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Cisco buys into e-mail with $215M PostPath acquisition

It will add e-mail, calendaring to its on-demand Web Ex Connect collaboration platform

By Tim Greene
August 27, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Network World - Cisco Systems Inc. is buying PostPath, a maker of e-mail and calendaring software, for $215 million and plans to add those capabilities to its on-demand Web Ex Connect collaboration platform.

PostPath makes PostPath Server, a server that it touts as a replacement or supplement to Microsoft Exchange. An archiving edition of the software is available to store e-mails in a less cumbersome fashion than Exchange does with its journaling of old e-mails. The company also offers a version of PostPath Server for VMware.

Cisco plans to put the server in the cloud and sell an e-mail and calendaring service to its customers. "Our 'cloud-based' delivery model offers our customers rapid deployment and compelling economics," said Doug Dennerline, senior vice president of Cisco's Collaboration Software Group.

PostPath requires no middleware to interoperate with Microsoft Outlook, Exchange, Active Directory, ActiveSynch and BlackBerry Enterprise Server, among other applications. But the company also promotes itself as a Linux-based replacement for Exchange that gets around some of the Microsoft system's shortcomings, including larger data stores and higher performance in terms of how many hits per minute the platforms can handle.

Cisco bought WebEx Communications Inc. last year to deliver software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, including instant messaging, team spaces for collaboration, wikis and document sharing.

Privately held PostPath was founded in 2003.

Cisco said it expects to close the deal by the end of October and add PostPath's 67 employees to its Collaboration Software Group. The group is part of Cisco's recently established Software Group, which oversees the Internetworking Operating System, network and service management, unified communications, policy management and SaaS offerings.

Reprinted with permission from NetworkWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 Network World, Inc. All rights reserved.
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