Novell Releases (Yet Another) Internet Messaging System

  • Written By: P. Hayes
  • Published: June 14 2000

Novell Releases (Yet Another) Internet Messaging System
P. Hayes - June 14 , 2000

Event Summary

ORLANDO, Fla. (ISPCON Spring 2000), May 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Novell, Inc., a leading provider of Net services software, announced availability of the Novell Internet Messaging System2.5. An extremely scalable, cost-effective messaging service, Novell Internet Messaging System 2.5 makes it possible for service providers to offer fast, reliable hosted e-mail accounts to partners, vendors and customers. Central to the release of Novell Internet Messaging System 2.5 is its ability to span across the Net to the Linux*, Solaris* and NetWare(R) platforms.

Market Impact

Why should we be surprised that Novell's latest Internet Messaging tool supports Linux, Solaris, and Netware platforms? The answer is simply that we shouldn't. Multi platform support was added to Novell's flagship messaging server GroupWise several months ago. The 'new' Internet Messaging system is nothing more than a stripped down version of GroupWise with a built-in List Server and personalization features; yet Novell is targeting the ASP and ISP market touting a total mailbox cost of $20 per seat. This is an outrageously high price compared to its direct competitors such as and Mirapoint, as Mirapoint carries a mailbox cost, with a web mail client included (not to mention hardware) for .80 cents U.S.

We predict this product will fail miserably in the highly competitive ISP/ASP space. While the addition of a list server and personalization features is nice, the GroupWise MTA (Message Transfer Agent) is too slow to handle the message processing for large to extremely large mailing lists in a timely fashion. This is a major flaw.

User Recommendations

For an ISP or an ASP to pay $20 (USD) per client seat would put most of them out of business. The most an ISP or an ASP would want to pay per mailbox is no more than $5 USD, and preferably far less than that. Unless Novell significantly reduces its price point to less than $5 per seat to better compete, we recommend avoiding this product and instead evaluate, Sendmail, Inc., and Mirapoint, which are not only priced more appealingly to the Internet e-business market, but also perform better.

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