Ensim Adds User-Level Spam Control

The life of a hosting service provider (HSP) can be a tough, low-margin existence. These days, HSPs are finding themselves looking for a competitive edge in what has been become largely a commodity service.

To help provide that edge, Ensim Corp., a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company that specializes in hosting automation software, today announced new versions of Ensim Pro and Ensim Basic designed to let HSPs offer user-level spam control rather than having to set preferences on a server-level basis.

Steve Dauber, vice president of marketing at Ensim, said research suggests that 60 percent of e-mail is spam and added that users are demanding e-mail hosting services provide some options to address the issue. The problem with setting spam filters on the server level, according to Dauber, is that “legitimate e-mail is often miscategorized as spam or vice versa. There has been no way to set personal settings on servers except at the hosting provider. It was better than nothing — maybe.”

With the control panel available in version 3.7 of Ensim Basic (which is aimed at smaller businesses who want to manage their servers) and Ensim Pro (aimed at Web hosting providers), users can determine individually how strict they want filtering to be and also set up their own white lists and black lists.

“Prices for Web hosting services have been dropping rapidly — by about 50 percent in the last year,” Dauber said. “Hosters need to differentiate their offerings, to provide premium capabilities.” Dauber said he envisions HSPs leveraging the spam control panel features two ways: “If you offer premium services, this will show why you aren’t a commodity hoster. If you sell a $5 plan, spam control is a great upsell.”

Ensim Basic and Pro also offer server-level Virus scanning and runs on unmodified standard Linux applications such as Apache, PHP, MySQL, PERL and ProFTP.

Tomorrow Ensim is expected to announce its plans to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux in future versions. Dauber said that customers running Ensim Pro and Ensim Basic on the Linux platform will now have the choice of Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora Linux operating systems. Support for Red Hat Linux is expected to be available next month.

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Dan Muse is executive editor of internet.com’s Small Business Channel and EarthWeb’s Networking & Communications Channel.

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