Mirapoint tempts Openwave Post.Office users

Messaging specialist Mirapoint is to offer discount incentives to encourage users to switch from Openwave Systems' Post.Office...

Messaging specialist Mirapoint is to offer discount incentives to encourage users to switch from Openwave Systems' Post.Office software.

Mirapoint is offering a set of migration services to move e-mail boxes, user settings and other types of data from Post.Office to its own messaging servers. The move comes as Openwave prepares to end support for the Post.Office messaging server software at the end of August. Openwave stopped selling Post.Office last year, but its decision to stop supporting the software could still affect millions of end users, according to analysts.

"Post Office has huge management costs in the form of staff costs, software licensing and limitations with the technology," said Satish Ramachandran, chairman and chief executive officer at Mirapoint. "We want to make it easy for those users to switch to a cheaper platform."

Mirapoint is unusual in selling a server appliance that includes a variety of bundled software packages and support for most major messaging protocols. Competitors such as Openwave, Sun Microsystems and Critical Path tend to sell software packages that are then installed on a server.

"Mirapoint is unique," said Mark Levitt, vice-president for collaborative computing at IDC. "Other companies partner to offer bundles of hardware and software along with professional services, as needed. With Mirapoint, you can pick a prepackaged solution."

Mirapoint is looking to attract Openwave customers by positioning its appliance as an alternative for the small ISPs that make up the majority of Post.Office customers. Openwave told its customers last year about its plans to stop supporting Post.Office.

Mirapoint will move Openwave customers with 25,000 or fewer users to its offering for $10,000 (£6,791). This price is 25% below what a customer would usually pay, said Ramachandran. The price varies depending on how many users are involved, and companies with more users would receive a larger discount.

Openwave is "not interested in the smaller markets," said Michele Landry, a company spokeswoman. The company is trying to move away from small ISPs, as "there aren't many of them left".

One analyst said Mirapoint has a significant opportunity: "There's been a market there for a while, and they are right to be looking at it. I think Sun will take some of the customers with its iPlanet products and Mirapoint is in a good position to take some as well," said Marcel Nienhuis market analyst at The Radicati Group in California, USA.

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