Pennsylvania Inter-County Governmental Council Leverages Sendio Online Service to Deliver Significant Bandwidth Savings
Background: SEDA-Council of Governments is a development agency comprised of eleven member counties in the central Pennsylvania region. The council was formed in 1957 with an understanding that there are elements of government that are inherently local but also many that are better served on a regional basis. Under the guidance of a public policy board the agency provides leadership expertise and services for the regional government needs of the eleven member counties. Council staff are community liaisons that rely heavily on email to maintain communication across member counties. An IT staff of three supports the agencies eighty personnel.
Challenges: Email played a critical role within the agency but in late 2007 it was also consuming an inordinate amount of the staff's time as well network's bandwidth. The organization was running multiple layers of anti-virus (A/V) software on top of the 2000 Microsoft Exchange server they had in place and on all individual desktops. Once mail reached the server the organization relied on Outlook's Intelligent Message Filter to flag and block dangerous or illegitimate messages. Those users who were particularly prone to receiving abusive messages had individual desktop anti-spam filters in place. Despite these multiple layers of protection infected messages were still entering the network putting the agency and users at risk and pushing the Exchange server's storage capacity to its limits. On a typical day 29000 messages entered the network but fewer than 800 (< 3%) of these emails were valid. Email users were spending between one (1) and two (2) hours each day sifting through their inboxes for legitimate messages while an IT team of three was spending one (1) full day each week (~ 7% of total IT time) dealing with email related issues. The problem was two-fold: email was consuming too much bandwidth and too much time. Jim Baker chief of the information technologies group began considering both an additional layer of protection up front and purchasing an entirely new mail server. We were looking at scrapping the entire system because the issues were so severe said Baker.
Best Deployment Scenario - Anti-Spam Managed Service
Solution provided by Sendio Inc: Every solution we considered made grandiose claims but when we examined them closely they all had a caveat said Baker. But Sendio made a bold black & white promise we couldn't pass up: 100% no spam & zero false positives or your money back.In 2007 a skeptical Baker installed one of Sendio's turn-key appliances. It sounded too good to be true but we really had nothing to lose in the equation and the potential upside was huge. The very first day the appliance was online the organization saw a huge change it was incredible like a protective wall went up and life was just good.Rather than relying on traditional content analysis to determine which email messages are legitimate Sendio utilizes self-managing dynamic whitelists to totally eliminate email attacks and abuse. While the appliance solved the email-related time issues staff were having and alleviated the strain on their mail server bandwidth across the network was still tight and Baker was continually looking for ways to free up network resources. When he received news in 2009 that the Sendio solution was available as a new online service his team immediately began planning for a transition. The benefit of moving email message processing up stream would be significant for our organization it was all of the goodness of the Sendio technology but without the hardware or bandwidth requirements said Baker. And the transition couldn't have been smoother our users don't even realize it's an online service.Sendio Full Defense online service is a managed anti-spam service that offers all the features and functionality of the product line's traditional appliances but without the need for hardware or IT maintenance time.
Summary: The first day Sendio was in place the organization saw total email volume drop to 800 messages a 97% reduction over the previous day's figure (29000 messages). œBefore Sendio I would come in on a Monday morning and have 600 to 650 messages to sort through and now I have just 3 or 4 according to Baker. Occasionally we still see unwanted email come through but we have the controls in place to ensure it doesn't re-occur.This has translated into a significant time savings for both Baker and his email users. Between the IT team and email users Sendio has allowed staff to re-capture more than 100 hours of productivity each week. œ[Sendio] is one of the best purchases I've made in my 13 years with [SEDA-COG] says Baker. It worked as advertised from day one - it just doesn't get any better than that.And that exchange server they were ready to throw out three years ago? We're still using it and its working just fine thank you very much saving Baker close to $15000 (the bare minimum cost he was looking to spend to upgrade to a new piece of hardware). Transitioning to Sendio hosted services has allowed us to preserve the infrastructure we already had in place without compromising our network's security.
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