Small Organizations Good Prospects for Linux-Based Email, Beware Cost of Sales

For vendors of Linux-based email servers, the low hanging fruit are  at the low end: organizations with fewer than 250 seats. However, many of those organizations have little Linux expertise, so the key is for email vendors to work with VARs who can make these engagements a success. There's an opportunity here for VARs to provide a "fit and forget" solution. Contrast this with a solution that the customer must tweak and fiddle with.

However, sales to smaller organizations have potentially higher cost of sales per mailbox. The key for vendors is to partner with VARs who will allow a business model to generate sufficient profit. We've seen the VAR model work at first hand, particularly in Europe. The challenge wasn't the volume of prospects, but of keeping the cost of sales low enough.

The potential for selling to medium-to-large-sized organizations also exists, but with much longer sales cycles. This can present a different challenge to under-funded vendors.

Author: Richi Jennings, with thanks to Hal Steger from Scalix and Dusan Vitek from Kerio for the idea

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