Proofpoint Targets Postini MSPs for Email Security Offering

Proofpoint Targets Postini MSPs for Email Security Offering

Andres Kohn, ProofPointLooking for a new email security and filtering solution following Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) retirement of Postini? Enterprise email filtering and security vendor Proofpoint (NASDAQ: PFPT) wants to talk to you. The 11-year-old Sunnyvale, Calif. company is taking its solutions to new markets including telecos and managed service providers. Seeking market expansion, and seeing the stars align as Google (which had never pleased the channel with its Postini moves) announced the retirement of its Postini email filtering and security last year, Proofpoint has recently moves to optimize its offering for managed service providers, Andres Kohn, VP of technology at the company (pictured) told MSPmentor. The result is a cloud-based multi-tenant-capable software as a service solution for filtering, monitoring and securing email with utility-based pricing comparable to Postini.  This version of Proofpoint's solution will be 100 percent channel, he said. Here are the details.

Kohn told me that the opportunity had grown in the smaller enterprise and SMB market as a number of vendors, including Google, have abandoned the market, leaving MSPs looking for an alternative. Another force driving change has been more customer organizations moving towards a managed security service provider model and towards cloud solutions rather than on-premise. Proofpoint had targeted new markets and acquisitions in its IPO last year, and completed the acquisition of U.K.-based Maildistiller, a cloud-based provider with an MSP-driven go-to-market strategy for email security and filtering. This company's technology added the multi-tenant capability that Proofpoint needed to serve these new markets.

Security threats more serious

"If a customer's network gets hit with an attack  It's the MSP's reputation on the line," Kohn said. Kohn pointed out that attacks have ratcheted up in intensity and in the target's value over the past several years.

"Ten years ago focus the focus was on Viagra spam. Five years ago trying to get people's PayPal numbers. Now it is infiltrating custmer's network to get lists of their customers' credit card numbers or else the company's intellectual property.  We've seen many of these over the last few years that have started with these targeted email attacks." 

Proofpoint announced its Proofpoint Essentials solution this week, which marries together the enterprise-strength Proofpoint solution with Maildistiller's SaaS solution.  Kohn told me the solution will remain 100 percent channel, although the existing Proofpoint enterprise solutions are sold direct.

Proofpoint Essentials details

Proofpoint Essentials will be offering in three tiers -- Beginner, Business and Professional. Beginner starts with inbound email filtering and security and also offers 24 hours worth of email business continuity, with a failed system switching over to Proofpoint Essentials hosted server for that period of time without email interruption to the end user company. Professional's services include searchable email archiving/retention for regulatory or legal reasons and a longer period of email business continuity to compensate for any outage. Email encryption is also available.  MSP partners will be charged on a utility basis monthly, per user and per package.  MSPs then set their own prices to end users, perhaps bundling the service together as part of another offering.

"A lot of our MSP partners are managing Microsoft Exchange on behalf of their customers," Kohn told me. "We are very suited to working closely with that. We are sitting in the cloud and don't care where the Exchange server is hosted -- on-premise or cloud." More information is available at

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