Excedent provides Remedy Interactive with enterprise-class e-mail as an affordable managed service.Tired of missing important customer e-mails, Remedy Interactive went shopping for a new hosted e-mail provider. Remedy \u2014 a software company that helps large firms plan ergonomics programs \u2014 had been experiencing network and system management problems with its current ISP, and wanted a vendor that could provide reliable, enterprise-class service and features at an affordable price.Ben Archibald, executive vice president for technology for the 10-person firm, explored a number of\u00a0ISPs and bundled\u00a0Web-hosting solutions, but chose Excedent Technologies\u2019\u00a0Webmail.us , a managed e-mail provider aimed at small businesses.Archibald liked several things about the service. It offers spam control and virus protection, as well as the power and flexibility to let Archibald control system configuration without having to worry about constant system monitoring.\u201cWe\u2019re tech savvy enough that we don\u2019t want a black box,\u201d Archibald says. \u201cWe wanted some balance between the ability to manage and totally hands off.\u201d Webmail.us gives Archibald control over mailboxes, aliases, spam-filter settings and other management tasks, and lets Remedy Interactive use its own domain for users\u2019 e-mail addresses. Archibald can tweak his company\u2019s unique settings as needed from his end, but Excedent has primary responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the server.The system requires no additional hardware or software, such as Microsoft Exchange Server, and frees Archibald from having to maintain an internal e-mail system. And built-in spam filtering and virus protection frees him from having to deal with system updates.\u201cAnyone who has dealt with a mail system internally knows it\u2019s a lot harder than it has to be,\u201d Archibald says.Before implementing Webmail.us companywide in August, Archibald set up a personal account. He found the spam filter did a great job controlling his high volume of unsolicited e-mail. He could select among low, medium or high levels of protection, and mark incoming e-mail as safe or spam.Remedy also needed to access e-mail via the Web or through Microsoft Outlook. Webmail.us provides a proprietary Web interface along with POP3,\u00a0SMTP or\u00a0IMAP connections. Archibald says configuring Outlook to work with Webmail.us wasn\u2019t a completely intuitive process, but documentation provided on the Excedent Web site helped walk him through. Excedent stores all e-mail on its servers, so users can access mailboxes through the Web interface when they\u2019re on the road, then download their e-mail from the Excedent servers via Outlook when they return to the office.Archibald says he\u2019s pleased with the reliability of the service and responsiveness of\u00a0Excedent . \u201cThey know their stuff and they fix problems, whether they\u2019re theirs or mine.\u201d New features he\u2019s asked for include the ability to have each user\u2019s mailbox quota applied to a company total, rather than to each individual. Excedent says it will add the request to a list of possible new features to be added to the next version.Pricing starts at $2.50 per mailbox for 25M bytes of storage.\u201cRelative to other IT costs, it\u2019s cheap,\u201d Archibald says. \u201cE-mail is critical to our business, but knowing about e-mail doesn\u2019t add value to our customers."