IBM is looking to make it easier for smaller businesses to protect themselves against spam and viruses that make their way onto the network through e-mail.
The Armonk, N.Y., company last week rolled out an Express configuration for its eServer OpenPower 710 system bundled with e-mail security software from a third-party vendor, Message Partners. In addition, IBM is offering a service to small and midsize businesses in which IBM and its partners will manage SMBs e-mail security.
"Think of it as owning and leasing [security capabilities]," said Kevin Dawson, IBMs manager of Linux on Power solutions.
IBMs OpenPower systems run on the companys Power5 processor and are targeted at the Linux community. IBM last week launched OpenPower Network e-Mail Security Express, aimed at SMBs with 100 to 1,000 employees.
Bundled with Message Partners MPP (Message Processing Platform), the system offers businesses the latest anti-virus, anti-spam and content-filtering capabilities. MPP—a security application that can be adapted and scaled as needed—also offers e-mail archiving capabilities. Message Partners is a division of RAE Internet Inc., in New Rochelle, N.Y.
"Compliance is a huge issue with SMBs," Dawson said. "Im unsure whether everyone understands their compliance needs. Once you can archive [e-mail messages] ... thats one of the keys to government compliance."
Both compliance and security are a growing issue among SMBs, according to Sanjeev Aggarwal, an analyst with Yankee Group Research Inc.
"The difference [between enterprises and SMBs] is that enterprises have more IT resources," said Aggarwal in Boston. "SMBs lack IT resources, or IT resources that can be focused on anything more than keeping the servers up and running."
In a recent survey by IBM, more than half of the SMB executives polled said compliance is a bigger issue now than a year ago, with 64 percent saying their companies are currently dealing with compliance issues.
In addition, about 40 percent of the executives polled said they plan to either upgrade or buy new applications and IT resources to deal with security.
For those businesses that dont want to buy a security solution, IBM is offering Express Managed Security Services for e-Mail Security, delivered through the companys Business Partners program.