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Case study - Dane County Humane Society

What do you do when half of all email you get is junk? Ignoring the problem wastes employee time, burdens mail servers and represents a massive security threat. Dane County Humane Society knew it had to do something. That something was GFI MailEssentials®.


“There were two main issues. One – the proliferation of spam that comes into a system nowadays. There are times when 50 percent of the email coming into our system is spam of some type. This not only takes up precious resources, but makes users unproductive and more susceptible to a virus,” says Randy Viney, IT administrator for Dane County Humane Society. “GFI spam filtering cuts down on that. The other issue is time. Due to cost considerations that every non-profit has, I am the only one supporting our network. By using spam filtering, I save hours and hours of work I would have had if a user opened the wrong attachment.”

Six spam-free years

Viney inherited the GFI MailEssentials system put in place six years ago. It serves the Madison, WI headquarters and its 80 employees well. “It was installed on the server when I came here years ago. I quickly found that it was easy to manage and has a first class support system. It does what I need it to do at a reasonable cost,” says Viney.

GFI MailEssentials didn’t just stay in place by default. It earned its place. “I’ve looked at alternative methods, such as Securence email filtering, which I’ve used at other companies. I’ve been so happy with GFI MailEssentials and its tech support that I never even considered a change,” says Viney.

Spam is far more than a nuisance. Experts estimate some three percent of all junk mail carries malware. Block spam and you block these infections. “It’s very good at blocking the spam that may carry a virus, reducing the risk of infection on our systems. Anyone who has dealt with the after-effects of a virus knows that can cost a lot of time and money; that protection is worth the cost for the product,” says Viney. “By reducing the chance of a virus in our system, plus the use of the easy-to-use dashboard, I can maintain the mail system in very quick time.”

Spam takes time and time is money

How long does it take to deal with each spam message that makes it through to the inbox? Thirty seconds? A minute? Now, multiply that by all of the many junk emails that bust through and you are talking about serious user time.

While IT managers are concerned with employee productivity, they also care about IT efficiency. This is where effective anti-spam comes in.

“GFI MailEssentials helps me manage the mail system in a productive manner, allowing me time for other network issues. When an additional issue comes up, most of the time tech support has fixed that issue in an exceedingly fast time. This allows me to be more productive in my job,” says Viney.

Works as advertised

There are a myriad of spam filters, including those bundled for free from ISPs and those built into email clients such as Microsoft Outlook. For serious results, the best approach is true business-quality spam prevention, the kind that comes from GFI MailEssentials.

“The software works as advertised. And with the available updates, we can be assured we’re using the product on the latest operating systems. SpamTag also helps offload some of the whitelist/blocklist management to the users. They now have some control over blocked emails without needing my assistance to fix the issue for them,” says Viney.

Just what is this SpamTag? SpamTag is a Microsoft Outlook add-on which enables users to flag incorrect email as spam, or not spam, directly in Microsoft Outlook. It is also possible to add email addresses to the personal whitelist or personal blocklist. All actions that users can perform are turned on or off from the GFI MailEssentials’ main configuration by the admin, making SpamTag highly customizable.

IT professionals care about features and function. They also care about installation, manageability, stability, performance and effectiveness. “Installation of the product is as simple as it gets. I’ve never had an issue with installations or upgrades. I have run GFI MailEssentials on both Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2013 systems. There were a few minor issues to fix, but those were mainly preferential settings in the software itself. Support helped me set the correct settings so that it would function the best for our organization’s needs. Even in times of high mail volume, the performance does not seem to bog down the system,” says Viney.

It doesn’t take long for GFI MailEssentials to prove its worth. “I had just finished a fresh install on an Exchange 2013 server that forwarded emails to the old Exchange 2007 server. It immediately picked up and stopped spam at that point. I even noticed on the 2007 server dashboard that no spam mail was being forwarded to it. Yes, a little tweaking is always needed, but it will definitely make an immediate impact on the installation of any mail system.”

Issues have been very few and far in between – and in the rare cases they occur, either Viney or GFI can solve them fast. “We have not had any issues, except for an occasional email that was misidentified and that happens with any solution out there. But, between the dashboard, log files and tech support, the issues are always quickly resolved,” says Viney. “I appreciate good tech support. I have contacted many companies over the years and there are only a handful I can put in the top echelon as far as speed, consistency, knowledge and personality. GFI is one of them.”

Bottom line

A non-profit such as Dane County Humane Society has to watch its dollars and cents. Fortunately, the price of GFI MailEssentials’ is just right. “The cost seems very reasonable compared to other solutions. Of course, as a non-profit, we would always like to see a lower cost, but I believe GFI gives us a great return for our cost,” says Viney.

“This software has continued to meet and exceed my expectations. This is why we have been, and will continue to be, a happy GFI customer,” concluded Viney.


For more information about GFI MailEssentials visit our product discovery page.

Download version of the software here

Disclaimer: All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners. To the best of our knowledge, all details were correct at the time of publishing; this information is subject to change without notice.

Randy Viney

Randy Viney

Company: Dane County Humane Society

Location:Wisconson, USA

Industry:Animal welfare

Product in use: GFI MailEssentials

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