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SYNAQ , in partnership with IS, provides the first local unified cloud mail offering

Internet Solutions (IS) and SYNAQ today announced the launch of a new, low-cost, integrated cloud mail and archive service. This locally hosted secure messaging collaboration suite offers complete e-mail functionality, collaboration and archiving on a single platform.

“As South African businesses are now at the mainstream stage of cloud adoption, we wanted to create a competitive offering that could meet specific requirements in terms of compliance, and offer a compelling alternative to other local and global e-mail and management solutions,” explains Wayne Speechly, executive for Communication Services at IS.

“This integrated cloud mail solution does just that, by offering a single platform for collaboration, e-mail, security and archiving, at the lowest possible price. A best-in-class, punitive, end-to-end service level agreement (SLA) also ensures enterprise-grade service, with a guarantee of 99.9% uptime and the assurance that company e-mail is appropriately protected from viruses, phishing attacks and spam.”

Yossi Hasson, Managing Director at SYNAQ, explains that the two companies were able to bring a product of this nature to market through their combined expertise and close working relationship. “After IS acquired a majority stake in SYNAQ in 2011, we were better positioned to bridge the gap between the application and the network layer during development,” he explains. “We then combined the experience we'd gained in the nine years since deploying the first open source SaaS e-mail security platform and in processing over a billion e-mails a month for more than 300 000 users, with IS' expertise, experience and capabilities in terms of infrastructure provisioning. As such, we delivered a solution that boasts all the functionality and capabilities businesses expect of a feature-rich messaging and archive suite, but at a far more competitive price point.”

This software as a service offering is delivered over IS' network infrastructure, which is assessed, maintained and supported with proactive monitoring, routine preventative maintenance checks and a dedicated support desk. “The integrated multi-purpose platform also negates the risk of data integration corruption, which is common with disparate e-mail and archiving solutions,” continues Speechly.

The integrated cloud mail solution offers a spam-free 25GB mailbox, shared calendaring and contacts, global address lists, individual distribution lists, file storage, conversation views, and native archiving. Ten years of free unlimited storage archiving ensures businesses are able to move towards ECT compliance without incurring additional costs. The solution is compatible with all popular mail clients, most common of which is Outlook. It is also platform-independent, which means it can be accessed via any popular Web client. Mobile push technology, including full BlackBerry Enterprise Server integration, which enables greater workforce mobility, is included at no cost.

“All of these features and functionality are now available at a cost of just R49 per user, per month, excluding VAT. This significantly lowers the total cost of ownership of a hosted messaging collaboration suite of this kind, as most other providers charge between R110 and R140 per user. It is even more affordable than Google's e-mail and archiving solution, which costs $10 per user,” explains Hasson.

“At this price point, organisations can finally take advantage of all the capabilities offered by cloud computing while ensuring that e-mail, security and archiving needs are met. The fact that this service is hosted locally simplifies the transition to the cloud, satisfies the needs to contain data within our boundaries, and gives businesses further peace of mind that their support is local,” continues Speechly.

Full communication collaboration functionality also lets clients add WebEx conferencing to calendaring and e-mail, which makes it faster to set up and manage online meetings, explains Speechly. “Clients get free access to their mailboxes across South Africa at any IS AlwaysOn WiFi hotspot too, which allows an increasingly mobile workforce to stay connected while on the road at the lowest cost possible.”

“The fact that we can offer this level of functionality and features in a locally hosted messaging collaboration solution, at this price point, means South African and African businesses don’t need to look to Silicon Valley to meet their IT needs. We are now doing it here, better and more cost-effectively than anywhere else in the world,” concludes Hasson.