At the recent National Education Computing Conference in Atlanta, Open Text Corp announced the release of FirstClass Colaboration Suite 9.0. This is the latest version of its integrated communications and collaboration software for businesses and learning organizations. The solution comes with zesty new features, like support for archiving services to address compliance risks, extended mobility support and feature enhancements in major applications including Mail, Contacts and Calendars. First Class 9.0 also provides a set of integrated applications that allow customers to create online communities that securely connect people and resources through Internet-accessible devices. Apps like e-mail, instant messaging, calendars, workgroup collaboration, contact management, Web publishing, blogging and now archiving will help improve communication within a secure network environment. According to John Myers, Vice President and General Manager of the FirstClass Division of Open Text, legal and regulatory mandates require schools and universities to retain e-mail and other important records. Thus, the need for archiving solutions is growing. “FirstClass 9.0 provides a flexible, highly integrated messaging archiving option that is extremely easy for administrators to deploy,” said Myers. “Other enterprise-class messaging systems require expensive third-party add-ons to achieve the same results. By listening closely to our customers we’ve delivered a wide range of feature enhancements in FirstClass 9.0 that meet the needs of the users within those organizations.” FirstClass Archive Services, another inclusion, provides policy-driven automatic archiving capabilities at the server level. This was specifically developed to address growing legal and compliance issues. Retention policies can also be specified on a per-group basis, and archived messages are accessible only by the archive administrator to prevent unauthorized fingers from soiling the goods. Unicode support, which enables FirstClass applications to include all possible national characters, will be fully integrated into FirstClass Internet Services for seamless inbound and outbound mail and Web publishing. Other enhancements include the ability to combine multiple, color coded calendars into one view, and a new InstantSearch feature that provides a tool for quickly filtering all fields displayed in a given application window. The Launch Bar can also be customized by administrators and end users. Convinced, or at least sufficiently scared? Ride FirstClass with Open Text.