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Cisco Pulls Plug on Cloud E-Mail Service

Cisco is discontinuing its hosted e-mail service, which the company made available for testing over a year ago.

The announcement was made via a blog post on Tuesday by Debra Chrapaty, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Collaboration Software Group. Without saying so directly, Chrapaty's post suggested the company has decided not to compete in the hosted e-mail space against the dominant players, which include Google, IBM Lotus and Chrapaty's former employer, Microsoft.

"The product [Cisco Mail] has been well received, but we've since learned that customers have come to view their e-mail as a mature and commoditized tool versus a long-term differentiated element of their collaboration strategy," Chrapaty noted.

Rather, Cisco is going to focus on new forms of communication such as social networking. "We've also heard that customers are eager to embrace emerging collaboration tools such as social software and video," she said.

That Cisco decided not to go after the hosted e-mail market is hardly a surprise; it did little to promote its entre into the space since launching the trial. Chrapaty said Cisco will help those customers that were testing the software migrate to alternative e-mail platforms.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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