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.”