Durham defeats spam

“Spam,” said Federal Industry Minister David Emerson recently, “is the cancer of the e-economy.”

The region of Durham may have found the cure.

New e-mail technology implemented by Durham, located east of Toronto, has enabled it to reduce junk mail by 60 – 80 per cent, and cut administrative costs in half.

The solution that reportedly made this all possible is GroupWise 6.5 – an end-to-end groupware system from Waltham, Mass.–based Novell Inc. that combines a scalable server platform with a user-friendly e-mail client. (The product also also includes document management and proprietary e-mail extensions, such as the ability to retract messages).

“I absolutely love the junk mail folder in GroupWise 6.5,” said Ron Blakely, Durham region’s director of Information Technology. He said GroupWise – along with anti-spam software the region has implemented – has generated some “great results.”

And that’s very good news for the region’s 1,500 employees who used to receive, on average, 20–50 junk messages every single day. Excessive spam was more than a growing irritant; it also slowed down network traffic and impeded productivity.

All that is now past.

According to a Novell case study, GroupWise filters out most unwanted mail at the “post office level”, greatly reducing the amount delivered to individual inboxes.

And spam suppression is not the only benefit of the deployment.

Productivity of the region’s IT staff has also improved dramatically.

According to Blakely, the transition to GroupWise 6.5 has enhanced employee mobility and flexibility. “Our PDA users (can) do business on the go, and immediately synch up when they return to their offices,” he said.

This is possible because of the integration between Novell GroupWise and the new Research in Motion (RIM) Blackberry Enterprise Server.

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