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Postini gets high marks

Posted on Wednesday, Sep 7th 2005

All on a sudden, a company has shown up in about 15 conversations within the last 2 weeks: Postini. All the spam that Symantec has been failing to catch, Postini manages to tackle and fend off. What’s more, it is a service (SaaS) company, with significant revenue in the order of $50 Million, which in itself is an anomaly in this market!

For prior art, please refer to my two prior articles on SaaS and Antispam, in which I have extolled the virtues of SaaS, and bashed Symantec’s sloppiness in their Antispam product.

Today, Kumar Vora over at Adobe asked a good question: Symantec has figured out how to solve the virus rules update problem, why do they fail on the spam rules update?

Adobe is a happy user of Postini, as is Philippe Courtot over at Qualys. Philippe’s comment is that it is easier to update the rules when everything is on a server, and hence the ASP model wins. But, Kumar’s question, in my opinion, is a valid one. Updating rules on clients may be a bit more complex, but not dramatically so.

Ofcourse, given prior trends, the most obvious way in which Symantec will solve the problem, is by acquiring Postini or one of its competitors. Microsoft acquired one earlier this year.

Postini intercepts all the spam before they hit the enterprise server, by pre-filtering ALL emails. They have recently made a deal with McAfee. I would really like to see them strike large deals with the various ISPs, and intercept spam at the ISP pops. Right now, my smart PalmOS smartphone doesn’t have any way of leaving out the spam, as it downloads email from my pacbell pop server. Not good!

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