Demise of a good idea...BT Workspace

08 Sep 2009
Posted by adrianb

A few of you may have heard of BT Workspace, and even fewer may have heard that this very useful service is shortly being withdrawn. My company has been a happy user of the BT Workspace service since shortly after it was launched. It isn't particularly advanced, nor does it offer anything that isn't available elsewhere, with work group applications like on-line project management, shared document storage, shared diaring/calendars, event/task tracking, text messaging and alerts etc. But BT Workspace was almost unique in that if offered all of these, was relatively easy to use and what's more, all this came at a reasonable cost. In fact, if you didn't need much document storage the service was completely free. Aside from very limited file storage, the free service had few restrictions compared with the pay-for service, and was ideal for businesses who didn't want to run their own workgroup software, and who wanted to share information and tasks across different locations and groups of people. Workspace especially suited smaller businesses who operate in more than one country, and I know of several of our clients who have used the free BT Workspace service.
So BT Workspace is no longer available for new users, and will be withdrawn shortly to existing users. We've still not received any formal notification, so it was fortunate that one of our clients came to us to see if we could suggest an alternative service, as otherwise we'd have been surprised when the service dissapears.
So we have been looking around for equivalent offerings, and there are a few options, from fully managed and hosted to DIY open source offerings for those who are able to run their own servers. One product that seems to offer a pretty good deal is Central Desktop. This offers some additional features compared to Workspace, also has a free version and although the free service terms are a bit more restrictive than the BT Workspace equivalent, with a usage limitation, you do get more tha twice as much storage for free (25MB compared to 10MB with BT Worksapce).

The basic "pay-for" Central Desktop service is about the same price as the basic BT Workspace offering, but provides quite a bit more file storage for the same kind of money, with 500MB compared to 50MB, and with useful add-ons such as a Web Meeting facility that allows you to share your PC desk top with others via the web.
You can sign up for a free trial here.