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N. American Service Providers Add Advanced Open Source E-mail Alternative

Lunarpages and Cirrus Tech latest to make business-class e-mail and collaboration available to users

Open-Xchange announced on Thursday agreements with Lunarpages in Anaheim, California and Cirrus Tech Ltd. in Toronto, Canada, which will both make Open-Xchange e-mail and groupware available to their customers.

Open-Xchange's alternative to more expensive Microsoft Exchange integrates e-mail, calendar, contact and task management with advanced groupware features such as information management and document sharing, along with cutting-edge social network integration.

"We're on our way towards 40 million users this year - nearly doubling the number at the close of 2010," said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange. "These service providers are both upgrading their existing e-mail provided to their customers, and building an opportunity to expand their business with their existing customers, as well as attract new customers by offering additional value-added services - all at a lower cost than traditional proprietary vendors."

Lunarpages Internet Solutions (www.lunarpages.com) is ranked among the top 25 U.S. service providers with a client base of more than 150,000, as well as 750,000 e-mail accounts. It will upgrade its existing e-mail software to the AJAX-based web interface in Open-Xchange webmail. Plus, Lunarpages will offer its customers additional groupware and mobility features on top of Open-Xchange webmail.

"We always wanted and needed business-class e-mail and tried Hosted Exchange but found it was not profitable for us," said George Natzic CEO of Lunarpages. "With Open-Xchange, there is virtually no risk since we get a free, modern e-mail system for all our users, as well as upsell opportunities for us with our customers to provide them with value-added services. We'll continue to offer Hosted Exchange as an alternative but it's not a big revenue generator for us."

For 300,000 e-mail accounts, Cirrus Tech (www.cirrushosting.com) will replace its existing qmail system with Open-Xchange giving users greater capabilities and function. In addition, Cirrus is using OXtender for Plesk, which provides greater integration and enables customers to manage their instance of Open-Xchange groupware.

Cirrus Tech has 3,000 customers and hosts more than 100,000 websites. It has plans to integrate its VoIP system with Open-Xchange as part of its implementation. This will provide users with integration of their address books with their telephone system enabling point-and-click dialing, for example.

"Open-Xchange gives our users much richer functions than our basic e-mail offering. It also provides an alternative to our Hosted Microsoft Exchange Service," said Ehsan Mirdamadi, CEO at Cirrus Tech Ltd. "We're delivering users with a big upgrade from our existing e-mail, along with opportunities to upgrade to richer Open-Xchange function."

Both Lunarpages and Cirrus are using Open-Xchange Hosting Edition, the only groupware specifically designed to meet the needs of SaaS providers. Open-Xchange can be easily integrated into existing infrastructures without changing the existing authentication, user setup, system administration, provisioning and billing tools.

By adding the Open-Xchange mobility support option, users can receive push e-mail and synchronization of contacts, calendar and other information from their Open-Xchange account to their smartphones, including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Mobile and others.

In addition, Open-Xchange's unique "Social OX" features give users the ability to consolidate any kind of existing webmail accounts - for example from Google and Yahoo - into a folder in Open-Xchange so they can be managed more easily. Plus, contact details from social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Xing can be added automatically to the Open-Xchange address book - giving users easy access to the latest contact information within their personal network. Also, users can now integrate messaging feeds from Twitter and Facebook and merge their calendar and address books from Google into Open-Xchange, as well.

More Stories By Glenn Rossman

Glenn Rossman has more than 25 years communications experience working at IBM and Hewlett-Packard, along with startup StorageApps, plus agencies Hill & Knowlton and G&A Communications. His experience includes media relations, industry and financial analyst relations, executive communications, intranet and employee communications, as well as producing sales collateral. In technology, his career includes work in channel partner communications, data storage technologies, server computers, software, PC and UNIX computers, along with specific industry initiatives such as manufacturing, medical, and finance. Before his latest stint in technology, Glenn did business-to-business public relations on behalf of the DuPont Company for its specialty polymers products and with the largest steel companies in North America in an initiative focused on automakers.

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