Business-Class Email for Your Business.
Email has become one of the most vital tools to modern businesses. As the center of your company's communication, an efficient, fast, secure and reliable email system is among the most important technology investments you can make. But it's also among the most complex. ConnectingBlox can help make sense of the choices and guide you through selecting, implementing and maintaining the right email system for you needs.
According to industry experts, approximately 90% of the day's business communications are performed via email or by way of unsecured instant messages. As a result, the volume of emails and similar data forms in most businesses doubles every 12 to 18 months.
What Does Business-Class Mean?
An important distinction between business-class and consumer-class emails is the use of a unique domain name - for consumers it's acceptable to use generic (ie gmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com) domains but for business communication your email should reflect your business and typically be the same domain as your web site. Most business-class systems even allow multiple domains and aliases, allowing one user to communicate on multiple addresses from a single interface.
Click the tabs below to see some other features which set business-class email apart from consumer grade systems.
Backup & Recovery
Business-class email systems include the capability for shared contacts and calendars plus the ability to group contacts into shared distribution lists. Distribution lists can also exist for inbound addresses so your customers, vendors and prospects can reach multiple people through a single address.
Typically, business-class systems also include public folders which can act as a collaborative space for users. Public folders can be used to store files and notes to which your users may need frequent access. They can even have their own email addresses.
A business-class email system should have it's own backup and recovery plan. That recovery plan should include options to restore the entire system from a disaster plus options to restore single mailboxes and even individual messages in the case of accidental deletions or user issues.
Archival of emails is frequently overlooked, but it is a critical component in any business-class system. Archiving doesn't simply mean saving your emails onto your hard drive. An archiving system should be designed to support evidentiary and forensic guidelines. At a minimum, your archives should:
- Be searchable outside of an email client
- Record a verifiable audit trail with timestamps
- Store messages outside of your email system
- Have controls to prevent tampering with data
- Prevent deletion of ANY messages
- Be easily exportable for eDiscovery platforms
In the event of current or future litigation, companies may be REQUIRED to produce up to 7 years of emails in an archival format or face court-imposed penalties. (Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended December, 2006)
While Anti-SPAM is important to any email, it can be especially critical in a business-class system. For consumers, simple filters are sufficient and there is little need to police your Inbox for false positives. But in business, missing an important email can be a costly error. So business-class systems must not only protect against SPAM and other malwares, but also provide an interface to examine and manage SPAM to guard against losing vital messages.
Anti-SPAM in business-class email also has to account for "hijacking" attacks. Hijacking attacks are where hackers take control of your email system and use it to send massive amounts of SPAM. Such attacks compromise your network, data and reputation. A business-class system will have outbound Anti-SPAM controls to prevent the unwanted messages from ever leaving your system.
Email security is an area of concern everywhere, but business-class systems MUST pay particular attention. A single breach of your email system can cost significant amounts of money and possibly lead to irreparable damage to your reputation. A business-class system should meet all of the following security guidelines:
- Required Regular Password Changes
- NO Clear Text Storage or Transmission of Passwords
- Activity Journals and/or Audit Logs
- Message Quotas & Appropriate Size Limits
- Server Level Malware Protection
- Password Complexity Controls
- Valid SSL Certificates at the Mail Server
- All Mail Stored Behind a Secure Firewall
- Outbound Rate Controls
With Cybercrime averaging a 1425% ROI, the monetary return for hackers is huge. It no longer takes a major target for hackers to be profitable - as a result attacks on small business are rapidly growing in frequency.
Unified Communication (UC) is the convergence of email, social networking, video conferencing and traditional phone communications. UC systems take many forms, from simply providing voicemail access from an email client to complex digital telepresence systems integrating IP phone systems, video conferencing and mobile devices. ConnectingBlox can assist your organization understand the benefits of UC and what (if any) UC systems and options make sense for you.
In recent years we've seen mobile devices go from a nice convenience to an indispensable part of our lives. Business users today increasingly rely on mobile devices to replace nearly all other modes of communication. As a result, your organization's communication strategy needs to include mobile devices. Most business-class mail systems include support for a broad range of mobile devices, but those devices are difficult to manage and secure; So a good mobile device strategy should include a management and control platform. Consider the following questions when looking at your strategy:
- Can I manage devices my company doesn't own?
- Can I control what applications my users install?
- Can I install new corporate apps remotely?
- Can I securely share company files?
- If a device is lost or stolen, can I erase it remotely?
- Can I enforce my company's Internet usage policies?
- Can I locate a missing device?
ConnectingBlox helps our customers answer YES to all those questions. We can help design and implement a mobile strategy that ensures your mobile workforce is secure and efficient.
ConnectingBlox has partnered with Absolute Software to provide a comprehensive Mobile Device Management system compatible with Windows, Android and Apple devices.
Trying to keep track of complex projects and customer histories requires collaboration tools that go beyond email and messaging systems. That's where Project Management, Document Management and Managed File Transfer become important tools to keep your team informed and in sync. ConnectingBlox can put our experience to work for you and help select the right tools and systems for your unique needs. We provide services for many commercial and open source platforms supporting everything from simple task management to highly structured complex projects.
Managed File Transfer
Business Process Management
For organizations that need to track tasks and resources required for the successful completion of their projects, project management software can be a key asset. And when you have multiple people managing those tasks and resources or need to extend management to your customers, a project management server solution may be a wise investment.
ConnectingBlox supports the industry leading project management platforms, but to provide our customers with the best solutions for their needs, we have added support for many specialized and open source platforms. Our development teams can even help customize a project management system to your exact specifications.
Here are just a few of the systems we support:
- Microsoft Project (Including Server)
- Oracle Primavera
- CA Clarity
- Hard Dollar
- NavisWorks (AutoDesk)
- AMSI Starproject
Whether your company is simply trying to gain control of the multitude of electronic documents that are created every day or if you are moving toward an ISO certification which requires document control, ConnectingBlox can help! With a deep understanding of document management and the ISO process, our experts can select and iinstall the right tools and systems AND help design the processes and controls to ensure a successful implementation.
By itself or integrated into a project management system, document management can be an important tool in making your company more efficient. ConnectingBlox can even show you how document management with workflow can streamline many common business processes.
A relative newcomer in collaboration tools, Managed File Transfer (or MFT) serves to ensure that all stakeholders in a project have access to the files necessary for success. In the past this has been the job of email, diskettes and the company's network file servers. But as files have gotten larger email and diskettes become a less viable option and the trend toward decentralized workforces has rendered the network file server nearly obsolete. Cloud services have stepped in to fill some of the gap, but they lack the security and version control to really make them the right tool for the job.
Managed File Transfer systems provide the benefits of a Cloud service (and can be deployed in the Cloud themselves) while maintaining appropriate levels of control. You can move your large files through an MFT system secure in the knowledge that only people with appropriate access will receive them. You can control access and establish audit trails so that you know who opened the files and if anyone has changed them. MFT provides all the advantages of network file servers, the ease of use of email and the anytime/anywhere access of Cloud services.
ConnectingBlox offers our own MFT service hosted in our private cloud or we can deploy an MFT system for you in our cloud, the public cloud or in your local network.
Business Process Management systems tie all of your collaboration tools together. BPM is often a key component in a total quality management or continuous improvement process. BPM systems must be flexible enough to adapt to your rapidly changing business environment but rigid enough to ensure that rules are enforced and processes can't be circumvented.
The ConnectingBlox team combines technical skills with business knowledge to help our customers design and maintain effective BPM systems. Our BPM systems often reach beyond basic collaboration and office tasks into ERP and shop floor control systems, managing processes from the start of a customer engagement all the way to delivery of a finished product. We have created systems in support of ISO 9000, ISO 14001, TPS (Toyota Production System) and 21 CFR, TL 9000.