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The pairing should help Openwave, a communication software provider known for its wireless browser, and Network Appliance, a purveyor of network attached storage (NAS), cull some more business from communication service providers (CSPs).
This is why: network operators that must deal with large volumes of messaging data can look to the solution created by Openwave and NetApp because, the companies claim, it can support millions of users and their messaging requirements.
Openwave's Email Mx, which has the ability to incorporate large volumes of Internet e-mail, voicemail, fax mail, and other messaging technologies, will be the core solution to which NetApp will apply its storage solution. Rather than having to go out and buy storage from another company, such as EMC Corp., or Brocade Communications Group, CSPs will have the added storage if they order Email Mx.
The companies believe the juiced up Email Mx will scale nicely with carriers as further advanced unified messaging services are offered to subscribers. The Openwave and NetApp combined solution is available immediately.
"Data volumes are exploding, particularly within the unified messaging industry," said Ray Villeneuve, vice president of strategic marketing at Network Appliance. "By teaming with Openwave, a recognized leader in the mobile Internet market, we can offer customers a robust data storage and content delivery solution for the center and edges of the network.
For NetApp, the announcement comes a week after the company trumpeted a slew of enterprise solution deals with the likes of streaming media specialist RealNetworks Inc. and streaming security specialist Widevine Technologies, and marks a continuation of that strategy to target businesses with increasing storage needs.
NetApp would seem to be tapping a strong market; research firm Gartner Dataquest has said the market for NAS appliances is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2000 to $7.4 billion in 2004. Other firms are recognizing this, too, as computer maker Gateway Monday released the first in a series of network attached storage products for businesses who find themselves overwhelmed with large amounts of data.
As for Openwave, the offspring of a November 2000 merger between Phone.com and Software.com, the firm last week bucked the recent trend of telecommunications companies by meeting expectations for its third-quarter 2001 earnings. Openwave came in on a pro forma basis with earnings at 9 cents per share. The company also announced higher usage of its products.
Analysts and investors alike have praised the company for its move away from Wireless Application Protocol, a niche dominated by Nokia, and into the general wireless Internet one, making it less dependent on WAP, the success of which remains to be proven.