Novell NetMail XE versus Competitive Alternatives
Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
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Posted: 13 Nov 2002
Download the .pdf version here.
|NetMail XE vs. Hosted E-Mail Alternatives|
Customers seeking hosted e-mail solutions will find vendors that generally fall into one of two categories: those that offer e-mail services for free ("Free E-mail"), and those that offer e-mail services for a flat monthly fee ("Application Service Providers"):
Free E-mail Providers
Free E-mail providers are vendors that seek to attract end users to their Web site by offering free services, thus providing opportunities to influence users, display advertisements, sell products and generally pursue Web-based business opportunities. Free E-mail services such as MSN Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are sub-features of very large portal sites that help to attract millions of end users as willing, potential customers of their parent companies.
Free E-mail providers implement e-mail servers and allow Internet-based end users to arbitrarily create and utilize mailboxes at no charge. End users can use their mailbox regardless of where they are or how they access the Internet.
Free E-mail providers generally hope to realize income through banner advertising and through sales of add-on e-mail features that enhance the extremely basic, limited features of the free version with capabilities that make it more suitable for frequent use. Such fee-based add-on features may include advertisement-free pages, tagline-free outbound e-mails, extended mailbox storage, custom domain names, anti-virus protection, anti-spam features, POP3 access, extended attachment size support, no account expiration, e-mail forwarding and others.
Customers Most Likely to Benefit
Consumers are the most likely to benefit from Free E-mail services. Free mailboxes are independent of the ISP that each end user utilizes to connect to the Internet, thus the end user's e-mail address remains constant despite switching to an alternative ISP in the future. Free mailboxes also provide a degree of anonymity, allowing end users to create a secondary mailbox and disclose its address when required by Internet-based services, thereby somewhat protecting their primary e-mail address from unsolicited e-mail.
Applicability to Small Business E-mail Solutions
Businesses are unlikely to be satisfied with the following factors typically associated with Free E-mail services:
In summary, Free E-mail services are unsuitable for business use because "you get what you pay for," whereby due to the fact that the e-mail is free, it is limited, unproductive and inappropriate for most business communications.
Application Service Providers
Application Service Providers ("ASPs") are vendors that implement applications for a fee on behalf of customers. ASPs invest in hardware, software and network infrastructure to create a data center, and run applications such as e-mail, database, accounting, e-commerce, storage and other services for access on a rental basis across the Internet.
ASPs come in all sizes and offer a wide variety of applications. Some ASPs are small operations, being little more than a local ISP with a few Linux* or Windows NT/2000 servers on which they host their applications. Other ASPs invest millions to establish enormous data centers, bomb-proof buildings, hundreds of servers, terabytes of storage, dozens of high-throughput Internet connections and highly complex networks.
The value proposition offered by ASPs is that they bear the up-front
costs and efforts associated with building a huge data center, populating
it with hardware and software, and maintaining it on a 24x7 basis.
For customers that require large, expensive, complex systems that
are highly scalable and fault tolerant, the investment necessary
(cash, time and expertise) to implement and maintain such systems
can be considerable. ASPs relieve customers needing such systems
of these up-front and extended costs by allowing customers to pay
for access to applications based upon a monthly rental fee for an
ASPs seek long-term profits through volume licensing of their application
services. By charging a large number of customers a monthly rental
Note that ASPs do not always offer fees that represent a clear cost saving over internal implementation of equivalent applications. ASPs implementing highly complex systems sometimes charge a premium for their services, believing that rapid implementation and use of readily available fault tolerant systems are worth a premium.
Customers Most Likely to Benefit
The customers most likely to benefit from ASP-based solutions are 1) those businesses that require extremely rapid implementation of complex applications that would otherwise take a long time to implement, and 2) those businesses that have little cash to invest in creating a needed high-end data center. For customers requiring rapid access to complex applications, such as a large scale accounting system or vertical application suite that might take nine months to implement internally, gaining access within just days or weeks might create business opportunities that otherwise could not be pursued. For customers that have little cash to spend but very large application needs, having the ability to immediately make use of a large-scale data center might allow them to immediately compete effectively with established vendors.
Applicability to Small Business E-mail Solutions
Hosted e-mail is significantly less attractive to small businesses
than to large businesses. Small businesses can often implement an
e-mail solution, such as NetMail XE, faster than they could locate,
contract and enable services from
Examining the Claims of ASP-based E-mail Alternatives
When evaluating the claims of ASPs, customers will encounter marketing
statements that might lead them to wonder why anyone would implement
e-mail solutions internally due of the supposed high complexity
and cost of e-mail hardware, software and administration. However,
careful examination of such claims often reveals that
The following points review the claims made by ASPs to determine the reality of those claims when compared to the small business benefits provided by Novell's NetMail XE:
Monthly Per-User Mailbox Cost Comparison
(based on a three year lifetime for the e-mail solution)
The table on the previous page and the graphical chart below clearly demonstrate the affordability and competitive pricing offered by Novell NetMail XE versus ASP-based offerings. At 250 users, NetMail XE is 38% less expensive than the closest ASP competitor, and at 100 users is 14% less expensive-while offering superior, valuable features that the competition is missing.
Note that all cases in which base ASP pricing is quoted as less expensive than NetMail XE are in very small user counts, and in most of those cases the ASP fails to include valuable features such as calendaring, notes and task management, in addition to offering an inferior Web-based e-mail experience. For small business customers with a small number of users, NetMail XE can alternatively be installed on the same server currently running their file and print services, thus eliminating the hardware and OS costs from the total NetMail XE costs in the table above and therefore providing a dramatic cost savings over all ASP competitors, even at the lowest user counts.
|NetMail XE vs. Standards-Based E-Mail Server Alternatives|
In addition to ASPs, customers seeking
standards-based collaboration solutions will also find avariety
of vendors offering Windows NT/2000/XP-based e-mail servers targeted
specifically at small businesses with moderate needs. While NetMail
XE provides superior functionality, value and Return on Investment,
the following section provides an overview of its most significant
competitors in this
Gordano NTMail-Gordano's NTMail offers many of the features of Novell NetMail XE, including support for Internet e-mail standards such as POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP. However, unlike NetMail XE, Gordano's product is more difficult to implement, lacks advanced features, and costs considerably more:
Rockliffe MailSite-Rockliffe's MailSite* also offers many of the features of Novell NetMail XE, including support for Internet e-mail standards such as POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP. Like Gordano, Rockliffe is also more difficult to implement, lacks features, and costs more:
Other standards-based small business e-mail competitors-In addition to Gordano, Rockliffe and Ipswitch, small business customers might choose to implement one of dozens of other messaging solutions from companies such as Qualcomm, SendMail, Stalker Software, NetWin, NetcPlus, Novitraq, Process Software, Incite, Caldera and many others. Customers should be aware of the many typical shortcomings of such products that make them a poor alternative:
Novell NetMail XE pricing versus various other competitors
|NetMail XE vs. Microsoft Exchange Server|
Microsoft also attempts to address the collaboration needs of small business through its Exchange Server product, although close investigation demonstrates that Exchange is unsuitable for small business and offers a significantly increased Total Cost of Ownership when compared with NetMail XE:
However, due to the very high complexity of Exchange, customers should be aware that the Total Cost of Ownership for Exchange may actually be many times greater. Gartner, a highly respected analyst firm, performed an extensive survey in September 1999 in an attempt to determine the Annual Cost of Operations associated with groupware products. Their study surveyed actual customers implementing 50 or more user seats to determine the costs associated with system management, administration and administrator training, operations, maintenance, end-user support, second-level support and troubleshooting. The results of the study found that the median Annual Cost of Operations for Microsoft Exchange to be $313 per user per year. Note that this figure is substantiated by an independent report from Giga, posted on Microsoft's own Web site, which estimates that such costs total $969 over three years.
When the Annual Cost of Operations are combined with the high software costs of Exchange, small business customers will find that Exchange (software plus operational expenses) may cost a startling median of $1090 per user over the three-year lifetime of the collaboration solution, a 10,854% increase over the median $9.95 (software-only) cost of NetMail XE. While inclusion of actual Annual Cost of Operations would increase the Total Cost of Ownership for NetMail XE, such costs would most commonly be exceptionally minor (unlike Exchange) due to its extreme simplicity of management and superlative ease of use, thus they would most commonly have little impact on the cost comparison shown at right.
Novell NetMail XE clearly represents a superior small business
solution, providing advanced functionality and security at a small
NetMail XE is a robust, standards-based collaboration solution that combines simplicity, powerful capabilities and low cost to thoroughly meet the needs of small business. NetMail XE provide the high performance necessary to handle even the heaviest messaging loads with ease, high reliability to ensure that collaboration services are always available, low cost of ownership and minimal impact on your administrative duties due to its affordable price and extremely simple setup and administration, and low impact on your technical support efforts due to its seamless integration with popular e-mail clients and professional, highly intuitive interfaces.
While many alternatives for small business collaboration may be
considered, none match the value and cost effectiveness of NetMail
XE. ASP-based solutions are functionally limited and expensive.
Competitive standards-based solutions are immature, incomplete,
complex and high-priced. Microsoft's Exchange Server, while
also vying for small business customers, is amazingly more complex
and astonishingly more costly. When compared with NetMail XE's
simplicity, advanced features and low cost of ownership, there simply
isn't any competition to consider.
© 2002 Novell, Inc. All rights reserved. Novell, the Novell logo and GroupWise are registered trademarks, and NetMail is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
*ActiveSync, Microsoft, Windows and Windows NT are registered trademarks, and Outlook is at trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Netscape Communicator is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation. Eudora and Qualcomm are registered trademarks of Qualcomm, Inc. McAffee and NetShield are registered trademarks of Network Associates, Inc. InnoculateIT is a registered trademark and Computer Associates and eTrust are trademarks of Computer Associates International, Inc. Carrierscan is a trademark of Symantec Corporation. HotSync is a registered trademark and Palm is a trademarks of Palm, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. MailSite is a trademark of Rockliffe Systems, Inc. IMail is a trademark of Ipswitch, Inc. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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