The September update to Atmail’s email and collaboration platform has seen the service introduce a unified experience across on-premises desktop and Cloud-hosted environments.
The introduction of version 7.4 came just after the half-way point of Atmail’s three-year refresh cycle (which is followed by one additional year of support); the vendor has scheduled version 8 to go live in December 2015.
The mirroring of the desktop and Cloud interfaces is the outcome of a complete overhaul of the latter variant which welcomed a series of previously-unavailable features for software-as-a-service (SaaS) customers.
“The software versions and features are now the same in both environments,” Atmail product manager, Daniel Viney, said. “Outside of product improvements and bug fixes, we have polished the accessibility interface.”
Key updates include the addition of support for screen reader technology for non-sighted users, such as Apple’s OS X VoiceOver, and the ability to navigate the interface without a pointing device via a series of keyboard shortcuts.
Multi-session support has also been added; previously, users could not log into the webmail and mobile interfaces simultaneously.
Additionally, Atmail has revamped its architecture and push technology which it claims will bring significant improvement to Google Android users.
Other new features span: a new ‘push’ architecture for ActiveSync; refactored authentication systems; new password hasing modes including salted SHA-256, SHA-512, and Blowfish; right-click support for webmail; improved mailbox management; UTF-8 support; calendar improvements.
According to Viney, Atmail’s strength is its flexibility, both internally and in terms of the platform.
“We don’t have a software-selling mantra,” he said. “Instead we partner with telcos and service providers to ensure we are deploying a solution which fits their needs through tailoring.”
“The number one concern of telcos and service providers is cost. Emails typically provided to users is free of charge. Consequently, the goal is to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase revenue from monetisation.”
“Our product is quite customisable, not only through the plug-in framework, but also with the ability to switch out back-end components of the stack. That means partners can use their existing technology and save costs where they might not have full return on investment (ROI) yet.”
“Outside of that, many of our clients have gone deep in the code and customised completely for their own needs.”
Atmail’s partners both use and resell its platform as a white-labelled product.
The Atmail Cloud platform has a listed price of $79 per month for 50 email accounts with a total of 500 gigabytes (GB) of storage. The company’s sales team is permitted to negotiate outside that baseline cost to offer the Basic, Standard, and Pro licenses with customised feature sets to telcos and service providers that require a specialised platform.
Atmail was founded in 1999. It currently services “tens of millions of email accounts globally,” including that of major telco players KDDI (Japan), Charter Communications (USA), Optus, TPG, and iiNet.