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Word From Main St.: Antispam Options For SMBs

Small-business executives' frustration will continue to increase along with the number of spam messages.

Published for the Week Of February 9, 2004

'm not pushing the envelope by saying that small businesses are fed up with spam. We all are. It doesn't matter whether your business is large or small or whether you work at all. If you use e-mail, I'm betting you deal with spam and find it pretty annoying.

Whether you find cheap prescriptions drugs or an amazingly low home-loan rate appealing, or even if you have a desire to help those displaced royals by letting them deposit a few million dollars in your account, you are facing lost time every time you open your e-mail.

In her In Depth report this month, CRN Senior Editor Christina Torode takes a look at what solution providers are doing for their small-business customers deluged by spam.

Small businesses, which often have no IT staff other than their local solution providers, are hit especially hard. In a recent study commissioned by Symantec, some 42 percent of small-business executives said they would consider canning e-mail if they can't get a handle on the spam problem.

Solution providers are doing what they can to help their small-business customers choose the solution that does the best job for the budget available. But there is work to be done.

While there are multiple solutions available to slow the flow of spam, no single solution is right for the special needs of small businesses, solution providers said. High-powered solutions from marquee vendors are too costly for most small businesses, and the stripped-down solutions often don't get the job done, they said.

Small-business executives' frustration will continue to increase along with the number of spam messages. Maybe they'll never give up their e-mail, but they will continue to turn to VARs and their vendor partners for solutions. Let's make sure we're ready.

Larry Hooper is senior editor/features at CRN. Contact him via e-mail at

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