Proofpoint: Security, Compliance and the Cloud

September 20, 2012

Replacing Postini: Should You Replace Postini with Google Apps, or Replace with an Alternative Email Security Solution? (Video)

As you've probably already heard, Google is actively moving customers of its Postini email security and archiving solutions to Google Apps. This is essentially forcing organizations to replace Postini with either Google Apps or an alternative Postini replacement.

The options and implications can be confusing, so our VP of product marketing, Kevin Epstein, put together a great overview of what is happening with Postini, potential issues to be aware of when transitioning from Postini to Google Apps, and the types of benefits that enterprises could reap if they replaced Postini with an alternative email security solution.

Check it out here: 

There are several resources mentioned by Kevin in that video, and I've provided handy links to them, below:



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You still need to do more fact checking. Gmail's spam and virus filtering has increased protection. Gmail provides increased protection against phishing-based attacks and messages containing URLs that point to malicious sites.

As for Postini archiving costs, Google Apps Vault pricing will remain the same as the price for the email archiving and discovery component of Message Discovery through at least June 30, 2014. Pricing will be revisited at this time and shared with customers.

There are numerous feature upgrades, improved user approved/blocked senders, improved compliance filters for content and attachment filters. Updated log search, from 1-hour up to 30-days. Enhanced reporting of traffic patterns. Admin quarantine search will still be available in the next version. The list of new and updated features goes on.

Another key feature for many on-premise accounts will be built-in continuity, at NO additional cost. During off-line events, messages will be spooled into Gmail mailboxes for continued access.

Google is not just going to throw away years of proven technology, just to kill-off Postini. While the Postini name may no longer be used, both Google Apps Business accounts and on-premise, stand-alone mail servers such as Exchange, will all benefit from the new and enhanced features, many Postini users have been asking for and will now get.

Does is really matter if is called Postini or Google Apps Message Security? Google is not taking this migration lightly. Many accounts will need to be migrated over a period, allowing for review of the new features and settings. Years and terabytes of archived data will be carefully migrated, ensuring continuity of compliance policies.

Until the actual services are in place, and additional features added, will Proofpoint or other competitive vendors, be able to judge the new services offered. You may have existing talking points to work with; however, there will be those you will be retracting.

Frank Muto
Secure Email Plus

Hi Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to visit and to comment! In terms of the point that Kevin is making vis-a-vis renewals, he's not trying to imply that customers won't be renewed *period* -- he's noting that that renewal is for a different product. As he points out in the video, there are certain current features of Postini that are not made available by the Apps-based solution.

Those features are important to a certain type of customer -- typically large- and mid-sized enterprises -- which are the core market that Proofpoint serves. Over the past several years, quite a few of Postini's larger/largest customers have transitioned to Proofpoint. (Our target market is the large-sized and mid-sized enterprise and typically not the SMB market, where the features in question may be less critical.)

The main point that Kevin is making in his video is that customers *will* undergo a transition, which for larger organizations creates an opportunity to evaluate their email security choices and perhaps make a strategic move to a solution that can better serve their current needs while also providing a path to functionality including advanced DLP features, integrated policy-based encryption, protection from targeted attacks, etc.

Kevin is also pointing out that he's not alone in making this point -- the Gartner resources noted in the video and my original post are extremely helpful in this regard and are not in any way sensational. (And I believe those resources are helpful even to non-enterprise type clients.)

Of course, there will be Postini clients for whom this change is a net benefit. And, for those who are looking for alternative solutions outside of the Google portfolio, Proofpoint will not be the right solution for all of them. But for those who have been thinking about a change and interested in Proofpoint, this transition period is an excellent time for them to evaluate our solutions and we endeavor to make that evaluation (and potential transition) as easy, cost effective and "painless" as possible.

Thanks again for your comments!

Best Regards,
Keith Crosley
Director of Market Development
Proofpoint, Inc.

The fact is, even some of Gartner's observations are in neglect of being correct or even consider the new features or changes of mail handling to be an enhancement of Postini's platform.

The ignorance of commenting on a product before any of the new features or enhancements are even in place, in my opinion shows unprofessional guidance.

One example is continuity, it's included at no charge with the updated service.

This is not going to be an overnight changeover and until all the processes like outbound routing are completed, the account does not migrate.

Postini's memory-based filtering, while being a patented and only one of its kind, would not be applicable to some of the new features and enhancements Postini clients have been asking for.

The ongoing fact is, that each of the respective competitive companys mentioned, already had its own niche of clients and that will always be the case. However, the blantant misinformation stated by quite a few competitve vendors is by far totaly unprofessional, for the sake of gaining new business.

Frank Muto

Whilst I can see Frank’s point, there are a couple of things which he seems to neglect. As Keith says, Google Apps is not a viable option for certain types of companies for whom certain features will be important.

The lack of reporting and visibility of means you can’t see what Google’s spam filtering is doing. There is no central reporting. It raises questions...How much spam are you receiving? What legitimate email is being stopped? What about false positives?

Also the level of support is very important, especially for something as critical as email. Google pushes you to self-support guides. The only way to speak with a human is to request a call back. It could take hours to get support on the phone. This is just the start. It can take several calls to solve your problem.

Google is doing a very good job of playing down this move, but for many customers who take security seriously, it won’t be a good fit. As technology research firm Gartner’s VP John Pescatore says, “Google isn’t an enterprise IT provider.

It’s a consumer-grade advertising provider. Enterprises have to be very careful when they enter into contracts for Google services that they make sure they’re getting all the liability protections and agreements that they’d seek if they were looking at anybody else.”

It’s fair to ask whether a business should trust their privacy and data to a company whose primary business is based on advertising. You would want to be certain that your privacy, and that of your clients, is intact; and that confidential data is secure.

David Siddall
(Spam filtering in the cloud since 2001)

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