Gordano Moves Microsoft Exchange Alternative to the Cloud

Gordano offers the full Gordano Messaging Suite as a hosted version to give customers secure e-mail, calendar, tasks, contacts, instant messaging and collaboration as part of GMS Cloud.

Gordano is jumping onto the cloud bandwagon by launching GMS Cloud, a hosted version of its Gordano messaging platform on Nov. 16.

GMS Cloud has the Gordano Messaging Suite in the back end, according to John Stanners, Gordano senior vice president. All the features of GMS are available in GMS Cloud, including the antivirus and anti-spam capabilities, instant messaging, and other collaboration features, he said.

The Gordano Messaging Suite is a full-featured set of e-mail, calendaring, contacts management and tasks applications. It replaces Microsoft Exchange for a "fraction of the cost," Stanners told eWEEK.

"E-mail is a mission-critical application for our customers, and they are looking for solutions that will help them ease the time and challenges in managing their messaging environments," said Stanners.

Gordano is pitting GMS Cloud against Microsoft's Exchange Online by touting its mail and messaging capabilities. For emerging markets, GMS Cloud is priced "very competitively" and Gordano offers unlimited storage, which is a "big differentiator," Stanners said.

Offered in two distinct versions. Standard GMS Cloud accounts, with the full Webmail experience, start at $2.85 per month per user, and professional accounts, which include Outlook integration, start at $7.50 per month per user, said Gordano. A minimum of five users is required, and volume discounts are also available, according to the company. New accounts can be provisioned immediately via a Web-based administrative interface.

"GMS Cloud offers a low entry cost to the Gordano Messaging Suite and provides a flexible and accessible option to those looking for a secure hosted messaging platform, enabling them to focus on their core business," said Stanners.

In addition to the hosted GMS Cloud service, Gordano also announced the general availability of GMS 17.1 and GMS Sync, a synchronization service with mobile devices. GMS Sync provides push e-mail and full data synchronization from GMS to any smartphone or basic handset, said Stanners. Even users without data plans or smartphones can still access e-mail, view calendars and scroll through contacts from their phone, he said.

Lisa Kirman, Gordano's operations director, claimed that "one of five" cell phone subscribers used prepaid phones and prepaid services were growing faster than traditional contract-based services. GMS Sync makes it possible for these users to "inexpensively and easily" access e-mail via their phones, Kirman said.

Gordano previously did not offer archiving options on GMS, but organizations are concerned about data and security when moving to the cloud, according to Stanners. For GMS 17.1 and GMS Cloud, Gordano partnered with Jatheon to offer enterprise-level e-mail archiving with policy management and e-discovery features. Instead of trying to figure out compliance requirements and data recovery strategies, Gordano chose to partner with Jatheon who already had the expertise, Stanners said.

GMS offers "very low" management on "modest" hardware, said Stanners, claiming many organizations on older versions of Exchange who can't refresh their hardware to meet current requirements see GMS as an attractive alternative.

"It doesn't matter what kind of platform, the user interface remains the same," Stanners said.

Gordano positions GMS for the larger enterprise and the Softalk Collaboration Suite, acquired as part of Gordano's Softalk takeover earlier this year, for the smaller end of the market with five to 20 users, Stanners said. GMS Cloud fits the space in between, offering organizations of all sizes an alternative to Exchange, Stanners said.