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October 12, 1998

SAREEN TAKES ON LOTUS, MICROSOFT AND NOVELL.

By CBR Staff Writer

Sareen Software Plc, a small privately owned Middlesex, England-based software company, has released OfficeTalk 98; its messaging architecture and groupware product which is pitched against Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange Server and Novell Groupwise. The big advantage over its mighty competitors is that it is half their price. Sareen managing director, Tim Lawes claims that the latest version will also compete on ease of implementation and functionality. Office Talk 98 has been almost completely re-written since version 1, and includes a group diary and central address database for the target medium-sized market of 50-500 users. Sareen’s aim is to capture 2% of the UK medium-sized business market, which amounts to around 50,000 businesses. The company has, currently, about 450 company sites in this market with another 1,000 sites of smaller user numbers. Tim Lawes said that the competition was too focused on the larger, corporate market, allowing Sareen to survive. It has been three and a half years since the last version and a year of testing. This is a lengthy period and one where the version 1 clients were champing at the bit for upgrades. Tim Lawes says that he expects 40%-50% of existing users to upgrade. Sareen is also planning moves into Benelux and Scandinavia through VARs (value added resellers), and is forming an embryonic US office. The company currently sells 80% of OfficeTalk directly but this percentage is expected to fall to 50%.

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