IMail 7.0 delivers on user requests

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"Know your network"

Beefed-up security options, Web scheduling and greater ease of use are among the features that Ipswitch Inc. hopes will make its new IMail Server 7.0 attractive to federal agencies.

The latest version of the company's e-mail server for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT and 2000 operating systems will be released June 27.

Ipswitch's nearly 5 million government customers specifically asked for the new Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) authentication policies in IMail Server 7.0, which provide a more secure method of sending and receiving e-mail, said Brian Landrigan, vice president of sales for the Lexington, Mass.-based company.

Current IMail customers include the Army and the Energy and Commerce departments. Ipswitch resellers who are pitching the product to the National Security Agency are highlighting the SSL feature, Landrigan said. NSA is especially wary of malicious hackers trying to gain access to its systems, and the new IMail SSL tools will suspend attempts to log in after a specified number of failed attempts have been made.

"There's no deal yet, but now our resellers can pitch a solution to that business problem," Landrigan said.

IMail is easy to set up and use, and it can be managed remotely, Landrigan said; those features have made previous versions of IMail popular with government customers, especially those with geographically dispersed facilities.

"You don't need much technical [expertise] to get the product going, and you can monitor it remotely," which is critical for many agencies and military bases, he said.

Web scheduling in IMail Server 7.0 is a customizable feature that enables users to manage their schedules. It includes the ability to automatically invite people to a meeting via an e-mail message, said John Korsack, manager of product marketing.

"You can do it through any Web browser and use the customizable template, so each agency can change the look and feel and make it unique for them," Korsack said. "Especially for the armed services when they can't guarantee that everyone has the same e-mail [program], they can use the Web messaging and Web calendaring with SSL and their own log-in policies."

Other features allow administrators to view system statistics — such as the number of users logged in at a given time and the amount of data sent and received — to pinpoint and troubleshoot problems. Monitoring server traffic can reduce the amount of spam, or unsolicited e-mail, sent to users because administrators can deny access to anyone sending a large amount of e-mail to the server.

All of Ipswitch's products are available on the General Services Administration schedule. IMail Server 7.0 will be available for a commercial price of $995 for the 250-user version, $1,695 for the 1,000-user version and $2,495 for the unlimited version, but GSA pricing is significantly less, Landrigan said.

Free upgrades to Version 7.0 are available to anyone who has a valid service agreement. Annual service agreements can be purchased for $345 for the 250-user version, $445 for the 1,000-user version and $745 for the unlimited version.


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