Messaging Architects’ Product Suite Helps the Municipal Employees of the City of Grand Junction, CO, Make the Most of Their Collaboration System in Serving The Community
Right in the middle of Colorado’s wine country and among numerous hiking trails and majestic ski resorts, Grand Junction combines the grandeur of nature with all the amenities of a modern city. The City of Grand Junction Information Systems Department supports all computer and telecommunication for all the City departments, including the Novell GroupWise collaboration system. Similar to other public agencies, the email traffic that goes through the municipal system is burdened by an incredible amount of spam that tries to eat up system resources on a daily basis. Using M+Guardian, the IT professionals are able to preserve the City’s resources and ensure uninterrupted activity of the messaging system. Other products from Messaging Architects, such as M+NetMail and GWExtranet, improve the employees’ productivity and help them disseminate information across the community with minimum IT overhead.
Protecting the Email System from the Unwanted Onslaught of Spam
As a modern organization that uses technology to keep in touch the community, the City of Grand Junction relies on the internet and its collaboration system for efficient interaction with the public. That is why, the IS Department put in a serious effort to ensure that the legitimate email flow isn’t obstructed by unwanted messages or threatened by the numerous and often ingenious phishing scams.
After trying out some of the products available on the market and not being satisfied with the results they obtained, about four years ago, they selected Messaging Architects’ Guardian technology, which powers GWGuardian and more recently became the foundation of the M+Guardian, Messaging Architects’ newest Linux-based appliance. In addition to the “fire-and-forget” design, M+Guardian also features application-level clustering for superior performance and scalability. When they were offered the opportunity to upgrade to the new appliance, the City of Grand Junction IT professionals took advantage of the opportunity.
Richard White, Infrastructure, Security, & Support Services Supervisor at the City of Grand Junction, was in charge of the upgrade. “M+Guardian is a very good solution and I think we did the right thing in undertaking the upgrade. Even though we had to switch from a software-based solution running on Windows to a Linux-based appliance, it was overall an easy transition. For us, the fact that the M+Guardian engine was running on the Linux OS was a big plus. We also wanted to take advantage of the newer anti-spam engines that had been included in M+Guardian.”
As an IT administrator in charge of the email system, White highlights the M+Guardian dashboards as one of the important benefits of the solution. “Using the information in the dashboards, I am able to present accurate results to management with respect to legitimate mail and spam. In fact during our last meeting, they were surprised to learn that over 96% of all email that tries to enter our GroupWise system is actually spam. It’s a good thing that the majority of these unwanted messages are stopped at the gateway level. Overall, I like the web-based administrative interface as I ma able to find what I need quickly and easily.”
To give his employees the greatest degree of flexibility, White is taking full advantage of the M+Guardian quarantine features. The end users are being trained on the various self-management options with regard to their spam quarantine. “During the transitional period after the M+Guardian upgrade, we set up ongoing 30-minute training sessions in the training lab, which employees can attend based on their schedule. This has been a successful project since it has really empowered users. They like to be able to manage their quarantine reports and quarantine without IT intervention.” In turn, this has freed up the IT staff’s valuable time. “The only time IT gets involved now is if we need to release a forbidden attachment as an exception,” concludes White.
Making the Most from the Messaging Architects’ Product Portfolio: M+NetMail and GWExtranet
In addition to the M+Guardian Secure Gateway, the City of Grand Junction is also using Messaging Architects’ M+NetMail and GWExtranet. M+NetMail is a light-weight messaging system that offers organizations a scalable communication infrastructure that stays in step with their growing needs. In the case of Grand Junction, it complements the GroupWise collaboration system and provides listserve capabilities for the City. All public lists are housed on the M+NetMail server from where information is disseminated accordingly.
Similarly, information stored in GroupWise is made available to the public by means of GWExtranet. The City of Grand Junction solved the problem of managing its internal and external calendars by taking advantage of GWExtranet, a simple yet powerful application that dynamically web publishes calendar and folder information stored in one or multiple GroupWise accounts or resources. By creating different calendars in GroupWise for different intended audiences and assigning the respective proxy rights to the respective personnel to manage them, the IT department established an easy process for managing internal and external calendars quickly and efficiently through GroupWise, granting access to information to the public without the need for additional training.
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