Appliances could trim your email costs by two-thirds
Mirapoint reckons that its e-mail and collaboration appliance can be up to three times cheaper to run than Microsoft Exchange and four times cheaper than Lotus Notes. It cites research by the Radicati Group on e-mail TCO (total cost of ownership) which calculates that the Mirapoint software costs under $100 per user per year, less than equivalents from Microsoft, Lotus, Sun and Oracle.

The company made the claim as it announced a repackaged Enterprise Suite. Also costing around $100 per user, this includes software that was formerly optional, such as tools to link Outlook and PDA users into Mirapoint's group calendaring scheme, plus a server to run it all on, a hardened operating system, and spam and virus filtering.

Jeff Brainard, a senior product manager at Mirapoint, acknowledges that much of the TCO advantage comes from the appliance approach per se, and that some people will still need the advanced collaborative functions of Exchange or Notes.

He contends though that it is expensive overkill to deploy those to all workers, even shopfloor workers who just need webmail, and says that companies could save millions with Enterprise Suite even if they have to deploy a mixed email environment to address all needs.

10Gig Ethernet WAN for NE academics
A fibre optic network is to link universities and colleges around northeast England with long distance Gigabit and 10Gig Ethernet. Intended the support academic research, the Transregional Broadband Superhighway provides 320Gbit/s of bandwidth to centres in nine towns and cities.

Based on wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology, it includes 320km of fibre and FSP optical networking hardware from ADVA. Academics will use it to collaborate on large scale projects such as molecular drug research, global health modelling and astrophysics.

Openzone trims its prices
BT Openzone has finally joined the real world, with its announcement of a £25 a month subscription for its wireless hotspot network. This puts it a little closer to the $40 tariffs that have been available in the US for many months, although it must be noted that the US tariffs are typically for unlimited use whereas Openzone limits you to 4,000 minutes a month.

Still, as the company points out, that is equivalent to three hours every working day of the week. To get the £25 deal you need to sign up for a 12-month contract; alternatively the same service can be bought at £40 for 30 days.

PDA management now with encryption
Corporate network security policies can now be enforced on PDAs, says Extended Systems which has added an encryption module to its OneBridge mobile device management software. It avoids the needs to use two separate applications, such as OneBridge for management and Pointsec for security, says Extended's UK sales director Chris Atwell.

He says that a key feature of OneBridge Mobile Secure is that it separates device locking from device encryption, so once the user has logged in, it can stay decrypted and able to receive email even after the screen time-lock cuts in. The software costs around £50 per user and includes both the ability to automatically wipe a lost or stolen device, and to recover lost passwords.

Encrypting the PDA's memory should allay many of the fears currently holding up PDA deployment, Atwell claims. Support for smartphones is planned for later this year, he says the delay is down to the many different ROM versions in use across the different mobile phone networks, and the depth of access needed by this kind of software.

"For example, the Treo 600 ROM in Europe is different to the US," he says. "We were seeing problems too with the XDA2 in Germany last year, with the software causing resets because of ROM differences."