Emailing The Masses #2

Emailing the Masses? See: http://stressedsysadmin.blogspot.com/2010/09/emailing-masses.html for more information as to what this is about.

Earlier I had to send an update regarding our switch to hosted mail filtering. I did get a little off topic during my ramblings, but it seems that most people read it, given the response I had for free donuts at the end.

One of my goals in the update emails is to address every possible question that the user may come up with - it saves them asking, saves me responding and overall it increases the communication. I think.

Why have a "Free Donuts" offer at the end? to see who actually reads my emails!!

Announcement!

Over the next few days we will be migrating to a different anti-spam and anti-virus provider for our email hygeine.

Summary:
Although you shouldn’t see any interruption in service or access, lets face it, anything could happen. Best case = everything works and you don’t notice a thing. Worst case = you have a quiet few days with email and I have to work the weekend. Either way, your end is pretty easy.

Detail:
I will be removing the current anti-spam and anti-virus engines from the Exchange server and moving to a hosted solution.

Why Change?
At present our anti-malware solution is on-premise. It runs on our email server and scrubs the mail when it arrives. While this has been very successful over the past few years, it has also presented two negative side affects.
Firstly, the solution needs to be maintained, as with any software, and secondly, any mail must be downloaded before it can be scanned.
The preference is to do this before it gets to us which should save us some internet bandwidth.

But its working right now, cant we just leave it?
Normally I would agree with you however we are scheduled to upgrade the software anyway. So I can spend five hours updating the software and getting it working or five hours removing it and switching to a hosted solution that will handle all future maintenance for us and remove a level of complexity from our systems.

So… You’re being lazy?
No, Im laying the groundwork to become more efficient with my future time.

OK. If you say so. Do I have to do anything?
No. I am planning to do the migration on Friday September 17th. As far as mail delivery is concerned, there should be no interruption in service.

So far this all seems to be about you. Is there anything in this for me?
Funny you should ask. Yes. Aside from anti-malware and anti-spam filtering from a multi-billion dollar company with a fantastically minuscule false-positive rate*, you will get a less stressed system administrator.

Oh, you want more? OK. <sigh> and you will be able to manage your own quarantine so if you suspect a mail is trapped in your spam box, you can retrieve it yourself, accidental deletion archiving – if you delete an email you actually need, it will be recoverable (by you) for one year!</sigh>

*False-positive = mail that is real mail but has been classified accidentally as spam.

Wow. Less spam and more features, This must be costing us a fortune?
No actually. The new service will be in place for around the same  cost as the existing solution. When you take into account the reduced load on our systems and reduced management, the tangible benefits will be more!

Well this sounds like a good deal, but what took you so long?
<sigh> Ya know, there is no pleasing some people. </sigh>

Hmmm… You know, you have just had a full conversation with yourself.?
That thought had just occurred to me.

Do you think anyone will read all this way to the bottom?
I don’t know. Maybe. I tell you what. If you have read all the way to the bottom here, you will see this – First person to reply to me with the code word: SuperDuck – I will bring you in a free donut on Friday morning.