March 2, 2011
CloudBlock, a subsidiary of cloud service provider and MSP partner Own Web Now, wants to counter the Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS cloud suites with an inexpensive hosted messaging and e-mail security offering. CloudBlock Exchange, based on the Microsoft Exchange 2010 platform, is priced at $2.99/mailbox/month. And CloudBlock Security is designed to protect on-premises mail servers from spam and malware for $0.35/user/month.
Not long ago, Forrester Research issued a report claiming that $5 was the magic number when it comes to SaaS mailboxes. And Google Apps’ $50/user/year charge works out to $4.17 — though of course that includes Google Docs in addition to the messaging aspect. But $2.99 per mailbox as a monthly charge is a noteworthy underselling.
Of course, there are optional value-adds that CloudBlock is layering on top of the solution, according to the press release. While CloudBlock Exchange includes the core security features of CloudBlock Security, the company also offers, for an additional fee, the ability to enhance your mailbox size from 10GB to 25GB or add ActiveSync support for mobile devices.
In a similar vein, CloudBlock Security offers optional upgrades for outbound e-mail relay and additional domain support.
When Cisco Mail folded in mid-February, TalkinCloud saw it as a warning to hosted messaging providers that differentiation is king and value-added services are the keys to the kingdom. We’ll be watching to see how CloudBlock potentially engages VARs and MSPs in the cloud.
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