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News on messaging, content control, compliance, e-discovery, data leak prevention
Daily Digest: September 9, 2008
Content Control, Compliance, Archiving, E-Discovery, & Data Leak Prevention

Mimosa Takes Aim at Huge Chinese Market Opportunity to Address Burgeoning Demand for Next-Generation Email Archiving
Leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Shenzhen Federal Software to Distribute Chinese Version of Mimosa NearPoint
Comment on Mimosa here

Messaging & Collaboration

Trend Micro Communication & Collaboration Security Provides Immediate, Easy-to-Use Protection
Thanks to Trend Micro Smart Protection Network, enterprise customers now benefit from faster email, instant messaging and collaboration
Comment on Trend Micro here

Survey of Archiving Products -- Let us know what you think about the archiving products you use. If you add your own data, we will send you a summary of the findings. The survey just started--great if you can help get this off the ground by contributing your own policies

Jinny's Proven Success in Messaging Nets Significant Deal with Melita Mobile Ltd in Malta  

Blog Item(s)

Why You Shouldn't Mix CNAME and MX

You may recall our recent cautionary tale about DNS configuration. Adding a CNAME record to a domain can cause some mail servers to ignore the MX records. Instead, they simply follow the CNAME pointer and try to deliver the email there. In our example, they tried to deliver email to the Web server!

RFC 2821 defines how email should be delivered. Its specifications for what should happen only hint at this behavior. Sections 2.3.5, 3.6, and 5 really could be more clear on this:

A domain (or domain name) consists of one or more dot-separated components. These components ("labels" in DNS terminology [22]) are restricted for SMTP purposes to consist of a sequence of letters, digits, and hyphens drawn from the ASCII character set [1]. Domain names are used as names of hosts and of other entities in the domain name hierarchy. For example, a domain may refer to an alias (label of a CNAME RR) or the label of Mail eXchanger records to be used to deliver mail instead of representing a host name.
Only resolvable, fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) are permitted when domain names are used in SMTP. In other words, names that can be resolved to MX RRs or A RRs (as discussed in section 5) are permitted, as are CNAME RRs whose targets can be resolved, in turn, to MX or A RRs.
Once an SMTP client lexically identifies a domain to which mail will be delivered for processing (as described in sections 3.6 and 3.7), a DNS lookup MUST be performed to resolve the domain name [22]. The names are expected to be fully qualified domain names (FQDNs): mechanisms for inferring FQDNs from partial names or local aliases are outside of this specification and, due to a history of problems, are generally discouraged. The lookup first attempts to locate an MX record associated with the name. If a CNAME record is found instead, the resulting name is processed as if it were the initial name.

The standard assumes you're already familiar with RFC 1034, which defines how DNS records work. In section 3.6.2, it recommends not mixing CNAME records with any other type of record:

If a CNAME RR is present at a node, no other data should be present

Even that is a little ambiguous -- in the jargon of the IETF, "should" usually denotes a recommendation, as opposed to "must," which denotes a mandate. Perhaps this would have been better reworded, "If a CNAME RR is present at a node, other data must not be present." ... Richi Jennings, with thanks to Cloudmark's Dave Kelly and Oracle's John Haxby



BizCom: Hosted Exchange/OCS/SharePoint

BizCom has a new hosted Exchange/OCS/SharePoint offering.

Summary of Capabilities

  • Hosted email, instant messaging, teamspace using Microsoft Exchange/OCS/SharePoint.
  • Also provides integrated archiving, BlackBerry/Goodmail support.
  • Available since July 2007.
  • Based on Microsoft's code.

Illustrative Pricing

  • $10 to $15/user/month for Exchange.
  • $9.95/user/month for BlackBerry.
  • Current promotional offer: archiving plus 500MB storage for $19.95/user/month; normally would be $25/month.

Main Types of Prospective Customer

Company expects growth to be driven by archiving and compliance, as follows:

  • Companies with 10 to 50 POP accounts, who want the richer Microsoft set of services (shared calendar, mobile support, etc.).
  • Firms with on-premises messaging solutions that are currently not in compliance with major regulations, and are concerned about such lack of compliance.
  • Very small businesses with up to 10 employees, using ISP/ASP mailboxes; e.g., joe.smith@aol.com, joe.smith at bellsouth.net.


Competitive Strengths as Perceived by Company

  • Against firms such as AppRiver and Intermedia:
    • Faster, better, more flexible service.
    • Better consulting services relating to compliance.
  • Against low-cost providers:
    • Better installation and support services.
    • Better consulting services relating to compliance.


  • Privately held; company doesn't disclose revenues.
  • Funded by principals.
  • Profitable.
  • Ferris Research estimates a current run rate of $2M annually, with perhaps a run rate of $500K annually for the Exchange/OCS/SharePoint element.
  • Firm is contemplating a substantial round of financing.

Miscellaneous Comments

  • Company founded in 1997 to do business and technology consulting for SMEs.
  • Quick impression is that the company has a good handle on the hosted messaging business, is focused, and well-run.
  • Loads of competition in the hosted Exchange/OCS/SharePoint space.
  • Like its competitors, BizCom must pay a substantial part of its revenues to Microsoft. Microsoft will have great pressure on it to reduce these fees. Otherwise competitors such as Google have a massive cost advantage.
  • Company anticipates longer-term growth will come via channel sales.

... David Ferris



Upcoming Reports & Events

Emerging Technology: Messaging, Compliance, E-Discovery, and Content Control
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008
8:30 a.m. Pacific, 11:30 a.m. Eastern, 4:30 p.m. U.K., 5:30 p.m. CET. One hour.

In this event, David Ferris introduces three new or newish vendors that he finds interesting or innovative in the overlapping fields of compliance, content control, and data leak prevention. Each vendor's CEO briefly describes the company's business; then he or she and David discuss the business and its industry context. A Q&A period follows.

To register for the webcast, click here. For more information, click here.

Recent Research

Recent Reports Available:

For more reports, visit our reports page.

Recent Ferris Webcasts:

About Ferris Research

Ferris Research studies messaging, and the control of electronic information. More specifically, we help IT staff evaluate and implement products and services that:

  • Provide messaging and collaborative technologies
  • Archive electronic information
  • Ensure compliance with corporate policy, industry regulations, and laws
  • Facilitate e-discovery, and contain its costs
  • Reduce the dangers of information leaks

Email is the most important type of electronic information that requires control today. Other important types include instant messages, Sharepoint teamspaces, images, voice, video, and miscellaneous desktop files.

We've been in business since 1990--longer than any other analyst firm in our field:

  • Clients include 300 of the world's 1,000 largest organizations, and computer vendors from the largest corporations to small startups
  • While other analysts have come and gone, we've published more than 200 formal reports and 1,100 short bulletins
  • Our news service covers more than 2,000 highly specialized announcements annually
  • We have nine experts in our research team, sharing many decades of experience in our core competencies

In short, our technology and industry depth helps you understand today's products, where they've come from and where they're going.

Have news you want to share with us or product or interest area that you would like us to cover? Send press releases to releases@ferris.com.

Copyright © Ferris Research 2008.

Phuong Tran
Assistant to David Ferris
+1 310 991 3291
Ferris Research--business intelligence on compliance and messaging. Offerings include Analyzer Information Service + White Papers + Speaking at Your Events and Webinars. Sign up for our free daily newsletter on messaging and collaboration

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