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Old 08-09-2014, 13:16   #1
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Email Compression Services

As my family gets closer to our "Cruising Date" I have begun to research more heavily, particularly communication and e-mail. It appears that many cruisers use an E-mail compression service (Sailmail, Ocens, Ect) to reduce e-mail size and save bandwidth.

Now... Although I love the concept of Sailmail (not for profit, SB network, other services), I think its overpriced for just e-mail processing. As such, it looks like Ocens is following the same pricing model.

Since I'm in IT with an extensive background in development, scripting and automation, it occurred to me that setting up my own service would be fairly straight forward (and cheaper). So as I began writing the scripts, it further occurred to me that there might be a market here.

So I thought I would ask.. Would there in interest in a service to process e-mail. It wouldn't offer all the fancy services (yet) like Sailmail, but would be very comparable in shrinking the e-mail. Here is the functions I have created so far.

1. Forward original (unmodified e-mail) to another e-mail account (e.g. gmail, hotmail, ect). This would allow the user to get any attachments or pictures in the original at a later date.
2. Strip any attachments or images from the e-mail.
3. Clean any HTML to the bare minimum in size.
4. Compress the e-mail the maximum amount.
5. Work with any e-mail client (Windows, tablet, phone).

If there is some interest, we could setup some Beta users to help refine the system. In the end, I have no idea what the pricing would be, but I'm confident it could be done much cheaper than the $250/year that Ocens is asking. Maybe even 1/2 that.
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Old 08-09-2014, 14:06   #2
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Re: Email Compression Services

Sailmail isn't cheap but it has a proven track record and I wouldn't be inclined to leave it for another service. You may find, however, that your heavier competition comes from the sat phones which get cheaper every year. But, good luck.

Hannah
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Old 08-09-2014, 14:27   #3
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Re: Email Compression Services

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
Sailmail isn't cheap but it has a proven track record and I wouldn't be inclined to leave it for another service. You may find, however, that your heavier competition comes from the sat phones which get cheaper every year. But, good luck.

Hannah
Not sure if I wasn't clear...

Most of my research has shown people are using Sailmail or Ocens with sat phones to reduce air time costs. Heck, some are even using those services with cellular plans to help reduce their bandwidth usage.

Personally.. I highly doubt that the costs of Sat phone plans will drop enough to support land lubber e-mail within the next 10 years. The fact is, the satellite network currently in orbit was not built to support data communication. This is not going to change until they launch new satellites (google is planning).

Anyway.. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 08-09-2014, 15:11   #4
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Re: Email Compression Services

Don't know about most people, but I use Sailmail as an HF radio data package. As such, I wouldn't have interest in an external compression provider because I'm really using Sailmail as my data service provider. The fact that they include compression (which is not entirely altruistic) so I don't take up as much time on their network is great, but what I'm willing to pay for is the network access that they provide. Others may use it in different ways, but that's my particular use case.
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Old 08-09-2014, 16:52   #5
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Re: Email Compression Services

Here is a "business guys" view. Unless I am missing something...

- You don't like the pricing model of the guy in this space who is the "gold standard"
- You can make a de-featured version of his product yourself
- The space already has a couple of competitors
- You advantage will be price and fewer features

I think you will have to enter this space for free. $20 a month is not much money for many people. There are already other low cost options.

If you want to make money or even charge you are going to have to offer something the other guy doesn't already have or offer enough basic features to get the job done and severely undercut the other guy.

If you get "noticed" by the other guy and have a good basic product the other guy will likely offer a cheaper dumbed down version of his stuff to match your features + a hook and offer premium services for the original higher price. In this way his deeper pockets will eventually put you out of business.

2 cents mode...
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Old 08-09-2014, 16:58   #6
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Re: Email Compression Services

If you look, there are already enough free compression software available for sat phones. Not sure what is going to be different.

Matt
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Old 08-09-2014, 17:20   #7
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Re: Email Compression Services

I know people who used Xgate and they liked the service very much.

b.
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