Application service provider WebCentral is gearing up to launch the second version of its Microsoft-based managed exchange offering next Monday.
Lloyd Ernst, CEO of the Queensland-based managed internet services company, said WebCentral had updated the Microsoft Exchange-based managed exchange service it initially offered in July 2002 direct and through its partners, such as Adelaide hosting reseller CDAA. The service had been taken on by 400 companies so far, he said.
Ernst claimed WebCentral's managed exchange service cost users $10 a month, whereas its closest competitors charged around $26 per mailbox each month.
'We don't know any others really in Australia offering any significant competition. You have got large outsourcers such as CSC and those kind of guys,' he said.
Ernst said he had been advised not to release further details about the update in advance of the 29 September launch, other than to say it would have an 'amazingly slick interface' with improved Microsoft Outlook functionality, including remote access to email, calendars and contacts, for clients. WebCentral manages the hardware, software licensing and virus protection.
'This is a stunner, it really is, a new generation of web application. There's been a lot of things done to the interface,' Ernst claimed.
Pricing will be released on Monday when the new version is demonstrated in Sydney, he said.
He said the new version would mainly target WebCentral's existing customer base to help improve the security of their email functionality, in conjunction with Microsoft's big Office Systems 2003 push this October.
'One thing about mail servers, it happens in a hostile environment ... When you have got an exchange server or any mail server, it's connected to the real world so you get lots of Denial of Service attacks, viruses and vulnerabilities,' Ernst said.