Just when you thought the big 4 email providers (Microsoft Exchange Online, Google’s Gmail and Google Apps, IBM LotusLive iNotes, and Zoho Mail) were fighting it out for market share, Cisco announced a hosted email service along with corporate video sharing earlier this week.
Cisco is using the technology acquired from PostPath (Aug 2008) along with the existing WebEx conferencing tools for its hosted email service. It will also provide mobile device support and a secure web browser access using AJAX.
PostPath offered a Linux-based Email, calendaring and collaboration solution.
Since Outlook is the most dominant email and collaboration client application, Cisco email integrates with the Outlook front-end so businesses can use their service instead of managing their own Exchange email service whether hosted or self hosted.
The big selling point is to eliminate the dreaded message archiving to PST email management, as well as keeping everything SOX and SAS-70 compliant. The big test will be search speeds.
Oracle tried a similar product years ago and failed with “a better Exchange than Exchange”.
The web-hosted mail service is available in the US and Canada with mailboxes ranging from 5GB to 25GB.
The European rollout is targeted for 2010 or 2011.
The basic webmail client includes Ironport Security and 5GB storage for $3.50/user/month.
Adding support for an Outlook Client and support for ActiveSync goes up to $5.00/user/month and Blackberry support is an additional $1.00/user/month.
Cisco Show and Share
Cisco Show and Share is slated for December 2009. It is very similar to YouTube and other video sharing sites where users can create, edit, and share video content in a secure video community. Marketing departments will want to take special note of this if your team is not centralized.
In this crowded space, there is still room for more competition, giving users a lot of choice.