PeopleToGo sends spam packing

A labour management company has increased its uptime by 50 per cent and improved its e-mail security with a hosted management solution from a Toronto-based service provider.

PeopleToGo, based in Markham, Ont., which builds and manages over 10,000 workers that its clients (mostly VARs and OEMs) can select from, chose to outsource Microsoft Exchange, including BlackBerry services, to Fusepoint Managed Services. The deal, announced Wednesday, marks the company’s second outsourcing project with Fusepoint. Fusepoint has been hosting PeopleToGo’s Web-based application Resource Software Solutions for just over a year.

Prior to implementing a hosted e-mail solution, PeopleToGo had trouble keeping up to date with software patches and new security threats such as worms and viruses.

“Staying in constant communication via phone or via e-mail is extremely important to us,” said Dave Duncan, president and co-founder of PeopleToGo. “Our systems are getting really complicated over time with more users and more people. We had a lot of problems trying to manage it ourselves.”

With the solution in place, PeopleToGo IT staff can now focus on further development of its core application, added Duncan.

“We can now focus on our core business, which is placing people and the managing of the workflow of that through our software,” said Duncan.

Because a company chooses to go with an outsourced solution doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t handle their workload on their own, said George Kerns, president and CEO of Fusepoint.

“It just means most of them can’t do it in the timeframe they need to do it in,” he said. “This way they can focus their attention on things that are more productive and let service providers like ourselves handle the work behind the scenes.”

The outsourcing agreement, which Duncan values at approximately $30,000 to $40,000 over a four-year period, covers spam content filtering, patch management, 24/7 monitoring and wireless BlackBerry capabilities for PeopleToGo’s workforce.

“A lot of companies are turning to outsourcing because of the complexity of managing these environments,” said Kerns. “There’s a constant threat from viruses and worms and attacks. It takes a lot of attention and investment in technologies to protect oneself.”

Time to react to vulnerabilities in operating systems, for example, has decreased significantly in the last several years, added Kerns. This has made it increasingly difficult for companies to test and implement patches in a timely and efficient manner.

“Once a software vendor announces they have a vulnerability, they have a patch that can be applied, you pretty much need to do that almost instantaneously,” said Kerns.

In addition to the above services, Fusepoint also stores PeopleToGo’s e-mail at its site that can be accessed by employees via a Web portal. Storage was also a key element of choosing to go with an outsourced solution, said Duncan.

“We feel very confident that the records and storage of the data off-site makes a heck of a lot more sense for us as well,” he said.

Outsourcing continues to play an important role in the Canadian IT sector, according to IDC Canada’s annual predictions, which were released at the beginning of this year. IDC Canada said outsourcing will experience a six per cent growth year-over-year in 2005, not including business process outsourcing. This number is predominantly driven by the pace of business competition forcing Canadian businesses to consider outsourcing parts of their business.

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