An interesting new union is taking place. Perhaps you've heard about it: Dell has struck a deal to acquire MessageOne, well-known provider of email management services such as archiving and security. The question I think many people are asking is "Who is this good for?" Well, it could be you.

This deal potentially puts Dell in a position to compete in the growing Software as a Service (SaaS) market with the likes of Google (Google Aps) and Microsoft (Exchange Hosted Services). And remember, competition is good for you, the consumer. Dell has been moving in the SaaS direction and recently announced its ProSupport service, to which the MessageOne services are likely to be added. However they organize things, Dell should have some great new features to help promote its hardware sales.

MessageOne's email continuity services are well-established, providing continuous uptime and ease of implementation. As Paul D'Arcy, vice president of marketing for MessageOne, told me, "An important goal of the acquisition is to bring these products to a much broader audience. As MessageOne becomes part of Dell, we will have incredible resources to accelerate innovation and to broadly expand global delivery of these products." That sounds good, doesn't it? So maybe everybody wins with this deal.

Coincidentally (or not?), MessageOne announced today the availability of its EMS Rapid Archive, which helps organizations quickly set up an email archive (in as little as a day) and manage retention policies, e-discovery, and litigation holds. This solution lets you start your archive with any number of mailboxes and grow as your needs change. And with zero onsite maintenance by your IT staff, the cost benefit of such a solution is clearly evident. EMS Rapid Archive integrates with MessageOne’s EMS Email Continuity and EMS Email Security.

So, are you or your organization playing this SaaS game yet? Everything I read or hear about it says it's becoming much more affordable than implementing onsite solutions. What do you think about MessageOne moving into Dell's lineup? If you're using MessageOne services now, do you have concerns about what this means to you? Post a comment to let us know what you think.

And if you're not up on your SaaS news or aren't sure what it could mean for your organization, here are some other recent articles that might help you figure it out:

"Improved Performance Features Make Hosted Exchange Worth Another Look"

"SaaS, Email Archiving, and a Free Live Webcast"

"The Future of Software as a Service"

"Windows Live ... for the Enterprise?"