Cisco announced that it plans to buy PostPath, a Linux-based email, calendaring, and collaboration solution. This move further signifies Cisco's commitment to creating a comprehensive cloud-based collaboration platform.
Ferris Research analyst Richi Jennings thinks Cisco made a great deal. Jennings says, "Once again, Cisco makes a sound investment in an email technology vendor, just like it did with IronPoint," an email security appliance provider.
As for PostPath, Jennings says, "These are the clever guys who reverse-engineered the Exchange client protocol, MAPI/RPC, and the related on-the-wire details needed to make a vanilla install of Outlook talk to a non-Exchange mail server with full fidelity. Impressive stuff. Of all the other Exchange alternatives, PostPath has the most interesting architecture. And I say that as one who has years emotionally invested in the OpenMail technology" -- which served as the foundation for Scalix.
Looking at the deal itself, Jennings opines, "I think Cisco fell out of love with Microsoft a while back. Something to do with VoIP support in Exchange and how Cisco thought it was Microsoft's partner but it turned out that Microsoft was competing with them. Nothing familiar there at all...."
As for what Cisco plans, Jennings says, "Sounds like Cisco wants to offer SaaS collaboration, based on PostPath and WebEx. Whoever said the email world has become dull and uninteresting?"
Cisco will pay approximately $215 million in exchange for PostPath's shares. The acquisition is expected to be completed in Cisco's first quarter of fiscal year 2009. Upon completion of the acquisition, PostPath employees will become part of the Cisco Collaboration Software Group.
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