Cisco Buys PostPath to Compete with Microsoft Exchange

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-08-27 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

UPDATED: Cisco Systems acquired PostPath, a Microsoft Exchange e-mail storage competitor, and heads down the path of a big-time "co-opetition" to handle enterprise e-mail against a longtime partner, Microsoft. PostPath uses augmented open-source software and an optional appliance that plugs directly into a data center to offer a lower-cost, in-the-cloud e-mail server alternative to Microsoft Exchange. Exchange has long been known as one of the most complicated business software packages that IT personnel handle.

Cisco Systems is heading into a big-time "co-opetition" to handle enterprise e-mail against a longtime partner, Microsoft, thanks to the Aug. 27 acquisition of privately held PostPath.

Cisco will pay a total of $215 million for PostPath and expects to close the deal in Cisco's first quarter of fiscal year 2009.

PostPath will provide the final piece to the puzzle of Cisco's new unified WebEx Connect collaboration platform, a subscription- and cloud-based business suite hosted by Cisco.  At this early point, Cisco is not planning to market the PostPath product separately.

WebEx Connect is a SAAS (software-as-a-service)-based collaborative platform that includes instant messaging, voice, video, data, document management and Web 2.0 applications. PostPath will supply the e-mail and calendaring features.

PostPath uses augmented open-source software and an optional appliance that plugs directly into a data center to offer a lower-cost alternative to Microsoft Exchange, long known as one of the most complicated business software packages that IT personnel handle.
 
One Microsoft reseller told me during an interview that "Exchange is simply a beast. Everybody knows it; no question about it. If there's any way to make it easier to use, let's see it."

Cisco is going to give people a chance to do that. PostPath's e-mail user interface has the same look and feel of Exchange.

PostPath also allows access to the email database from mobile devices, including iPhones and Blackberrys.

PostPath's software is highly secure and scalable, and it incorporates new Web 2.0 architectures to meet the requirements of large enterprises and small businesses alike to provide a next-generation e-mail system.

PostPath is Linux-based, uses AJAX and virtual snapshots and is VMware-friendly, Duncan Greatwood, CEO of PostPath, told me in an interview recently.

Cisco Senior Vice President Doug Dennerline said in the news announcement that "the acquisition of PostPath complements our strategy to develop an integrated collaboration platform designed for how we work today and into the future, providing real productivity gains and a more satisfying user experience. Our -cloud-based' delivery model offers our customers rapid deployment and compelling economics."

The full WebEx Connect online service package will be available in September.


 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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