Jeff Mann says:

    Thanks for the comment, but I am not so sure. Any email client (whether Thunderbird, Eudora, Notes, Outlook, …) necessarily puts email at the center of how you work. For many, adding functionality around the client we spend most of our time in anyway is Goodness. I tend to think that getting away from email is even better. I want to explore really new ways of interacting and sharing. Shackling the new possibilities with the previous paradigm, no matter how useful or dominant, doesn’t move us forward.
    But maybe I’m dreaming. I still spend way too much time in email clients.

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