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Email Security and Anti-Spam Solutions: 10 Things to Consider During Evaluation – Part One

An email security and anti‐spam solution is probably one of the most important security products you can buy to protect both your network and your company’s overall employee productivity. To add to the pressure of making the correct decision, there are a lot of email security and anti‐spam solutions and products on the market. So how do you select the right product at the right price for your organization?

This blog post will cover the first five of ten things that you need to consider when comparing email security and anti-spam solutions.

1. Understand the difference between ‘affordable’ and ‘cheap’

One way some manufacturers cut costs is by using extremely cheap components in their email security appliances, resulting in a high percentage defects on arrival, as well as a high failure rate in the field. Another way they often make prices look low is by showcasing the low‐end models that offer limited functionality. In this scenario you’ll have to buy several appliances to do the work, meaning double or triple the cost.

2. Can I buy it from my trusted reseller, or do I have to order it over the phone?

Some SMB email security and anti‐spam solution vendors try to sell both direct to the customer and through a reseller network, resulting in a poorly organized reseller network. This means customers are forced to rely on the corporation for pre‐ and post‐purchase support – usually over the phone – rather than in person, even if they are in a completely different geography or time zone.

3. Understand the real TCO

One question to ask regarding price is what the ‘real’ total cost of ownership is. If your email security and anti‐spam solution requires ongoing management and attention, it means ultimately higher costs throughout the life of the appliance. If the vendor does not offer appliances that are designed to be centrally administered, you’ll spend even more time on overall management rather than on other critical IT business initiatives.

In some instances you’ll also need to buy a completely separate appliance for administration of inbound and outbound email traffic, in addition to a separate module for reporting. Numerous purchases can and will skew your TCO.

4. Consider your company’s growth prior to purchase

Many email security and anti‐spam solutions are designed to handle only small volumes of users and traffic. Their mail processing systems can’t handle the high‐volume mail loads of an organization with thousands of users or those with significant throughput environments.

5. The ease of setup

Some email security and anti‐spam vendors claim their products can be up and running in 15 minutes and require no IT expertise. But installation is usually not this simple and many times they have no install wizard available for system setup.

In our next blog post, we’ll review the next 5 things to consider when comparing email security and anti-spam solutions. If you have questions (or horror stories) we’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.


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