Spark teams with SMX for new cloud email service

New Zealand telco plans to shut down its existing Officemail service by the end of the year.

New Zealand telco Spark is teaming with cloud email security company SMX to trial a new email service targeting small and medium sized businesses.

Spark Business Mail has around 40 customers on board already ahead of an expected launch on 5 October.

Customers on Spark's existing business email platform, Officemail, will be shifted to the new service over ten weeks through to early December. Officemail will be shut down at the end of the year.

Officemail suffered a series of high-profile outages in 2012, but appears to have worked well since.

Spark said the new cloud service will deliver a big step in security and mailbox capacity, which will increase by 400 percent. The service also allows customers to host their data locally.

SMX provides cloud-based email security and filtering but also offers a commercial off-the-shelf system called SMX3 to allow ISPs, telcos, and corporates to provide cloud services to their end customers.

SMX3 integrates messaging applications and technology from Openwave with SMX's email gateway and security applications and adds cloud provisioning, billing and integration.

"Spark Business Mail uses a business grade security system which means it's as secure as email platforms used by major commercial organisations," said Spark's head of business marketing Richard Sandford.

Spark will begin contacting existing Officemail customers this week. They will need to update their email settings across all devices. Those who don't host their domain name with Spark will also need to contact their domain name provider.

Pricing for the service remains the same.