Mail.com Buys E-Mail Firm Lansoft

As part of an ongoing effort to bolster its position in the corporate e-mail outsourcing market, Mail.com of New York has acquired Columbus, Ohio-based Lansoft. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Lansoft deal is Mail.com's fourth acquisition in less than six months -- all designed to increase Mail.com's corporate customer base and service offerings. In August, Mail.com purchased The Allegro Group of Dayton, Ohio, which provides Internet e-mail management, screening and hosting services to 1,000 companies. In October, Mail.com acquired TCOM of Morristown, New Jersey, which provides software development services to telecommunications carriers.

And in December, Mail.com announced plans to acquire Edison, New Jersey-based NetMoves, which provides Internet fax and document delivery services to 7,000-plus companies.

Messaging ASPs such as Mail.com "are looking for ways to break out of the consumer model that they've been successful in and position themselves for the outsourced business market," says Mark Levitt, research director of collaborative computing at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Massachusetts. "It's a big change going from an advertising-based wholesale hosted e-mail business for consumers to a business messaging model, where you're paid on an annual basis for resource-intensive services."

Levitt says competitors Critical Path and USA.NET are ahead of Mail.com in terms of attracting corporate customers but that the market is still too small and too new to rank the players. Both Critical Path and USA.NET also recently acquired or licensed software technology required to support enterprises.

"There are a lot of players betting that [corporate outsourced messaging] is going to happen this year or next," Levitt adds. "We'll see it being a trickle that will grow in the coming year, but I don't expect huge numbers of companies fully outsourcing their e-mail."

Six-year-old Lansoft provides e-mail management, e-commerce and Web-hosting services to about 700 companies, including Wilson Sporting Goods, Oriol HealthCare, Echlin and Landmark Education Corp. Under the terms of the acquisition, Lansoft's data center and 11 employees will move to Dayton and become part of Mail.com's Allegro Group subsidiary.

Founded in 1996, Mail.com manages more than seven million Web-based e-mail boxes and has a staff of 120 employees. Mail.com provides e-mail services to consumers, ISPs, Web sites and -- through its Allegro subsidiary -- corporations.

Mail.com: http://corp.mail.com

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