I got mail from Mimosa Systems, who make NearPoint, the e-mail archiving product. It referred to Iron Mountain's entry into the market as a managed e-mail archiving service provider and said:-

Iron Mountain is going to have to take a look at their overall cost structure to compete effectively in this market.

Iron Mountain

- $30 per user per month. This translates to a two-year cost total for 1,000 employees of $720,000.

Mimosa Systems

- $80 per mailbox plus 18 percent service. ($80 is our flat rate for enterprise license - this is the most a customer can pay for NearPoint) This translates to a two-year cost of $80,000 for the software plus $28,800 for the two years of service = $108,800 for two-year total cost.

In other words, using Mimosa's numbers, it is six and half times cheaper to do your own e-mail archiving with Mimosa than it is to go with Iron Mountain's service. Ouch. I hear that Mimosa may be launching a product refresh/new product which won't help Iron Mountain at all either. Such price differentials make one wonder whether like is being compared to like? It's certainly worth checking though.

Other e-mail archiving suppliers such as Zantaz will no doubt respond as the competition in the area heats up.