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StreetSmart provides an alternative to Exchange

May 08, 20063 mins
Enterprise Applications

* InfoStreet StreetSmart 7

Here’s yet another contender for my affections in my long running infatuation with online, service-oriented architecture-based business support: InfoStreet StreetSmart 7.

Here at the Network World Web Applications Newsletter, we have discussed a couple of other contenders in this market but StreetSmart has to be one of the slickest and most practical platforms we’ve looked at so far in the Exchange replacement category.

The basic services of StreetSmart are e-mail, calendar and file sharing while workflow and knowledge management move StreetSmart’s business process support into a different dimension. StreetSmart also provides mailing lists and company, employee, group and personal portals.

StreetSmart’s e-mail services provide a Webmail interface with virus scanning and spam detection, multiple e-mail identities, POP and IMAP support, up to 10MB of disk space per account, and synchronization with Outlook, Palm and Pocket PC clients.

Calendars under StreetSmart can be shared between users and again synchronization with Outlook, Palm and Pocket PCs is supported. Calendars can be personalized by each user and invitation and reminder services are provided.

Workflow is a very interesting facility under StreetSmart. You can create and assign tasks to one or multiple users, get instant status updates, and track multiple projects via a notification system. The workflow system provides automatic task aging and archiving and tasks can be assigned priorities, types and due dates and all tasks are ticketed and tracked.

Mailing lists and file sharing are pretty much featured as you would expect and knowledge management is really an FAQ-style system on steroids with many of the features of workflow, such as assigning items to individuals and scheduling actions, but more focused on creating useful information.

The portal feature is a very good way to create a top level of organization for using StreetSmart. Portals provide a way to push company news or product updates, create and manage content using content galleries or libraries, stream news or public content feeds to users.

Full backup and recovery are provided on all services and features.

In many ways, StreetSmart provides much of the functionality of Exchange but does so via a Web-based system.

A user of StreetSmart, Laurie Merrill, marketing director of Heritage USA Community Federal Credit Union, commented that: “Heritage USA has been using Streetsmart and I would have to say it has become indispensible.”

Merrill continued: “We are a small credit union and it has helped us with scheduling meetings, vacations, etc. When something important or just interesting is going on, we take the time to post it so that all employees can be aware of it. We like the fact that you can group people together and send files or e-mails to just that group. We especially see the calendar, both business and personal, as a “must look at” every morning as it keeps everyone up-to-date on the other employees’ schedules and activities for the day.”

She concluded: “I would recommend [StreetSmart] to any business, large or small.”

Praise indeed.

InfoStreet quotes a price per user as low as 10 cents per day. In a cost analysis of using StreetSmart against using Exchange, InfoStreet concludes that for 25 users, the first year costs $1,710 and $38,789, respectively. StreetSmart can also be run completely in-house at a cost as low as 5 cents, per user per day.


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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