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Dell Symantec Bundle Aims to Secure Exchange

Dell gets a lot of e-mail.

While that's not surprising, the company said a recent internal review of its 100,000+ email boxes revealed that 90 percent of the incoming traffic were spam messages. The computer giant gets about 400 million online intrusions a day between spam, pop-ups and attempted virus attacks.

But few companies are as big as Dell  or have the same resources to combat the flow of online junk and security threats. That set off a few light bulbs at the Round Rock, TX-based Dell, with a solution aimed at medium-sized businesses.

Secure Exchange is a joint development of Dell and Symantec  designed for medium-sized businesses with 500 to 2000 seats of Microsoft's Exchange Server. The package, which includes Dell servers and Symantec security software, will be sold Dell and supported by both companies. Dell said it's the first validated solution to deliver end-to-end security, back up recovery and archiving.

"We're addressing the chaos many of our customers have had to deal with," said Brad Anderson, a senior vice president in Dell's enterprise product group, in a conference call briefing today. Anderson noted Dell has accrued considerable experience with Exchange, having been involved in over 4 million customer migrations to Exchange at various companies.

Secure Exchange includes Dell PowerEdge 1950s server, PowerVault 112T and M1000 with tape backup as well as Microsoft's Windows Server 2003, Exchange 2002, and Symantec Backup Exec. Pricing for a 500-seat modular back up and recover system starts at $54,678. Up to 2,000 seats will be supported. Anderson said the system can support more users but the goal is to target medium sized businesses.

Jeremy Burton, group president, security and data management at Symantec, said email is the next mission critical application.

"You think of ERP and back office apps, but everyone uses email," said Burton. He quoted research estimates that 79 percent of companies accept email as some form of transaction, and 75 percent of a company's intellectual property is in email. Symantec offers specific modules for anti-virus, spam, and mail box management.

Burton noted the need for back up and quick recovery is becoming more essential with the increase in regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley . Furthermore, litigation increasingly requires email discovery.

"Seventy five percent of all corporate litigation involves email discovery and IT is stuck having to find it," he said. "Smaller and medium-sized firms are fighting the same challenge as bigger companies, but with smaller staffs and funding to do so."

Dell has been working on upgrades to its service offerings. Earlier this year, the company unveiled Platinum Plus, a high end support offering for its enterprise customers.

Anderson indicated the Symantec partnership would be the first of many to follow with Dell teaming up with other suppliers on packaged solutions.