Review: Infocrossing Moves Messages In Realtime


IT outsourcing service provider's recent release, iConnection, offers hosted mailboxes and security, monitoring and archiving


IT outsourcing provider Infocrossing recently expanded its operations to offer messaging services to the VAR and systems integrator community. The new service, dubbed iConnection, has been publicly released at version 6.0. IConnection aims to deliver many realtime services on e-mail systems.

IConnection offers hosted mailboxes and services such as security, antispam and antivirus, content filtering, monitoring and archiving. IConnection then combines all of these services with Microsoft Exchange features into a common Web environment so that customers can work with the tools in a single view. However, not every tool is readily accessible from the start since iConnection has a modular architecture. Partners can lease each service separately.

With every hosted Exchange account, Infocrossing is offering a fully integrated e-mail and archival system that can be managed and processed with only a few resources on hand. Customers are able to store and analyze e-mail content systematically.

Infocrossing is seeking customers that have between 100 to 2,500 mailboxes for its iConnection services. Because every service is managed by Infocrossing, VARs only need to concentrate on software operations.

The company is using its five data centers to host iConnection, therefore hardware operations are managed automatically and partners can be up and running within a few days.

IConnection is compliant-ready, which means that it follows standards set by regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the SEC and others. Since these regulations enforce different standards, Infocrossing cannot state that it is responsible for every action made by end users. However, the company comes close to guaranteeing complete responsibility.

Infocrossing data centers also meet regulatory requirements by providing comprehensive archival and distributed storage capabilities. The company uses Network Appliance to meet hardware compliance and EMC for general storage.

Behind the scenes, iConnection uses a policy engine that connects with external organizational structures via LDAP and Active Directory. The policy engine is able to roll out permissions and access based on existing policies so that administrators do not have to re-create them from scratch when migrating to iConnection. The policy engine also can add e-mail policies.

IConnection provides various levels of security and encryption to guarantee secured messaging.

IConnection's policy engine ties into organization structures to get actions and conditions in which e-mails must be processed.

In addition to managing inbound/outbound messages and archiving, iConnection can be extremely useful for observing message content flow on a large scale. Administrators can monitor information leaks by maintaining strict intellectual property regulations using compliance searching.

IConnection provides specific job roles and functions for all users so that IT groups can monitor every action. Administrators can define retention policies based on content and user groups, and based on any given set of policies, administrators also can create archive segments instead of combining every message and storing it into a single view.

IConnection arrives with detailed security features to define the scope of investigations. During a discovery process, investigating officers can process and classify messages by content and authors. These functions are only accessible to specialized users, so iConnection can separate investigating officers from users who have the authority to define the scope of investigations.

IConnection provides complete visibility of changes made while officers are not connected. Then, after logging on, officers can see any changes made to the scope of an investigation. Officers can add comments on messages during classification processes. In addition, officers can perform searches on dates, recipients and senders, and can perform Boolean and fuzzy searches on content. Phrase searches can traverse all connected e-mails, including some attachments.

IConnection is licensed per mailbox per month at a price of $12.99 for all services. Partners retain a percentage of the monthly recurring revenue and are offered a 25 percent reseller margin. OEMs can receive up to 40 percent margins.

VARs (VAR, Gold VAR and Platinum VAR) are responsible for providing level 1 support to their clients, while Infocrossing provides level 2 support; OEMs must provide level 1 and 2 support, while Infocrossing provides level 3 support. Support is provided over the Web and phone.