Paul Maunder does not know the exact number of e-mails Global Mentoring Solutions produces each day, but he is certain it is somewhere in the thousands.
Maunder, vice-president of Mississauga, Ont.-based Global Mentoring says his certified solutions experts offer real-time mentoring services where clients can have questions answered about business solutions and be walked through how to use various applications.
The experts can answer questions and demonstrate how to use solutions from such providers as Thomson/NETg, Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, Pearson Custom Publishing, Corel, Linux, Novel, and Lotus.
After a mentoring session, a client can request a transcript or additional information by e-mail.
“E-mail itself is one of the components in how we connect and support our clients,” Maunder added. “I know there are thousands of transactions that happen (each day). This two-way communication drives up the numbers of e-mails generated. So it is very important for us that we ensure the integrity of the e-mail system.”
Maunder’s concern was with a staff dedicated to quickly answering and supporting clients, there was not enough time or people dedicated to the e-mail system. If that system went down, there would be trouble.
The sheer volume of e-mails and information generated also had to be organized efficiently so mentors could not only quickly generate transcripts, but also find additional information and look up previous mentoring sessions if clients wanted to review earlier sessions.
Maunder decided the best route to take was to find a third-party e-mail and messaging provider to handle the e-mail system, and chose to go with Fusepoint’s Microsoft Exchange Messaging and Collaboration service.
Fusepoint handles Global Mentoring’s e-mail and messaging work, freeing up Maunder’s staff to concentrate on the business of helping clients and growing the business.
Fusepoint’s service offers a hosted Microsoft Exchange service with 24×7 operation support. In addition, the service offers clients like Global Mentoring spam and content filtering and scalability, allowing the service to grow as the company grows.
“E-mail is a tool for business and for employees it is becoming one of the most critical tools for them,” said Robert Offley, president and CEO of Fusepoint Managed Services Inc. in Toronto. “In 2002, e-mail users were handling only about 61 messages a day and in 2003 it went up to 110 e-mail messages a day. It is expected to grow to 300 e-mail messages a day in 2005.”
Offley added clients who are most interested in moving to a hosted e-mail and messaging solution are those with over 100 employees or more, where the management of that number of individual e-mail accounts and the volumes of messages generated and received becomes overwhelming for many IT departments.
Offley added hosted services also provide an additional benefit — the managing of such services as anti-spam and patch management. According to Offley, between 50 to 70 per cent of incoming e-mail is spam and IT departments can become overwhelmed by the work to get rid of the spam.
Hosted services can make sure the spam never reaches person’s e-mail boxes. As well, as e-mail systems get updated and patches to fix security bugs come out, a hosted service can do the work automatically.