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Switching to McAfee SaaS Dramatically Improves Cloud Services for Small and Mid‑Sized Businesses

Founded in 2006, managed service provider Technologyville focuses on meeting the IT needs of small and mid-sized companies in the greater Chicago metropolitan area and 20 states from California to Florida. The firm’s customers have between five and 250 desktops and span many industries. Technologyville strives to be its clients’ IT director, CIO, engineering team, and/or help desk and takes the time to examine and evaluate the best processes and technology solutions to meet each customer’s distinct needs. Thanks to this business-focused, consultative approach and successful IT solutions, the firm has experienced significant double-digit, year-over-year growth since its inception.

A Better Alternative
For spam filtering and email protection, Technologyville had been selling a solution to its customers until that company announced plans to shut down the service. “This change was a blessing because it accelerated our search for a better solution with less cumbersome administration and more adequate support,” says Brian Ellis, director of operations at Technologyville. “With the previous solution we sold, we could not offer our customers true business continuity at a reasonable price. Lack of [Microsoft] Active Directory synchronization also made it difficult to maintain, especially for companies that have a lot of employee turnover.”

In its search for a better cloud-based email protection service, Technologyville considered a homegrown solution while testing a number of industry solutions. This search included open source and services provided by leading software and security companies. McAfee® Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) Email Protection & Continuity quickly rose to the top of all the options based on its performance eliminating spam and message-based threats, cost-effectiveness, and proven track record. “Two of our engineers and I had all had very positive experiences with the solution,” adds Ellis. “The McAfee cloud service was far superior to the solution we sold previously and all the other solutions we evaluated.”

Superior, Easier-to-Use Email Protection with True Business Continuity
Technologyville is migrating all of its customers to McAfee SaaS Email Protection & Continuity, a cloudbased solution that blocks more than 99% of spam, fraudulent messages, and malware before they enter the network. IT also offers the ability to protect users from malware, phishing, and advanced persistent threats (APTs) borne through embedded URLs. The solution significantly raises the level of email security and assurance— including full email functionality via a web interface in the event of email server failure, all without any additional on-premises hardware, software, or IT staff. McAfee SaaS Email Protection service is so effective because, in addition to employing more than 20 separate email filters, it is updated 24/7, in near real time by McAfee Global Threat Intelligence (McAfee GTI) cloud-based reputation services.

Acting as its clients’ outsourced IT department, Technologyville consultants sit down with customers to determine which policies to implement for their McAfee SaaS Email Protection and McAfee SaaS Web Protection services. For the majority of its SMB customers, Technologyville acts as an administrator and uses the McAfee SaaS management console to implement the policies for them. For the few companies that want to manage their own policies, Technologyville grants them administrative rights so they can use the McAfee console on their own.

"Our customers have found that McAfee SaaS protection provides a substantial reduction in their TCO and also provides the flexibility of increasing or reducing licenses as needed."

Brian Ellis
Director of Operations, Technologyville

“With the McAfee SaaS solutions, administration of cloud services is much easier and significantly streamlined both for us as we manage our clients’ accounts and for those clients who manage administration on their own,” declares Ellis. “The McAfee solution is far superior in its management console capabilities, content and spam filtering configuration, and end-user ease of use.”

“Our customers have responded extremely positively to the switch to McAfee,” adds Ellis. “With McAfee, they have better protection and an easier-to-use interface as well as true business continuity,” explains Ellis. “If their email servers go down for any reason, they have a reliable means of checking and responding to critical email via a secure web interface. In addition, if there’s an issue, we no longer have to wait 12 to 24 hours for a support response. With McAfee, we get someone on the phone within minutes, and the issue is resolved.”

Easy-to-Add Web Protection and Other Cloud Services
Several Technologyville customers with McAfee SaaS Email Protection have also chosen to add McAfee SaaS Web Protection, which filters web content and protects users from accessing malware-infected websites. “McAfee makes it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to have robust web and email protection at a reasonable price,” says Ellis. “McAfee is the only vendor we now sell for email and web protection cloud services.” As for the companies that manage their own policies internally rather than have Technologyville do it for them, they can manage both email and web policies from a single management console.

Because the vast majority of its clients have laptops that leave the office network on a daily basis, Technologyville created a computer startup script to install and regularly update the McAfee Client Proxy, which redirects off-network traffic to McAfee SaaS Web Protection. According to Ellis, the startup process using McAfee Client Proxy is easier than using cookies, backhauling, or PAC files. With the McAfee Client Proxy, Technologyville creates bypass and block lists for each customer—for example, to bypass applications such as Microsoft Outlook.exe and websites such as Docusign.com or to block social media sites.

Technologyville intends to offer all of the McAfee cloud offerings to its customers, enabling them to easily add McAfee SaaS Email Archiving, McAfee SaaS Email Encryption, and McAfee SaaS Endpoint Protection. Technologyville customers in legal and financial industries, for example, who have been using on-premises archiving and are interested in using McAfee SaaS Email Archiving to meet compliance requirements. With McAfee SaaS Email Archiving, customers can retain emails for a designated time period and access archived email messages in seconds using message or attachment keywords, date range, sender, recipient, and other parameters at a very granular level.

Increased Productivity and Reduced TCO
With McAfee SaaS Email and Web Protection, Technologyville customers have already experienced significant productivity gains. “Our clients say their end users have freed up to an hour each day that used to be devoted to managing spam,” reports Ellis. “For another customer, we enabled McAfee web content filtering and set a policy to block all social media sites internally, which resulted in a 15% gain in productivity.”

Technologyville’s clients who have compared hardware-based web gateway solutions and associated annual support and maintenance contracts to McAfee SaaS Web Protection and a monthly recurring expense model have found that the latter has a lower total cost of ownership. “Our customers have found that McAfee SaaS protection provides a substantial reduction in their TCO and also provides the flexibility of increasing or reducing licenses as needed,” summarizes Ellis.

"If we had to go through the due diligence all over again to find the optimum cloud service, there’s no question we would make the same choice all over again and switch to McAfee."

Brian Ellis
Director of Operations, Technologyville

“Companies that have high turnover rates especially appreciate the ability to turn users on and off as needed and not pay for deactivated accounts.”

Technologyville strongly encourages its small and mid-sized business customers to move to the cloud for both email and web protection because doing so not only saves them money but usually improves overall security. As Ellis puts it, “Why have a single point of failure on your network for email?” Based on results, McAfee is the right answer for Technologyville’s clients.

Safer Systems While Saving Time
With its previous web filtering software, Technologyville spent an average of 12 hours each month cleaning up the malware or spyware-infected systems of their clients, typically after users played unsafe online games or visited infected social media sites. “After implementing McAfee SaaS Web Protection and website access policies, the vast majority of such cases disappear instantly,” says Ellis. “We save at least six to eight hours each month just from not having to clean up infected systems.”

Benefits Lead to Internal Use
As soon as all of its customers are up and running on McAfee SaaS solutions, Technologyville plans to deploy McAfee SaaS Web Protection internally across its laptops and workstations. “We have seen the benefits for our customers, and we plan to reap them ourselves,” concludes Ellis. “Just like our customers, we want to ensure our employees are as productive as possible and that their devices are protected at all times, no matter where they are. If we had to go through the due diligence all over again to find the optimum cloud service, there’s no question we would make the same choice all over again and switch to McAfee.”

Technologyville

Customer profile

Provider of technology solutions and services for small and mid-sized businesses

Industry

High technology

IT environment

Typical clients have five to 250 users. Internally, the firm has 19 desktops and servers.

Challenges

Prevent spam and malware from entering network via email or web

McAfee solution

  • McAfee Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) Email Protection & Continuity
  • McAfee SaaS Web Protection
  • McAfee SaaS Email Archiving
  • McAfee SaaS Email Encryption
  • McAfee SaaS Endpoint Protection

Results

  • Increases productivity and saves time for both Technologyville and end user clients.
  • Minimizes risk to business reputation, operations, and productivity from cyberattacks or email server outages.
  • Reduces total cost of ownership and provides flexibility to easily add and subtract users.
  • Facilitates compliance with automatic email archiving and encryption options.