Tech Industry

Novell chases cc:Mail users

The company announces substantial price cuts for its messaging package targeted at the huge customer base of the old email software suite.

Novell jumped into the battle to snare thousands of cc:Mail users today as it announced substantial price cuts for its messaging package targeted at the huge customer base of the old email software suite.

Novell said it plans to cut the current price of its GroupWise messaging suite by 60 percent, or from $3,480 to about $1,390, for users of its competitors' email systems.

Though the price cuts affect former users of Microsoft's MS Mail as well, Novell's director of marketing Tom Rhoton indicated that the pricing model change was indeed targeted towards Lotus cc:Mail users.

The announcement is a direct challenge to a Lotus statement last month, offering cc:Mail users who pay for a maintenance plan the option to buy Notes and Domino server seats at a discount price of about $25 per user.

"cc:Mail users also have a problem with the Year 2000 and are looking to make a change now," Rhoton said.

Today's announcement by Novell joins recent moves by Microsoft to go after Lotus's huge base of cc:Mail users.

Analysts said Lotus is holding its own and is developing its own strategy to entice cc:Mail users, and others, to its Notes and Domino messaging package.

For instance, today Lotus added a plan to lure customers to its messaging suite with the announcement of five Lotus Messaging Upgrade Packs, bundled sets of software applications, and tools to enable users of legacy systems to upgrade to Notes and Domino. The upgrade packs target users of email systems including IBM's Office Vision and Digital Equipment's All-In-1.