Five years after its acquisition by Google, the Postini brand is to finally bow out, as the search giant ditches some of the security vendor's products and integrates others into its Google Apps suite.
But some competitors are looking to pounce on resellers and customers they believe are being left in the lurch by Google. In a blog post this week, Google Apps product manager Adam Dawes explains that on top of the Postini features already integrated into Google Apps, the Message Security (GMS) and Message Discovery (GMD) offerings will be changed in the coming months.
"As part of the ongoing integration of features, starting today Google Apps administrators can use a new feature to manage routing and basic filtering of email to on-premise systems as well as email to Google Apps users," writes Dawes. "This feature will make it easier for groups like sales, support and operations to use generic email addresses such as [email protected] or [email protected]
"We will communicate additional details about the transition to our customers in the coming months. We are also developing tools and resources that will assist with the transition. After the migration, customers can explore other Google Apps such as Gmail and Google Docs."
The GMS and GMD products will both be integrated into the Google Apps for Business suite, with the latter also being incorporated into Google Apps Vault.
The Google Message Filtering and Postini Small Business Edition products are being phased out, with customers to "be sent a non-renewal notice later in 2012". The future for Google Message Encryption customers appears more uncertain, with the vendor stating: "We are working on a solution to support your encryption needs. Later this year, we will post updates to this site."
Help at hand
Ian Moyse, sales director at cloud provider Workbooks.com, was formerly EMEA channel boss at Webroot, which controversially exited the email security and archiving markets last year. Moyse drew parallels between the two situations.
"It has been long expected that this would happen and [Postini] would become a component of Google Apps; Google is not a security-focused company, after all," he said. "The challenge will again be for many resellers let down by their vendor and having to look to another solution offering to sell, market and support.
"For any that moved from Webroot to Postini they may feel jinxed at this point, but there are a wealth of focused vendors in this space that resellers and customers have the option to utilise and, with email filtering, clouding it is the obvious choice."
In another blog post, Bob Stevens, chief information officer of US-based hosting player Blended Systems, also compared Postini VARs' situation with that which faced Webroot partners late last year. He explained that his company is launching a free and impartial helpline for concerned customers.
"This seems like déjà vu all over again", he said. "We just migrated thousands of our clients' users from Webroot's email security service. The good news for our clients is that this transition will be smoother. About half of our clients made the decision to migrate to the new service when Webroot exited the email protection business last year and are quite happy."
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