Novell Bolsters Its Internet Messaging Software

SAN MATEO (05/25/2000) - Novell Inc. on Wednesday added to new platform support and list server functionality to the Novell Internet Messaging System (NIMS), which is tailored for service providers.

NIMS 2.5 includes support for Linux and the Solaris platforms, both of which are well-entrenched and popular in the service provider arena as well as NetWare. Novell officials have stressed that service providers will be a vital market for the company's Net services products, and Leif Pedersen, director of product management for NDS and directory-enabled applications, said the company soon will name a number of service providers who are using NIMS and other products in their environments, including some ISPs with "well over 1 million users now."

"It's becoming more and more a full-flavored messaging solution, including all the things you would expect for that type of environment," Pedersen said. "With the [NIMS] 2.1 announcement we did in November, it brought NIMS on par and a little bit ahead of the other, traditional Internet messaging systems. With the features we've added in [NIMS 2.5], we're distancing ourselves from our competitors."

Pedersen noted that NIMS 2.5 also contains a list server, which he said ASPs consider a "significant advantage" as an addition to their value-added services. Version 2.5 also supports server-side messaging rules that can be coordinated through Novell's eDirectory to streamline e-mail messages.

"The rules engine provides you all the capabilities you traditionally associate with a more corporate-type messaging environment where you can have automatic rules that sit on the server and forward your messages to your phone or send auto responses or file messages in folders," Pedersen explained.

NIMS' personalization and scalability features -- Pedersen said NIMS will be able to run 500,000 on a four-cluster NetWare server environment -- have been showcased at Novell's MyRealBox.com messaging site, but the product now will be tailored for use in portals as well.

"We're now beginning to see our products being used in those types of environments, both in ISPs and very large scale enterprises that don't want full collaboration platforms for all their employees, so they include NIMS in their portal environment," Pedersen added. "It's a product that is truly 'one Net': It can span everything."

Novell will focus on strengthening NIMS' messaging foundation in future releases. Pedersen said one of the most frequent requests from NIMS users is for calendar features, but Novell has not committed to that addition.

The NIMS 2.5 unveiling comes on the heels of Monday's service-provider-targeted offering, Novell OnDemand Services, which is software designed to help service providers offer services to their customers on a for-fee or on-demand basis, rather than making customers purchase the content or service completely.

NIMS 2.5 licenses will be available after June 15 to service providers who are part of Novell's iCSP, or Internet Commercial Service Provider program.

Enterprise customers can purchase NIMS for $20 per user, with volume discounts.

Novell Inc., in Provo, Utah, is at www.novell.com.

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