Postini Gets Google’s Blessing

Postini today said it plans to provide security, administration and archiving services for Gmail, Google’s
 on-demand e-mail service.

With some 50,000 customers and over 12 million individual users, Postini is already considered the leading vendor of on-demand e-mail archiving and administration services. Winning Google’s hand further differentiates Postini from Message Labs, MX Logic and other competitors in the space.


The move also positions Postini for future growth in the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market when and if Google’s on-demand productivity tools start gaining traction.

Postini also announced a raft of new services and enhancements to existing
offerings today, including a Web-based portal that customers can use to
manage their own personal settings and preferences, and restore
accidentally-deleted e-mails.

The self-help aspect of the service allows companies to reduce
administrative costs while giving business users greater control over their
experience.

“It makes users feel more empowered,” said Dan Druker, executive vice
president of marketing for Postini.

Postini also introduced a set of new investigation management tools that
help customers comply with e-discovery regulations, such as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


These rules, amended Dec. 1, 2006, make companies treat e-mail, instant messages and other electronic communication in the same manner as paper documents for litigation purposes.

Because the costs of searching for relevant documents manually are very high, the new investigation tools not only help companies remain in compliance, but also save customers money; features of this tool-set include
saving search criteria for reuse, preventing documents from being deleted,
and setting expiration dates for litigation holds.

Postini also announced new Web security features, including real-time
network reputation triggers that detect and defend against bot-net attacks,
and a feature that identifies potentially hazardous sites that come up
during a Web search.

The service, which works on popular search engines like Yahoo , Google and MSN , also allows users to
access safe portions of certain sites while preventing them from going to
areas that violate company policy.


Druker noted that this helps companies remain compliant with internal and regulatory requirements without impinging
unnecessarily on employee productivity.


McAfee’s  Site
Advisor
is similar to this in many ways, except that Site Advisor does
not allow users to access parts of a site and not others.


The Web-based administration console, which allows customers to delegate
administration at either a regional, department or individual user level
will help Postini move up-market from the SMB space, noted Gartner analyst
Peter Firstbrook.

He also noted that the agreement with Google gives Postini the advantage of
learning some early lessons that will help them in the long run. “It’s not a
big money-maker for them — but it’s a feather in their cap.”

Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research, further suggested that
Postini could well end up providing security for Google Apps, which is also
being marketed to the SMB market.


“If you’re looking at storing your data on Google servers, working on Google documents and spreadsheets and all the
rest, you’d need a very secure infrastructure,” he told internetnews.com.

“So Google Apps could be a very natural extension for both of them.”

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