Web hosts are a practical lot. Sure, they like their flashy marketing material (all it takes is a trip to HostingCon to confirm this statement) but when it comes down to business, web hosts generally know what it takes to be both successful and profitable.
No one understands this more than SmarterTools. You may know that the owners of SmarterTools all come from the web hosting industry. Therefore, from the very beginning we were interested in answering a pretty straightforward question: how can we make email easier to install, manage and administer?
Almost 10 years later, web hosts all over the world (120 countries, to be exact) are finding that our answer not only makes their jobs much easier, but their businesses that much smarter.
It’s Like Email on Yoga
Yoga you ask? Well, for a while there it seemed like everything was being marketed as being “on steroids.” However, there is a negative connotation to something being “on steroids,” so is it really a good idea to associate yourself with them? Besides, steroids are an artificial way of gaining strength and muscle.
That’s why SmarterMail is more like email on yoga: it not only increases strength but it also increases a business’s flexibility, fluidity and gracefulness.
How flexible? Well, just look at SmarterMail’s installation requirements:
- 32- OR 64-bit architectures, which means a company can use legacy hardware if they wanted.
- Speaking of hardware, you only need one server – there aren’t any “role players” like other enterprise mail solutions require. (“Exchange border server” anyone?)
- A desktop operating system can be used – though SmarterMail runs best on a server OS.
- No need to use Active Directory…but you CAN use it if you like.
Then there are what NFL scouts call the “intangibles”:
- Out-of-the-box antivirus and antispam that can eliminate viruses and offer up to 97% spam protection without ANY additional expense.
- Multiple roles per installation – all-in-one mail server, gateway server for early spam and virus detection, outgoing spool, backup MX server…the list goes on.
- Scalability to grow as your business grows, from single-server installs to fully redundant enterprise server farms.
- And let’s not forget it’s backed by 24/7 technical support, as well as a popular user forum and upgrade/installation services.
So there you go – using SmarterMail is as much a way to strengthen your business as it is a way to ease your state of mind. Namaste.
It’s Easy Like Sunday Morning
Another major benefit of SmarterMail is how easy it is to set up and manage. We’ve already touched on the hardware requirements and mentioned some of the simplicity of the software that’s necessary to get SmarterMail up and running (i.e., basic OS, no Active Directory requirement, etc.). What happens, though, after you have SmarterMail installed?
- A web browser is all you need. No fooling. It doesn’t even have to be a desktop browser, either. Anything that needs to be done to manage the mail server, from full-on system admin work to domain-based administration of users, can be handled from any device with a web browser and an Internet connection.
Did you catch that?
“…any DEVICE with a web browser and an internet connection.” That means you can manage SmarterMail from your iPad, Android tablet or even a Windows smartphone. No desktop required.
- Create roles for various admin types. You can even have more than one system administrator instead of sharing a single login across various people. This gives full accountability and tracking to those people most responsible for the lifeblood of your company. It also means your IT guy can take a vacation once or twice a year, which makes everyone happy.
- Leave your advanced CIS degree at the door. Unlike other enterprise-level email solutions, SmarterMail doesn’t require any special training or a list of classes that need to be taken for someone to manage it. If you can manage a Windows server and know your way around a standard browser, then you can manage a SmarterMail box.
- Backups are easy. Restores are even easier. SmarterMail doesn’t use a complicated file structure to manage and store emails, and one or two files handle most configuration settings. That means that backups, restores, migrations, moves and other potentially difficult and cost-prohibitive actions are extremely simple. No long-term planning, extra staffing or long hours transitioning servers or services is needed. SmarterTools even offers multiple migration tools for switching to SmarterMail from other mail servers like Merak, iMail or IceWarp.
It Plays Well With Others
Automation, automation, automation. This word is music to a business owner’s ears as it means simplification and cost reduction. From Day 1, SmarterMail was built with integration and flexibility in mind. That’s why almost every single function, setting and task within SmarterMail has an associated web service. That means you can automate virtually anything within SmarterMail – from account creation to spam administration – as well as integrate SmarterMail with other software being used in your business, from a custom-built management interface to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products. SmarterMail’s web services are fully documented as well, so the roadmap is extremely easy for your developers to follow.
In addition, SmarterTools is partnered with all of the major control panels on the market today, including Plesk, Enkompass, WebSitePanel and Hosting Controller. That means SmarterMail can easily be used as the mail server of choice for shared hosting plans, but it can also be offered as part of dedicated or VPS offerings.
It’s As Cheap As It Is Easy
It might sound a bit crass, but being cost-conscious is a good thing, especially when running a business. SmarterMail is not only easy to install, manage and maintain, but it helps manage costs in very real ways as well.
- Overall cost per mailbox is negligible and extremely profitable. We did a survey of overall costs for implementing SmarterMail with an existing hosting partner and found that, including all hardware and software expense, a SmarterMail Professional mailbox can cost you as little as .005 cents per mailbox per month. A full Microsoft Exchange replacement mailbox, one with full collaboration and synchronization added, is as low as $.39 per mailbox per month!
- Minimal requirements mean minimal costs. As noted earlier, the hardware requirements mean legacy servers can be used. As far as OS costs go, SmarterMail can share a server with other applications or even run on a legacy version of Windows Server. Heck, you can use an old desktop if you want (although we’d probably advise against it).
- Out-of-the-box features mean no add-on costs. SmarterTools custom-built a robust version of the SpamAssassin engine, taking all the great features and functionality and adding them right into the default SmarterMail installation. Taking this into account, and adding in the other anti-spam measures like RBL and others that are added to SmarterMail, you’ll get 97% spam protection – both incoming AND outgoing – WITHOUT adding a single penny to your costs.
- A simple licensing model means no hidden costs. The licensing model for SmarterMail can’t get much easier. Basically, licensing is on a per-user/mailbox basis and comes in packages ranging from 250 mailboxes to an unlimited number of them–and our single domain, 10-mailbox license is FREE. Add-ons (like Commtouch and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync) are similarly licensed. Therefore, you know your costs up front, and nothing is hidden.
- Use of existing staff means no additional employee expense. Unlike other mail servers out there, especially ones with comparable features like full collaboration and mobile syncing, standard Windows web server management skills are all that’s required to administer a SmarterMail server. There are no complex bells or whistles, and with things like full reporting and an events-based notification system, existing local or even remote staff can be used when needed. So not only do you NOT need to pay for extensive training or for employees with excessive experience and skillsets, you won’t need a dedicated mail server admin with SmarterMail either!
Why Stop At Just Saving Money?!
SmarterMail not only can save you money, but it can help you MAKE MONEY as well. That’s because there are a few value added options that integrate perfectly with SmarterMail:
- Commtouch Premium Antispam – Commtouch uses Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) technology to analyze large volumes of Internet traffic in real time, recognizing and protecting against new spam threats the moment they emerge.
- Commtouch Zero-hour Antivirus – Commtouch Zero-hour Antivirus shields a mail server in the earliest moments of malware outbreaks and continues to protect a server as new variants emerge.
- Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync – THE premier synchronization technology for all of today’s most popular mobile devices, from the Apple iPhone and iPad to Google Android devices like the Droid series of smartphones, the Galaxy tablet and the Motorola Xoom. And, of course, all Windows mobile devices.
- Existing features can be turned into Premium Features – then there are the existing pieces that can be bundled or added as an “extras.” For example you can offer mailing lists as an add-on, or email aliases, or even IMAP services versus POP. And what about your capital expenses? How about disk space or even bandwidth as add-ons? It’s all possible with SmarterMail as it’s all tracked, managed and reported on separately.
And realize that each of these add-ons are covered by SmarterMail’s extensive web services as well, so that means even the billing for add-ons can be automated and integrated into existing billing systems. You can even mix-and-match products, then pay for only what is being used, from a licensing as well as a timing standpoint (i.e., prorated billing). In addition, SmarterTools has various partnership opportunities available, from reseller opportunities to becoming a SmarterBundle provider. Each of these scenarios, in addition to what’s been mentioned above, can make your business much more profitable.
So that’s it in a nutshell: how using SmarterMail can help your business run a bit smarter, not to mention easier, more reliably and much more profitably. For more information on SmarterMail, visit the SmarterTools website. For more information on becoming a SmarterTools partner or provider, give us a call or email email@example.com.