MessageGate, a provider of enterprise email governance solutions, says that after doing extensive customer and market research, they have upgraded their product to include features to help customers better control email going into, out of, and across the organization. For most companies email remains the primary communication tool, whether for marketing efforts, internal communications or customer service (order confirmations, customer service follow-ups, etc). It is inexpensive and fully trackable, and most companies have a list of policies and guidelines for its use. What many companies don’t have are the tools and technologies to govern these policies. In an interview with MessageGate CEO Shaun Wolfe, we learned that customers' IT departments are "struggling with email management, needing to balance corporate governance requirements with end-user needs for email efficiency and productivity. MessageGate version 4.3 is all about satisfying that balance."

New Features

Exchange 2007 Transport Rule Functionality More and more companies look at migrating to Exhange 2007 to take advantage of the Transport Rule functionality that is not available in the 2003 version. Transport rules are email control policies. MessageGate enables a company to implement this functionality within the Exchange 2003 environment, thus easing the migration pressures. According to Mr. Wolfe, MessageGate 4.3 strengthens these features. One example is the ability search within email attachments for both content and context. Exchange Adapter for IIS This adapter enables companies to monitor email flowing between inboxes on the same Exchange server. It operates in one of two modes: * Perimeter mode: deployed on the perimeter of the network monitoring messages received by the IIS service * Exchange mode: monitors messages sent by users on the Exchange Server associated with the IIS Server Performance Improvements MessageGate also improved message analysis performance capabilities (including email governance policy application, message classification and retrieval) by up to 200 percent, just by boosting processing power. This increase in performance is necessary as many customer policies are becoming very complex.

For Exchange 2007 Users

Once a company has upgraded to Exchange 2007 (or for those already there), MessageGate's advanced policy tools can strenghten Exchange's transport tools. Functionality such as content and contextual search in email attachments now includes multiple functions that help a company comply with tighter e-discovery deadlines imposed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP).

MessageGate's Security Capability

With the announcement of Google Postini's new security features in mind, we asked Mr. Wolfe how MessageGate deals with security concerns like handling credit card or social security information in emails. Two ways MessageGate deals with this concern are: * The platform comes with several pre-configured policies to prevent sensitive date leaks. Parameters that identify a sensitive data like nine digit number as a credit card or a social security number can be set up and if found, a policy can be applied to handle the issue accordingly. * SenderConfirm Feature: "We like to call it the 'spell check' of email governance," said Mr Wolf. This feature monitors the context and content of the message using pre-configured parameters and rules and if it finds any violations it will display these to the user. It doesn't stop the user from sending the message, but it does provide the opportunity to reduce these policy violations from occurring by inviting violators to think twice.

Not for Exchange Alone

Although MessageGate does have some unique tools for Exchange, it works with any mail platform that allows email to be monitored at the SMTP level be on a Windows, UNIX or Linux platform (this includes Lotus Notes as well as Exchange).

The Social Media Connection

When asked if he sees email declining as the primary communication tool in a company (considering the increased adoption of social media capabilities like blogs and instant messaging), Mr. Wolfe responded, "Instant messaging and other alternative communication mediums are getting a lot of attention, but email is still the 800 pound gorilla in the room that demands the most attention." The way he puts it, there is currently no better alternative. "IM, texting and other tools are useful for rapid communication, yet they are still limited. There is no way to get rid of email, but there needs to be a way to create a minimum threshold of corporate responsibility through practical email governance and controls."