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Crown Records achieves zero spam rates

Carol Ko | Nov. 25, 2008
Managed security services saves global records management company US$1 million.

HONG KONG, 24 NOVEMBER 2008 Crown Records Management has slashed the amount of disruptive e-mail spam from 80 per cent of all traffic to nearly zero after implementing MessageLabs managed security services.

Hong Kong-headquartered private company Crown Records is the world's third largest document management company which often has to provide customers with access to stored documents within hours. Recently, it estimated that spam-related delays in responding to customer e-mails could potentially cost it as much as US$1 million in service level agreement (SLA) performance penalties.

Following the transition to its new managed e-mail security solution, Crown is now benefiting a web security services provider MessageLabs SLA that guarantees that every legitimate message arrives intact, virtually instantaneously. Furthermore, no matter how much spam is filtered, no legitimate Crown e-mail will ever take more than one minute to arrive.

Our Records Management business has service level agreements (SLAs) with all of its clients. This means that typically if a customer requests access to documents, we provide them within a specified time frame, usually within hours or the next day. And, if we fail to meet those deadlines, there are financial penalties, said Chris Davis-Pipe, group vice president of IT, Crown Worldwide Group.

Business critical e-mail

Before implementing MessageLabs, Crown used a security appliance solution to protect its 2,200 global PC users from spam and viruses. However, the appliance slowed immediately after Crown applied a normal software update, taking hours to process and filter incoming e-mails. A two-week search for a fix proved fruitless and the sluggish e-mail traffic was beginning to have an operational impact on the company as well as serious financial implications.

The two week saga with the defective device had the potential to cost the business US$1 million. We knew that e-mail was business critical, but we hadn't considered the financial implications fully. We'd previously spoken to the MessageLabs team here in Hong Kong and given the problems with our device, a managed service was very attractive, said Davis-Pipe.

The evaluation process took just ten days. Actually turning on the service took just a few hours.

MessageLabs provided us with a two-week trial that enabled us to test the service before rolling it out globally and the results were overwhelmingly positive. The time delay was eliminated and this meant that we were able to deliver against our SLAs again, explained Davis-Pipe.

The experience post roll out has been positive. It just works. For us that provides peace of mind, reduces our business risk and frees resources to work on projects that add value instead of monitoring e-mail, said Davis-Pipe.

An unforeseen benefit is that the use of the MessageLabs' service is now a potential selling point for Crown. A number of its large clients are in the financial services or legal industries and consequently are very security focused.


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