Small Businesses Get Exchange Server Alternatives

Small and medium-sized businesses looking for options to deploying a Microsoft Exchange messaging environment will now have more to choose from as new offerings from Kerio Technologies, Ipswitch, and Meeting Maker hit the market.

Kerio Technologies on Monday will roll out its Kerio MailServer 6.1, a messaging and collaboration server tailored for organizations with 20 to 500 users. Designed as a groupware replacement for Exchange, the product features a Kerio Outlook connector that allows Microsoft Outlook users to natively access e-mail messages and collaboration tools in Kerio.

The 6.1 version adds groupware features, including the Kerio Synchronization Plug-in for Outlook, which gives road warriors offline synchronization of contacts and calendars in the Outlook e-mail profile.

Fighting Spam, Viruses

Also new are additional antispam and antivirus tools. A new Spam Repellent feature delays the SMTP handshake, which pauses the delivery of mail long enough to cause most spam messages and viruses to give up, according to Dusan Vitek, vice president of marketing at Kerio.

"E-mail delivery is delayed by 10 seconds, [which can] repel spam and viruses," he said.

Other antispam features added to the existing lineup of 25 antispam tools, include support for Sender Policy Framework, support for SpamAssassin 3.0.2, and the capability to restrict users to send and receive e-mail only within their domain.

For fighting viruses, Kerio MailServer 6.1 gains dual antivirus controls. This feature allows for the use of two antivirus scanning engines. Support for McAfee is built in, and the product now offers one external plug-in.

New Web mail features include an HTML text editor in a new mail composer, free-busy features that let users see which contacts are available to attend calendar events, and PDA support. In addition, a new Web-based administration console lets administrators add and delete users and aliases via the Web.

Apple support is also bolstered in Version 6.1 with contact synchronization with Apple's address book and support for Apple iCal.

Small Business Suite

Last week Ipswitch introduced its Ipswitch Small Business Suite, which offers messaging and collaboration, network management, and data management in one suite of tools.

The suite includes ICS (Ipswitch Collaboration Suite) Premium Edition, Ipswitch WhatsUp Professional 2005, and Ipswitch WS_FTP Professional 2006 and WS_FTP Server with Service Agreement.

ICS consists of the Imail Server, secure instant messaging, and Outlook-compatible shared calendars and contact lists for up to 100 users. WhatsUp Professional 2005 is a network monitoring offering with visualization capabilities. WS_FTP Professional 2006 and WS_FTP Server provide data management.

Collaborative Calendaring

Increasing the calendaring options for SMBs is Meeting Maker, which earlier this month took the wraps off of a collaborative calendaring tool for Outlook. Meeting Maker for Outlook allows companies to have collaborative calendaring and group and personal scheduling capabilities from Outlook without deploying a Microsoft Exchange server.

"This offers a big step up in functionality without deploying Exchange or hiring an administrator," said Kelly Hunter, product manager at Meeting Maker. "The cost of administration for Exchange is what really adds up over time."

This story, "Small Businesses Get Exchange Server Alternatives" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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