Messaging software supplier Sendmail is working with Hewlett-Packard and Intel to develop a Linux-based e-mail server for deskless enterprise workers.
The Workforce Mail offering combines Sendmail's e-mail software, HP Proliant Servers and Intel's Centrino low-power wireless platform running on Linux.
The system aims to pull those mobile workers or healthcare and factory workers who do not typically sit at a desktop computer into the electronic communications fold.
Greg Olson, chairman, co-founder and executive vice-president of business development at Sendmail, said:
"Companies are pretty much run by e-mail, [so] there is an opportunity to reach many workers who do not have access to e-mail,
"Many of the information processes in a company gets to non e-mail workers much more slowly and the cost of [distributing] that information is much more expensive."
The joint solution is based on Linux because that proved to be the most cost-effective platform for deploying a messaging system, according to Olson. It is about half the cost to deploy the same application on an Intel/Linux platform than a Sun Solaris platform.
In addition to messaging software, Sendmail also provides filtering and content management technology and hosting services.
Workforce Mail integrates with such departmental messaging systems as IBM's Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange through integration with Sendmail's directory services.
Providing e-mail for mobile and deskless workers is shaping up to be a hot, emerging market.
According to sources, IBM is expected to roll out its low-cost Workplace Messaging e-mail system, which was first announced at the company's Lotusphere conference in January.
The offering is built on the WebSphere and DB2 platforms and is designed to bring basic e-mail functions to non-traditional enterprise workers at a low cost.