• United States

Are you the go-to person for all client problems?

Dec 20, 20052 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging Apps

* A problem from the trenches

We recently received the following from one of our survey panelists about his experience in managing geographically dispersed e-mail systems:

“Our company has recently dissolved a joint venture with another company in [another country]. One day last week, after a consultant in [the remote office] had been poking around in their mail servers, the company was unable to send e-mail to us. They were able to send to the Internet, but we were connected via a frame relay line, and mail to each other was traversing this line. Long story short, after several days of trying to explain how to configure their mail servers to this consultant, yesterday we gained access to PCAnywhere and Remote Desktop on their mail servers and fixed the problem ourselves.

“The company has a ‘Client’ team that deals with all client applications, including Office. Do you think that they support questions about Outlook? They don’t. Even if it is a ‘How do I do this?’ type of question, we get the ticket and answer the question.

“I’m not sure why, but the burden of proof is always on us to show that the problem is not ours, and even when the problem isn’t ours, we sometimes end up fixing it. I’m the perimeter person. I deal with our Internet gateway appliances and all of their services (anti-spam, anti-virus, encryption, etc.); our joint ventures (point-to-point virtual private networks, frame relay, etc.); and Internet-related services like DomainKeys, SPF [Sender Policy Framework], external DNS/MX records, etc.  That also makes me the person to troubleshoot and help ‘mom and pop’ companies (heck, even some larger companies who use glorified admin assistants as e-mail administrators) configure their (typically, non-standard) mail servers so that they can send/receive.

“I apologize for the rant. I’d be curious, though, to see if we’re the exception or if this is normal for some larger companies who have the expertise.”

I’d like to find out, too. If you manage e-mail systems for a large organization, is the account above typical or not? Please drop me a line at