Costs, Control, Ease of Use
In 2010, the 125 employees of a county in east Illinois -- and their hardworking IT director -- needed a robust, well-integrated email and collaboration solution that accommodated all the security and regulatory needs of county government. It was critical that the solution also be cost-effective and a breeze to use. The cost/benefit analysis left no doubt that MDaemon was the best solution for their needs.
“I’m a ‘one-man band’ supporting a small county government in the middle of nowhere,” the IT director said. “And we needed a much more robust email solution than was being provided by a local ISP.”
The county’s email system handles 15 departments with just over 100 email accounts and a handful of mailing lists. They were struggling to deal with storage limitations, the lack of integrated features like shared calendars, and the challenge of meeting all of the regulatory needs of government. They also needed a more rigorous antivirus/spam filtering solution than the general or non-existent options available locally.
“These issues, along with the lack of archiving capabilities, were leaving the county open to any number of legal and logistical issues,” the director said. “Relying on local email client software was a huge time sink for both support and staff. Transferring email data as new machines were deployed required more time than it was worth.”
When it came to selecting a new email and collaboration solution, industry standards like Office365 weren’t even on the radar due to their overall expense and their cloud-based storage model. An internal Microsoft Exchange server was well beyond their willingness to implement due to the per-user cost and the overall expense of building the proper infrastructure.
However, the director had previously worked with another local ISP who used MDaemon email server as their solution of choice for customer email. “I decided if it worked for thousands of dial-up users, it’d be worth a shot for our county,” he said.
He reviewed the numbers, MDaemon was the best product for their needs.
The director was responsible for training users to use MDaemon’s webmail interface instead of relying on the “hodge-podge” of desktop software the county had used before.
“It’s a largely older workforce, so there was a lot of training and hand-holding to get users past the change in their routines,” he said. “Now it’s a seamless daily operation for them to access their email. Installing the IM client smoothed over a lot of worries as it allows a double-click and open option that eliminates remembering a password.”
“Even with the AntiVirus package, the annual cost is under $1,000 a year,” he said. “Best of all, I have complete access to every aspect of our environment so I can migrate to new servers myself and know that it’s getting done correctly and securely.”
As the system administrator, he appreciates the information and control MDaemon provides. For the county, hosting its own email server has simplified the process of troubleshooting the email delivery issues that an ISP often fails to prioritize. He also appreciates the options for shared mailboxes and internal mailing lists.
So what does he like best about MDaemon?
“It doesn’t try to be all things in one massive package,” he said. “It does what it needs to do, and you can tweak as needed; you can invest in all the bells and whistles or just use plain old email. It works on all our devices and doesn’t miss a beat. And I rest easier because I know it’s archiving and backing up. I’ve even started to explore fail-over/high availability functionality as we consider upgrading our servers again.”
“I can’t imagine how the larger counties in our area cover those expenses,” he said. “I recommend MDaemon to every agency I interact with, mainly due to the per-user cost savings, and I will continue to mention MDaemon to other IT professionals looking for a stable and secure platform for email.”