Kerio Connect 7 Undercuts Microsoft Exchange Price

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Kerio Connect 7's groupware and e-mail functionality, coupled with its low price tag and cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) capabilities, may just give the entrenched Microsoft Exchange a run for its money at some small and midsize businesses. Kerio Technologies introduced the upgraded and rebranded technology at Macworld.

Cross-platform e-mail server vendor Kerio is taking its technology to a broader audience, introducing Kerio Connect 7, which increases scalability and groupware functionality, and introduces the capability to serve multioffice deployments. The San Jose, Calif.-based company is introducing the major update to its Kerio Mail Server at Macworld in San Francisco this week.

Available on Windows, Mac and Linux, Kerio is pitting its new Kerio Connect 7 e-mail and groupware entry directly against Microsoft Exchange Server, saying it’s a more cost-effective alternative that performs the same functions.

Angela O'Donnell, managing director of New York-based IT solution provider W. O'Donnell Consulting, said the multioffice deployment capabilities would be a welcome addition.

"The workplace has become more distributed over the years, and we are seeing many customers open up satellite offices around the country," she told Channel Insider. "This new capability will alleviate dependence on the headquarters office. Satellite offices would still have access to mail even if the headquarters goes down."

While Kerio Connect 7 offers all the advantages of linking stand-alone servers to a single distributed domain system, Kerio users will still be able to see the availability of colleagues in other offices.

"Being able to see the presence of colleagues is important," O’Donnell said. She estimates her company has 50 to 60 customers that use Kerio for e-mail.

With an eye to the growing importance of mobile devices, Kerio has also added Web administration plus support for Android-based devices to access the mail server, according to John Jones, a sales engineer at Kerio.

That’s also why Kerio Connect 7 adds a new contact list synchronization capability via the open-source address book protocol, CardDAV. Kerio noted that Apple Address Book client now syncs contacts directly with Kerio Connect 7 and a configuration utility can help users set up address books in a few clicks.

The product is available now through Kerio channel partners starting at $450 for five users, with additional users starting at $24. In addition to supporting Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, Kerio Connect 7 is also available as a VMware Virtual Appliance and as a Parallels Virtual Appliance.

"The licensing pricing compared to Microsoft Exchange is much less," O’Donnell told Channel Insider. "We are also a Microsoft shop, but this is a much better price point. People are very price-sensitive these days."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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