Mirapoint and Wingra Deliver E-Mail Integration

In an effort to provide solutions for enterprises with various e-mail servers, Mirapoint Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.) and Wingra Technologies Inc. (Madison, Wisc.) have formed an alliance to provide e-mail integration for enterprises moving from proprietary, groupware-based e-mail systems as well as service providers' transitioning from freeware-based e-mail infrastructures to Mirapoint's IMAP messaging servers.

There are various reasons why corporations maintain multiple e-mail servers. After an acquisition, for example, if the acquired company has a different e-mail system than the parent company, a decision has to be made to either maintain two systems or combine them. In most cases, corporations have chosen to maintain two systems, for the same reasons they have been hesitant to consolidate their e-mail servers-fear of data corruption and long implementation cycles.

Preserving multiple e-mail servers can cause major problems, such as inhibiting the flow of online information. As a result, many IT managers and network administrators are being told to tackle this dilemma. "What we're seeing is that most enterprises are trying to consolidate down to one to three e-mail servers," says Dave Nelson, director of marketing for Wingra. Nelson points to a survey by The Radicati Group Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) that indicates enterprises have between five to 12 different e-mail systems.

The combined Mirapoint/Wingra solution is expected to provide a comprehensive set of technologies and methodologies for service providers and enterprises migrating to Mirapoint's e-mail appliances. Mirapoint originally planned to develop processes and tools that would migrate customers from LAN or proprietary and legacy Unix-based mail systems to its industry-standard POP and IMAP-based system.

The company then realized it needed solutions that would migrate other e-mail systems, in addition to LAN and Unix. Mirapoint turned to Wingra, which offers customers a migration path from Lotus cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes/Domino to standards-based POP and IMAP messaging systems.

"We recognize that e-mail migration is very important and when we met with Wingra, it was a no-brainer to go with them," says Andrew Lochart, director of customer marketing for Mirapoint. "What we found was that Wingra's tool kit was easy to use. It makes the migration process a lot easier, and that was what we were looking for."

After modifying its migration tools, Wingra built a solution enabling Mirapoint to convert e-mail servers such as Lotus cc:Mail and Microsoft Exchange into its POP and IMAP messaging systems. Shortly after Wingra built this solution, Mirapoint formed a Professional Services Consulting Group to execute legacy-to-standards migration projects that require services from both parties. As part of the alliance, the Professional Services Group will subcontract Wingra's services when needed, and Wingra will recommend Mirapoint server products to customers.

Although Mirapoint's servers run on both POP and IMAP, the company's focus is IMAP messaging systems. According to Lochart, approximately 90 percent of e-mail is accessed with POP at the present time. A study done by the Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm Gartner Group indicates, however, that IMAP will displace POP as the main messaging system by the year 2001.