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News on messaging, collaboration, and compliance
... email, spam and malware control, archiving, e-discovery, information leak prevention, unified communications, instant messaging, SharePoint, and mobile communications...
Daily Digest: July 16, 2009
Messaging & Collaboration

Sherpa Software Announces the Availability of Product, Messaging and Consulting Professional Services
Broad Array of Professional Services Drive Greater Customer Efficiencies, Exploit Advanced Product Features
Comment on Sherpa Software here

Apptix Delivers Email Hosting and ActiveSync for Palm Pre
Provides Exchange Email, Calendar, and Contact Synchronization for Palm Pre Users

Intermedia Expands Partner Program in Latin America; Offers Spanish-Language Version of Hosting Control Panel
Providers in the Region Help Propel Partner Program's Double-Digit Revenue Growth

Delivra Ups its Momentum with Message Systems
Leading Email Marketing Service Provider Opts for a More Robust Message Management Platform to Improve Reliability, Expand Functionality, and Scale for Growth

Radware and RSA Form Technology Partnership to Offer Service for Increased Protection Against Trojan and Phishing Attacks
Radware DefensePro and RSA FraudAction Anti-Phishing and Anti-Trojan Service from EMC's Security Division Help Fight Identity and Information Theft

Xobni Launches First Paid Service to Increase Workplace and Social Efficiency
New Features in Xobni Plus Focus on More Powerful Search Capabilities

'Hey, Why Did You Reply to that Spam?' Anti-Spam Group MAAWG Surveys Consumer Email Behavior and Security Awareness  

BlueTie and Odigo Marketing Partner to Deliver Cloud-Based Email and Collaboration Services to SMBs
BlueTie's Award-Winning Services Now Available Through Odigo's MyBusinessMVP SaaS Aggregation Portal

Blog Item(s) & Announcements

Clearswift Update

Leading content control vendor Clearswift has gone rather quiet for the last couple of years. Here's a quick update.

There are two products:

Clearswift Email Appliance:

  • Software product, sometimes sold as appliance
  • Usually runs in VMware virtualized environment
  • Main functions:
    • Policy-based scanning and control
    • Policy-based encryption (can use third-party encryption)
    • Virus control (can use one or more third party virus control services)
    • Spam control (either from Clearswift or third parties)
    • Image control
  • Basic content scanning algorithm: boolean logic on metadata and regular expressions, managed list lookups
  • Scans emails at Internet boundary; for MS Exchange also scans internal traffic

Clearswift Web Appliance:

  • Software product, sometimes sold as appliance
  • Usually runs in VMware virtualized environment
  • Main functions:
    • URL category time and quota browsing controls
    • Malware and spyware suppression
    • Controls content written to webmail services, blogs and wikis
    • Multi-language profanity, business and compliance terms checks
    • Supports FTP over HTTP, HTTP & HTTPS/SSL
  • Lexical keyword and regular expressions scans for searching for credit card (PCI) and social/national security number data (PII), customer defined phrases or using prebuilt dictionaries over all web traffic
  • Outgoing and ingoing material is fully inspected before being transmitted onwards

Typical pricing:

  • 2,000 seats for email and web appliance, recommended retail price inclusive of 24×5 telephone helpline support and all components:
    • Virtual Web Appliance including HTTPS; anti-virus; URL filter; anti-spyware and MIMEsweeper content control costs $43,800 for a perpetual license and the first year’s support; support from year 2 onwards is $24,090 annually
    • Virtual Email Appliance including anti-spam; anti-virus and MIMEsweeper content control costs $32,100 for a perpetual license and the first year’s support; support from year 2 onwards is $16,080 annually
  • Ie, a total of about $26 annually on the basis of three-year costs

Competitive Position:

  • Main competitors are Cisco/Ironport for email filtering, Websense for web filtering
  • Company believes its main competitive strengths are:
    • Same technology behind email and web filtering, so unified administrator and user experience
    • Underlying technology is independent of type of electronic material, can work on many types of data structure
    • Production-ready support for virtualized environments (VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V)


  • Privately held. Ferris Research estimates revenues at $15M to $20M annually
  • CEO Richard Turner says that after a period of flat or declining revenue, GAAP sales for the year ending April 5, 2009 were 10% up on the prior 12 months
  • Has been refining its sales messages. Focus now is to sell business solutions rather than technology
  • 90% of sales are through channel: goal is to have 100% through channel
  • Around 60% of revenues come from email scanning, the balance from the web appliance
  • Has recently had major drive to reduce costs


  • With today's content control technology, policy-setting is usually in IT hands. In principal, it makes much more sense to put this in the hands of qualified users. CONTENTsafe is recently shipping technology that lets users say "This is sensitive," and then the system tries to define corresponding policy. Plus users can determine when to end-of-life the policy. Sounds like a very good idea
  • No support for instant messaging today
  • Image control is a hard problem. Eg it's easy to confuse skin tones with kitchen cupboards, so you get many false positives or false negatives. 90% accuracy represents the state-of-the-art today
  • Clearswift's MIMEsweeper is the core of the offering. MIMEsweeper is a pioneer in the field of content control, and echoes of it are found in many competing products
  • MIMEsweeper has suffered by being acquired by several organizations over the last ten years. Hopefully the changes over the last two years have refocused the company

... David Ferris


Below are various active gossip threads on current events in the industry. To contribute information, follow the appropriate link or see our Gossip page for other vendor threads.

Upcoming Webcasts

Veritas Acquires KVS: In Retrospect
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
8:30 a.m. Pacific, 11:30 a.m. Eastern, 4:30 p.m. U.K., 5:30 p.m. CET. One hour.

In September 2004, Veritas Software purchased KVS for its email archiving product, Enterprise Vault. Veritas merged with Symantec, and thus the product is now Symantec's Enterprise Vault, the market-leading archiving software. In this webcast, we discuss the Veritas/KVS acquisition with key individuals involved. Topics include KVS's history, KVS's motivations for being acquired, Veritas' motivations for the acquisition, how the negotiations took place, the terms of the transaction, what went well, what was more difficult than anticipated, and lessons learned.

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

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About Ferris Research

Messaging. Collaboration. Compliance. Ferris Research analysts bring more experience in these areas than any other firm. Period.

Major areas of interest are email, spam and malware control, archiving, e-discovery, information leak prevention, unified communications, instant messaging, SharePoint, and mobile communications. We help:

  • IT staff evaluate, implement, and maintain these technologies
  • Vendors understand the marketplace and its technologies; explain their products or services to the marketplace; and find strategic partners, raise funds, or sell their company
  • Investors find and evaluate investment opportunities

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

  • Clients include many of the world's largest organizations as well as computer vendors from major corporations to small startups.
  • We have published more than 200 formal reports and 1,100 short bulletins.
  • Our news service has approximately 10,000 readers and covers more than 2,000 highly specialized announcements annually.
  • Our research team shares 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, where they're going, and their value.

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 2009.


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