Postini’s E-Mail Security Big on Small Biz

E-mail security vendor Postini announced the immediate availability of a
small- to medium-sized (SMB) version of its enterprise-sized hosted offering
Monday.

The Postini Perimeter Manager Small Business Edition (SBE) is a pared down
version of its corporate offering, which routes e-mails through its data
centers before sending them along to the business, cutting down on the
amount of spam and viruses that reaches the end user’s inbox.

Officials said the SMB version came as a result of feedback
from some of its existing customers, who said they didn’t need all the
bells-and-whistles and functionality that comes with supporting an
enterprise e-mail operation.

They also point to industry statistics from AMI Partners, a research firm
specializing in SMBs, which show a 40 percent increase in spending last year
on software as a service (SaaS) offerings and an expected reach of three
million companies in the U.S. and Europe by 2008. These SMBs, the research
firm also notes, average less than one IT person on staff.

Earlier this year, Postini published an e-mail security assessment report that found the companies most likely to get piled under a mountain of spam are SMBs, which usually don’t have the resources to combat the problem.

“Per person, small companies get up to 10 times as much spam as big
companies,” said Andrew Lochart, Postini director of product marketing.

What SMBs want, Lochart said, is a product that just keeps spam out of their
servers without a lot of fuss or cost; they typically only have one e-mail
server and there usually aren’t enough people in the organization to justify
complex use policies.

To take their enterprise offering and reduce it down into something an SMB
would be comfortable with, the company’s developers tweaked Perimeter
Manager in several areas:

  • Automated user account creation after receiving three legitimate
    e-mails to a new account
  • SBE end user controls have been reduced, no individual filters
  • One e-mail server per customer
  • One global policy
  • Fixed spooling allocation at 2 GB, rather than
    seven-day spooling

“The idea of one-size-fits-all suits [SMBs] just fine,” he said. “They are
really looking for us to take absolutely as much admin overhead off their
plate as we can.”

As further incentive for would-be customers, Postini will conduct several
tests periodically to rate the e-mail service’s performance. They include
tests on the companies MX records , message delivery and
latency and trace route tests.

Postini is pricing Perimeter Manager SBE at $25 per user, per year.

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