RealTime IT News

A LiveOffice Eye on Your E-Mail

LiveOffice, a vendor of hosted e-mail security, archiving and retrieval services, is making its services easier to use and customize.

The company is introducing Sentinel Portal, a tool that allows IT administrators and end users to customize its archiving, encryption and mailbox management functions through a single Web-based interface.

Now is a good time given last year's changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which mean that companies of every stripe need to be able to produce e-mail and other electronic documents at the drop of a lawsuit.

"The discovery law is one of the drivers for the SMB space; now you're touching every industry," Matt Smith, president of LiveOffice, told internetnews.com.

The technology underlying LiveOffice's e-mail processing and anti-malware offering is the IronMail server from Secure Computing . In February, the companies announced a joint go-to-market agreement allowing customers who don't want to lay out the cash to buy an on-premise server can sign up for a hosted version of the IronMail through LiveOffice.

Smith said the deal with Secure Computing and the new Web-based interface brings LiveOffice into the same league as MessageLabs and Postini, the latter of which recently announced that Google  will be using its e-mail administration services to support Gmail.

Smith said LiveOffice has had a strong presence in the financial services market, where compliance around e-mail has been an important issue for many years.

LiveOffice charges fewer than $3 per user per month for its anti-malware services and another $3 per user per month for archiving, search and retrieval. Smith said the company has been administering more than 200,000 e-mail addresses using the IronMail servers and will be able to scale that easily as demand grows.

Michael Osterman, whose Osterman Research follows the electronic document storage area, said that the market is still in a great deal of flux.

Most companies still use on-premise e-mail servers because of outdated and unfounded fears about security, he told internetnews.com. But decision makers are beginning to change their minds, especially when they consider the opportunity cost of using IT staff on e-mail hygiene rather than on applications that affect more strategic issues, he added.

"If you have a trained IT person working at your spam filter, you're not making the most of his time."

The LiveOffice and Secure Computing deal "is a great partnership for both companies," Osterman added.

LiveOffice and Secure Computing have solid reputations in their respective domains, and Osterman said they don't even have to worry about competing directly against established hosted e-mail services vendors such as Postini. At least not yet. There are a lot of new potential customers.