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Hilbert has several issues on his plate. One is the continuing work Network Doctor does with email hosting, an evolving specialty influenced by Google's cloud email offerings. Network Doctor is a Google Apps provider. However, Hilbert's email business might run counter to Google's email road map, and Hilbert is trying to be careful.
Network Doctor offers email management to thousands of customers through email security company Postini, which Google purchased in 2007. Google said it is transitioning the Postini service to Google Apps, but Hilbert would like more assurance and communication from Google about what's going to happen.
"Our first cloud service was Postini," Hilbert said. "We manage over 10,000 mailboxes through Postini. Since Google took over, it's been a little bit of a mystery about Postini's future. We get emails that Google is dropping Postini, and we're not sure what that means for clients. It seems they are trying to move it to Google Apps."
Hilbert has decided to use another email program, called Spam Soap, an integrated offering that uses McAfee email encryption technology.
"So we are partnering with Spam Soap for hosted email security," he said. "Google doesn't seem to care."
Another important issue for Hilbert is the size of his hosting facility, which is used to power his cloud service. Network Doctor has been offering hosting for four years, and his data center is no longer big enough, he said.
He's looking for a good price, a company with a facility that matches his needs, and a hard-to-define feeling that the relationship will work.
"We're shopping for different providers for infrastructure," Hilbert said. "I'm at 85 percent capacity for my data center so I'm looking for third parties."
Part of the responsibility in hosting services is to ensure a seamless integration of technologies -- not always an easy task.
While these issues demand his immediate attention, Hilbert said he's also focusing on capitalizing on demand for Network Doctor's services created by Hurricane Sandy in October.
Many companies that lost services during the storm are now interested in having their assets hosted off-premise by Network Doctor's cloud network. They're looking to improve their disaster recovery capabilities, which Network Doctor's cloud services provide.
During the hurricane, Network Doctor's data center kept services running for customers, and its staff contacted about 100 customers by phone to make sure their IT remained up and running. Now, Network Doctor is planning to hold a lunch in New York City later this month for about 30 prospective customers to explain the benefits of the cloud, including disaster recovery.