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Rockliffe unveils Outlook plug-in

Nov 25, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging AppsMicrosoft

* Rockliffe’s Outlook plug-in allows users to keep their clients

Rockliffe recently introduced MailSite Team, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that allows customers to use Rockliffe’s MailSite servers on the back end and Outlook on the desktop.

MailSite allows organizations to use Outlook’s groupware functionality, including group calendaring and scheduling, shared folders, free/busy maps, shared tasks, shared contacts and other features. MailSite Team maps local .PST folders to IMAP folders that are housed on MailSite servers, allowing synchronization of folders, creation of permissions and other functionality.

MailSite Team is not a complete replacement for Exchange. For example, MailSite Team does not support the resource scheduling for things like conference rooms and audio/visual equipment that is supported by Exchange and Outlook.

Also, MailSite Team does not integrate completely with Rockliffe’s own Webmail offering, MailSite Express – for example, Team users cannot access non-message data from Express users. These features are planned for a future release of MailSite Team.

MailSite Team represents an important development for enterprises that use Exchange and have Outlook on the desktop. It provides a choice for those enterprises that don’t want to swap out a good desktop client and consequently bear the heavy cost of retraining that would be required to do so.

Osterman Research has just concluded a large, multi-client messaging survey in which we asked organizations about the potential for replacing their back-end messaging infrastructure with one that provides significantly better performance, less server loading, lower costs or other significant advantages. If this required replacing current desktop clients with another client, only 15% of organizations would very likely or definitely switch backend messaging systems. However, if they could keep the current desktop clients, 56% of organizations said they would very likely or definitely switch.

MailSite Team should appeal particularly to those enterprises that are currently using Exchange 5.5 and are considering a migration to Exchange 2003. While our research shows that the vast majority of Exchange-enabled organizations plan to upgrade to Exchange 2003 at some point, those that are unsure or don’t want to do so have an alternative.

Pricing for MailSite Team starts at $30 per user and drops to $5 per user in very large quantities, not counting the MailSite server license.

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