Apptix To Buy Mi8 To Bolster Hosted Exchange Business

Herndon, Va.-based Apptix fields hosted e-mail and collaboration services for customers ranging from "ultra small businesses" — those with one to 20 employees — to mid-market companies with up to 1,000 employees.

Mi8, with locations in New York City and Austin, Texas, claims to have about 40,000 users of its hosted Exchange services, while Apptix claims 90,000.

"This acquisition makes us the dominant U.S. provider for hosted Exchange and maybe the dominant provider globally," Apptix CEO Amir Hudda told CRN Friday afternoon.

Other hosted Exchange players include, Intermedia and 123together.

Sponsored post

But looming large over the software-as-a-service landscape is the specter of the nascent Microsoft Office Live portfolio and Google Apps For Your Domain.

Hudda's position is that there's plenty of business to go around.

"We're literally just scratching the surface. We think there are less than one million hosted Exchange mailboxes in the world today compared to 150 million Exchange mailboxes running on premises. Most of our customers are coming from businesses that use and like Exchange but want to offload it," he said.

Updating Exchange Server as well as critical antispam and antivirus software and maintaining servers around the clock is too much for many smaller companies, he said. Hudda expects these people will jump ship to a hosted model where costs are low and predictable.

As Microsoft pumps up its unified communications message around integrated e-mail, voice and IM, Apptix will do likewise. The company inked a deal with Broadsoft, a leader in VoIP software that will enable it to offer customers VoIP along with hosted e-mail.

Apptix currently fields for very small businesses and for mid-market businesses. Users of both can private-label their own domain names for e-mail addresses. Apptix also attacks mid-market customers through partnerships with Hewlett Packard, Savvis, IBM, and Bell Canada.