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Network Management SMB spam

Network Management Group partners with IBM and Hewlett-Packard for servers and desktops, but decided to sell its spam-filter appliance, DoubleCheck E-mail Manager, on a white-box server out of economic considerations.

The appliance checks e-mails for spam, viruses without needing new desktop or server software.

"We white-boxed this one to hold the price down," Harper said. "We are building our own towers. We're starting on the 1U rack with a SuperMicro and then are adding all of our stuff to it."

DoubleCheck E-mail Manager, which runs on Linux, can sit either inside or outside the firewall. The solution monitors both incoming and outgoing e-mail for spam and viruses without requiring new desktop or server software.

The company is selling the solution through a network of about 65 VARs. Harper declined to reveal the price he charges his VAR partners and said that one reason he went with a white-box system is so that customers couldn't price-shop the hardware on the Web.

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"You can't go on a Web site and find the price of this product," he said. "It's a true solution sell."

With the customer unable to split the cost of the hardware from the application, Harper said that VARs are free to market the appliance as they want.

With the white-box engine insulating the VAR from undue hardware margin pressure, solution providers are also free to capitalize on selling services such as installation and annual software maintenance upgrades, he said. What's more, VARs can focus on selling management features of the white-box appliance.

"DoubleCheck does very extensive reporting," Harper said. "If the receptionist is the No. 1 receiver of spam she is spending all day surfing, and you can easily figure this out."

The appliance comes with McAfee antivirus software and automatically connects to the McAfee server every 30 minutes looking for new virus updates. And every night, the system connects to Network Management Group's servers to get updates for DoubleCheck E-mail Manager.

Ted Warner, president of solution provider Connecting Point, Greeley, Colo., said the DoubleCheck solution has cut down significantly on his customers' spam mail.

"We like it because it's priced right and less expensive than other solutions on the market," he said.