MDaemon Messaging Server, BlackBerry Edition – a deeper look


Recently, Alt-N Technologies officially launched MDaemon® Messaging Server, BlackBerry® Edition to compliment the small-to-medium size business portfolio within the BlackBerry® family of products. This all-encompassing messaging solution is the result of RIM’s acquisition of Alt-N Technologies in 2009. The product has since been well-received by SMB customers, but has led to some new questions around the specific environments that are best suited to MDaemon and how they compare to other options that are available from Research In Motion® (RIM®) and the market at large. To this end, I caught up with Kevin, Director of Marketing for Alt-N, to dig a bit deeper into the MDaemon use case scenario.

Kevin, as you know, everyone seems to be moving to ‘the cloud’, but MDaemon is an on-premises email platform. Why would an organization select MDaemon as opposed to a hosted solution, or a cloud-based email option like Gmail?

All those products have different ways of meeting a customer’s need. For example, if a customer needs other Microsoft® application integration (e.g., Microsoft Sharepoint®), then Microsoft Exchange® or Microsoft Small Business Server® along with the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express, at no incremental charge, would be a good fit for BlackBerry smartphone users. For smaller, new businesses, sometimes a hosted offering like Gmail looks attractive. But according to a 2010 Osterman Research survey, over 70 % of SMB IT managers prefer deploying new email systems on-premises to better manage and control their IT environments. What they don’t want – and can’t afford – is a solution that is expensive to acquire and maintain; in other words, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a key driver. It is that low TCO that has helped MDaemon become a trusted alternative email platform for SMB customers around the globe.

Why would an organization buy MDaemon versus BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express or a hosted solution from an alliance partner?

All choices are good solutions for SMB BlackBerry smartphone customers, and MDaemon introduces another flexible option in the BlackBerry SMB portfolio. BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express is a great product for customers who must have a Microsoft Exchange or IBM® Lotus® mail server environment. Generally, customers consider MDaemon for the following reasons:

  • They do not have a “Microsoft only” product requirement and thus look for the most flexible alternatives to meet their needs and budgets;
  • They have limited IT support and cannot afford to have their resources consumed with managing the mail server;
  • Ease-of-use is a strong decision driver, and they find an all-in-one email and BlackBerry device management design very attractive;
  • They want an affordable on-premises solution for better IT control;
  • They have older versions of Microsoft Exchange which require upgrades to 64-bit hardware, and would like to leverage existing servers on which they can deploy the MDaemon software to avoid new hardware costs.

While RIM has significant market share amongst SMBs, I’m curious if there’s any benefit to our larger enterprise and government customers.

As I mentioned earlier, MDaemon was designed for small-to-medium businesses. However, there are customers in some regions that have deployed the platform in what I would call small enterprise (1,000-employee) environments or in municipalities that are under severe budgetary pressures. Like many technologies, sometimes customers can surprise you with their innovative and novel uses of your product!

What about the other end of the spectrum – really small organizations? Could MDaemon possibly offer a more robust solution for these entrepreneurial organizations?

It really depends on the user environment. MDaemon’s smallest option is a six-user license size, so it is definitely used in some SOHO environments. It is easily scalable to grow with a business and offers the SOHO customer very solid features and flexibility. So, customers like a small legal or real estate practice that desire the benefits of BlackBerry smartphones would find MDaemon to be a great solution.

Thanks for clarifying the precise position of MDaemon for me, Kevin – I’m sure our readers will appreciate the clarity.

If you’re an SMB, what email solutions are you considering? Do you have a trusted hosting partner? To what extent are you evaluating cloud-based email solutions? We’d love to hear from you.

About Roger B.

Joining Research In Motion® (RIM) in 2001, Roger has worked in BlackBerry® Alliance Marketing, vertical segment marketing and product marketing. By leveraging this diverse background, for the past few years Roger has been involved with market research, analyst relations, and other research initiatives. A graduate of the Ivey Business School and MIT’s Executive program in Strategy & Innovation, Roger has been involved in technology marketing for the past 15 years working in Asia, Europe, and North America. Passionate about the impact technology has on people and processes, he brings this vast array of experiences together as a lead contributor to the “BlackBerry For Business” social media presence.

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