• United States

Hands off e-mail

Nov 03, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMessaging AppsSmall and Medium Business

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 — a software company that helps large firms plan ergonomics programs — 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 ISPs and bundled Web-hosting solutions, but chose Excedent Technologies’ , 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.

“We’re tech savvy enough that we don’t want a black box,” Archibald says. “We wanted some balance between the ability to manage and totally hands off.” gives Archibald control over mailboxes, aliases, spam-filter settings and other management tasks, and lets Remedy Interactive use its own domain for users’ e-mail addresses. Archibald can tweak his company’s 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.

“Anyone who has dealt with a mail system internally knows it’s a lot harder than it has to be,” Archibald says.

Before implementing 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. provides a proprietary Web interface along with POP3, SMTP or IMAP connections. Archibald says configuring Outlook to work with wasn’t 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’re on the road, then download their e-mail from the Excedent servers via Outlook when they return to the office.

Archibald says he’s pleased with the reliability of the service and responsiveness of Excedent . “They know their stuff and they fix problems, whether they’re theirs or mine.” New features he’s asked for include the ability to have each user’s 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.

“Relative to other IT costs, it’s cheap,” Archibald says. “E-mail is critical to our business, but knowing about e-mail doesn’t add value to our customers.”