Both GFI Max Director of Engineering Mark Petrie and GFI Max Mail General Manager Eric Schwab took hold of this morning's general session at GFI Max U.S. Customer Conference 2013 by revealing where GFI Max will take its managed services providers (MSPs) in the short to mid term. Which main points did they cover?

CJ Arlotta, Associate Editor

September 24, 2013

5 Min Read
GFI Max Director of Engineering Mark Petrie and GFI Max Mail General Manager Eric Schwab build the roadmap to MSPs for the future of GFI Max
GFI Max Director of Engineering Mark Petrie and GFI Max Mail General Manager Eric Schwab build the roadmap to MSPs for the future of GFI Max.

Both GFI Max Director of Engineering Mark Petrie and GFI Max Mail General Manager Eric Schwab led off the general session at GFI Max U.S. Customer Conference 2013 today with a look at the company’s roadmap for managed services providers (MSPs) in the short to mid term for GFI Max’s mail services and mobile device management (MDM) features.

Here’s a summary of today’s general session.

GFI Max Mail General Manager Eric Schwab

  • In 2012, worldwide email volume per day reached 144 billion. The average employee received 56 messages per day in 2005 and received 110 messages per day in 2012.

  • We’ve worked on architectural refactoring through network architecture, storage architecture, inbound and outbound filtering technologies, message acceptance and delivery, digest and NDR generations. Our archive service now includes journaling updates.

  • We just developed an LDAP client/ AD import script, which is available in Q4; auto-addition of users, based on inbound and/or outbound traffic, which is available Q4; based on messages in journaling mailbox, available in Q1; and sign-up and setup wizard with auto-addition of users, available in Q1.

  • For Max MailProtection we’re working on diagnostics including delivery testing, DNS, MX open relay, available in Q4; message delivery log increase from 10 days to 30 days, available Q4; quarantine extension from 10 days to 21 days, available Q4; and continuity extending from 4 days to 21 days, available Q4.

  • For Max Mail Archive, we’re working on a flexble security model, search enhancements, available in Q1; and IMAP access for access to archive from Outlook, tablets, phones, etc.

  • We’re working on the Max RM integration with Max Mail Integration. Additions to Max Mail Services include web service and an alerting system. Additions to Max RM include deployment of mail services, configuration of mail services, and statistics from mail and alerts.

  • We’re also adding an encrpytion service, including policy-based encrpytion part one that delivers via TLS and selective outbound encrpytion based on recipient addresses, available in Q1; and policy-based encrpytion part 2 delivers via TLS or via secure, rebrandable port, available in 2014.

  • SendItBetter is a new product. The pitch: Email has limitations, since you can’t send large files easily, there’s no security and no notification. Users use alternatives like FTP, Sharepoint, and Dropbox.

  • SendItBetter is a cloud-based service, where a sender uploads files over secure channel. Files are encrpyed and stored in the cloud. SendItBetter emails the recipients a link to access files.

  • The file sharing solution is built from ground up for MSPs. Fully re-brandable at every touch point and inherently viral free advertising for partners, since MSP branding is all over it.

  • Pricing for the service is completely FREE. Just because it’s free to you it doesn’t mean it has to be free for customers.

  • SendItBetter will be available Q4 for GFI-branded beta, but full launch will be in 2014.

GFI Max Director of Engineering Mark Petrie

  • Our MDM feature is a new billable item that provides basic device information. For BYOD devices MSPs can leverage location, remote lock, remote wipe, basic setup of iOS devices. Company-owned devices provide all of the same features, including advanced setup for iOS, extended usage information, install apps. Beta 1  supports Android 2.2 last week. Beta 2 will add support for iOS.

  • We’d like to hear feedback from MSPs. Should we support Blackberry 8 or 10? How about Windows Mobile? What about application deployment? We’ll take a look at iOS 7, management of Android devices, monitoring alerts for storage and usage. What about URL history, geo-fencing and bulk enrollment?

  • We’re developing more remote background management tools. It’s the fastest adopted feature we’ve ever launched. We have 120 RBM nodes around the world. Longest persistent connection we have is more than 2.5 weeks (and counting). Actions from dashboard now immediate. In the future, we can look to immediate alerting of overdue services.

  • Remote Process Control is in development right now. A survey shows strong demand for File Explorer, which we’re investigating. Will publish roadmap for this feature in October, post conferences.

  • We’re working on architectural improvements for our dashboard performance and availability, looking to upgrade to backend database infrastructure, planned in October; medium-term architectural changes (Q4 2013) include different features, split database infrastructure by features. Long-term architectural changes in 2014 for split database infrastructure by customer, balance load between different instances.

  • GFI Max is looking at SNMP checks (timeouts). We are hoping to extend altert suppression mechanism. We’re also updating MOB to IASO 2013, improved support for VMware, support for Microsoft Exchange 2013.

  • Even though we’re investing heavily in backup, we’ll never stop supporting third-party AV and backup products. We will continue support third-party AV and backup products.

  • We’re going to continue to enhance the look and feel of the dashboard, as well as the usability of it.  Dashboardv6 is something we’re hoping to complete by the end of 2013 or early 2014. It will include securing dashboard access, and roles and permissions (early 2014).

  • We will in no way get rid of our Connectwise or Autotask integration.

  • We are working on reporting improvements for API calls for recent history, improving data dumps, improvements to existing reports, as well as asset tracking improvements, too.

GFI Max Business Unit General Manager Alistair Forbes kicked off yesterday’s general session with an overview of where the company has been, a few product announcements and a plan for how the company will bring the MSP community together through peer engagement.

GFI Max Sales Director Chip Bieler also took center stage yesterday for an interactive session that drew on audience members to identify common MSP challenges.

Keep checking back for further updates from the conference.

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About the Author(s)

CJ Arlotta

Associate Editor, Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media

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