The Benefits of using Smaller Tech Vendors

I was reading an article on ZDNet today by Steve Ranger about the benefits of using smaller tech vendors, and I wanted to share it with you. While large tech vendors may have brand recognition and a large development team, dealing with these vendors can often cause headaches. In the article, Ranger says, “…persuading such mighty suppliers to change anything maybe impossible unless you’re one of their top customers.” If you’re a Microsoft Exchange or Office 365 user, imagine the efforts it might take to submit a feature request or report a bug, or even to find online help. As a small business that provides messaging solutions to small-to-medium businesses, we at Alt-N want to make it easy for our customers to contact us, or to submit feature requests. The Alt-N Idea Engine provides a portal for customers to submit their ideas and feature requests, and when these ideas are considered, there’s often a speedy reply with more information or a status update. The article goes on to mention the bureaucracy and red tape that often goes with dealing with a large tech vendor. Here at Alt-N, our developers are active in our community forums, allowing customers to have a direct dialog with us on issues, features, advanced configuration, and much more.

Click on the link below to read the full article.

Can small, industry-focused tech suppliers offer benefits that the big players can’t deliver?

If you have questions or comments, please leave us a comment below.

Email Nerds Unite: Inbox Love 2014

At some point over the years you’ve probably read or heard the refrains stating email is dead. Remember the buzz about Google Wave – part email, part Twitter, part real-time messenger? I remember receiving a message from an industry colleague telling me that Wave was going to kill email. Well, how did that work out?

Helping Email Evolve

Last week Arron (Alt-N’s Director of Product Development) and I attended a relatively obscure conference called Inbox Love. This conference is dedicated to bringing together vendors and developers who seek to make the email experience better. I say obscure because most conferences relating to email focus primarily on email marketing. Inbox Love is all about achieving Inbox Nirvana, the elusive “Zero Inbox” or in general, just improving the email experience by aligning it to the changes in technologies, such as mobile device access, social media and other collaboration tools. The conference is in it’s fourth year and this was the second year I attended. Besides being excited to discover a group of folks who love email as much as we do at Alt-N Technologies, the conference provided a refreshing look at email trends and the opportunity to network with developers and start-up companies who are looking to improve the overall user experience.

Interactivity versus Privacy

One of the most interesting topics of discussion was that of email security. Listening to the discussions between developers who wanted to bring more of a web-like experience to email (greater interactivity and multi-media access) and email privacy proponents, one could almost see a generational divide between the philosophy of openness and the slippery slope of possible abuse that has created such concern, as from the fallout of the Snowden revelations. But the great thing about such interaction is the dialog and cooperation that was evident when people who want to improve the email experience and the those who want to minimize potential abuse, collaborate and share ideas. It was a great example of how balancing email personalization and protection will benefit the email experience of all users.

What Does it Mean for MDaemon Customers?

Arron and I left with a lot of notes, a lot of business cards and a lot of ideas. One of our goals was to let developers know that there are millions of customers whose email communication is not run on Google or Microsoft products. Our other goal was to better understand what products and services are being developed for email and how we can leverage those to be used with MDaemon. I think we accomplished both and now we’re back in the office with lots to review and discuss with the Alt-N team.

Remember, we are always looking for your feedback. If you have a suggestion for us, be sure to comment and review the many posts on Alt-N’s Idea Engine. This is one of the tools we use to help prioritize our development activities.

If you’d like another view of the Inbox Love conference with some specifics on the presentation topics,  Emelie Fågelstedt has an excellent post over on her blog.