Kerio Workspace 2 review

Team collaboration tool Kerio Workspace 2.0 is a refreshing entry in a crammed marketplace. From Dropbox to Google Drive, from Trello to Basecamp. Every team working tool out there has its own way of doing things and gently nudges you in that direction.

Kerio isn’t too different in that respect - but you will find the metaphors and workflows familiar. And within those you’ll find a way of working that’s unique to your team. Firstly, unlike the tools we’ve already mentioned, Kerio installs on your local network. It’s still browser based, but you run the server. If that worries you, there’s no need. The program ships with its own installer that all does the difficult stuff. There’s no FTPing of scripts in ASCII or setting of UNIX permissions.

Once installed, Kerio enables you to create collaborative Spaces. These Spaces can, in turn, be assigned to users, offering varying levels of collaborative capability. Spaces can then be populated with Pages. As you might expect, these are pretty much like any other page on a website, which can include text, graphics and even video.

Assembling pages is similar to editing a Wiki, with parts of the page divided into Components. As well as conventional media elements, there is a range of other stuff that teams might find useful. Lists of events, tasks, links and files can all be embedded into a page. The File Library Component is one of the tool’s major features. You can open any file from a page and edit it in a local program - which means you can upload any filetype your team uses. When you’ve finished editing the altered file it’s automatically uploaded to the workspace.

Events and tasks are a new addition to Kerio Workspace. They can be linked to your desktop calendar and to-do list apps via the iCal protocol. There are two other new features we think might persuade you to revisit Workspace if you tried the previous version. Firstly, it’s undeniably better looking that before, with some rounded corners and a more tasteful colour scheme. Secondly, there’s a free Starter version with up to 10GB of file storage.

OUR VERDICT

Kerio Workspace browser based file sharing and collaboration tools provide security you simply don’t get with hosted offerings. There’s a free version that’s ideal for small businesses and creative teams. The hike from free to £100 (although that includes software maintenance updates for the first year) for the full version might make you wince a bit.

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