Arrival of the JabberNow instant messaging server from Jabber, Inc. (see Jabber, Inc. Ships IM Appliance
) presents a strong signal to the messaging and messaging security industry that it's time to think small if it wants to think big. JabberNow in its smallest configuration can support up to 25 users, can be geared up to interface to IM security and compliance systems, and can also be enhanced to federate via to the AOL Enterprise Federation Partner Program (EFP), a connection that will enable JabberNow users to interact with the wider array of IM users available through that network. Getting all that for $2,500, that ain't bad, and it's just about right for the bourgeoning small business
market.I've often chided folks at places like Barracuda Networks, IronPort, MessageLabs, and other messaging security providers about the fact that they have nothing to offer that market because their products are both too complicated and too expensive for small businesses to bother with. I've also chided Scalix and other e-mail server companies about the need for a low-cost e-mail server appliance to serve this growing market. It really needs their support.
So far, only Eli has stepped up to the plate, but so far that company has struck out. The company has yet to ship the $200 messaging security device it announced at the RSA Show in February (see Eli Security Device Set To Take SOHO World By Storm , and that's a shame. The design includes a router, a wireless router, a cable modem, as well as the anti-spam and anti-virus services that every small business needs.
We'll see how well JabberNow does in the market, but if the company can get its marketing and distribution strategy sorted out, it should do quite well in the small business space, and also well in the distributed office market that is a major part of the enterprise space. Hopefully, even a small success there will get some of the other messaging players to step up to the small business plate and do something besides strike out.
Editor's Note: My JabberNow power supply (the only missing part) arrived just in time for the most hectic week I've had in months. Hopefully I'll have a first hand look at it for you later in the week.