Mirapoint Looks To Turn Up Heat On Novell

While Microsoft and IBM Lotus battle it out for the No. 1 spot in the messaging server market, Mirapoint is looking to upgrade its standing by leapfrogging Novell into third place.

Mirapoint, which sells an e-mail server appliance that runs nearly head-to-head with Novell's Groupwise product in the enterprise space, has been opportunistically recruiting Groupwise partners for some time. But the company is stepping up those efforts in the wake of Novell's executive upheaval, which last month meant the ousting of CEO Jack Messman and CFO Joseph Tibbetts.

"We think Groupwise partners are starting to see some uncertainty, and they've been reaching out to us," says Craig Carpenter, senior director of corporate marketing and global channels at Mirapoint. "Staff dedicated to Novell's channel recruitment have been inundated with requests."

Of the 600 to 700 Groupwise partners in the United States, Carpenter says Mirapoint is focusing on the top 50 Groupwise systems integrators. To date, Mirapoint has signed on five of them, he says. The company would like to snap up 20 to 25 by year's end and is offering a new program to help entice them.

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Among other things, the program provides Groupwise partners with a free, 30-day Mirapoint product evaluation, a guaranteed zero-downtime migration from other systems (Groupwise, but also Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and open source), and a 30 percent discount on professional services.

Mirapoint, with its 300 employees and 155 million installed base mailboxes, is striving in a market that's poised to heat up this coming year with the impending arrivals of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Lotus Notes 7.5.