Mailwatch/Allegro Systems: Pioneer Hosted Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam Service

Mailwatch is a hosted service that scans your email for you. The main services are:

  • Spam control
  • Virus control
  • Policy compliance. Eg checking for word combinations that are suspicious

This is a special service. It’s the latest version of Allegro Systems offering. This was launched in 1996, based on MIMEsweeper. Allegro was an important innovator. It was the first hosted service to provide email content filtering. At that time, its focus was anti-virus and policy compliance. Then spam control was added. Clients included major names like Ford: Ford still uses the service.

The company was sold to EasyLink, a match that at the time we advised against (Allegro was a client). Sadly, our concerns were borne out, and the merger destroyed more value than it created. In 2004, Infocrossing bought the business for $5M. It was profitable, and with a $4M turnover.

Infocrossing provides and runs network infrastructure for businesses. It looks as if there may well be a good synergism between Infocrossing and its acquisition. Its big challenge is presumeably: can it catch up with other services such as MessageLabs and Postini?

David Ferris

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