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Spark kicks Yahoo to the kerb; teams with SMX to bring Xtra email back to Kiwi soil

14 Sep 2016

Spark says it's bringing its email services 'home', after the announcement it will be dropping the Yahoo-owned Xtra email service and moving to SMX, a Kiwi-owned email provider based in Auckland.

The company says that all customers will be able to keep their existing Xtra email address, and the changes will be rolled out over three months from January 2017.

Last year The company had already moved more than 11,000 Spark business email accounts to SMX, through its business email platform, and now the company is extending changes to all other accounts.

“Our customers tell us that their email service, including their @xtra.co.nz email address, is critically important to them. After a positive nine year relationship with Yahoo, we have decided to transition our email service to SMX, a New Zealand based provider. We know that email is a critically important service to our customers and we are dedicated to making this transition as seamless as possible for our users," comments Jason Paris, Spark Home, Mobile and Business CEO.

But to make the move, Spark must seek permission from its customers to do so. The consent process has already commenced. The company says that all customers will be informed about the changes and what they should expect during the switchover.

All customers must opt-in to the migration process, so that their contacts, calendar entries and emails are properly migrated from the Yahoo platform.

“To manage the migration securely, all customers must give us their permission on the Spark website to migrate their Xtra email address, contacts and data.  All those who register before 17 October will be in a daily draw to win $100 Prezzy cards. We’ll be in touch with all of them over the next few months, explaining the process and the benefits they’ll see,” Paris continues.

Paris says the partnership with the New Zealand-owned company is something to be proud of, stating that he is confident the data move will be successful.

“SMX is one of the leading cloud email providers in New Zealand and we are confident in their ability to bring customers’ email data back home, safely and securely. Partnering with SMX will allow us to move all of our customers’ valuable email data back to New Zealand and host it locally in our own state-of-the-art Takanini data centre.”

The company says disruption will be carried out during off-peak hours at night, and should be minimal and as smoothly as possible. All customers who consent to the move will be ready for the move and won't have to do anything more.

However, IMAP users will have to make a 'small update' to their email settings to gain access to the new platform.

SMX has been in operation since 2006. Its shareholders include Trade Me founder Sam Morgan and The Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall. SMX currently provides email services for more than 60% of New Zealand government departments.

Customers who want to learn more can visit www.spark.co.nz/email or call 0800 934 348.

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