Postini Exit: Time to Choose

If you’re a Google Postini customer, or even an observer of the market, you’ll be well aware that Google has brought the curtain down on its Postini email services. To paraphrase Google, it’s “transitioning Postini services to the Google Apps platform beginning in 2013.”

“Transitioning”, is another way of saying we’re cutting you off and you better do something about it. As an IT professional you’ve probably been cursing the day you found this out; I bet the idea of an unplanned migration of such a core service is something you wished happened more often, isn’t at all disruptive is it?

 Part of the worry about moving to a new platform will be the completeness of said platform. The Google transition FAQ tells us there is some core functionality missing. For example; you won’t have a quarantine summary until Q1, 2013. Users won’t be able to manage their quarantines online, like they do now, until Q2, 2013, along with reporting. Outbound filtering won’t be with you until Q3, 2013. And, if you want any sort of admin quarantine the best estimate you’ll get from Google is 2013.

Sadly, the list of missing or unsupported features goes on, ultimately ending in a couple of shockers that leave you worse-off in terms of SLA too.

Frustrated? Worried? Considering your options?

By now you’ll have noticed the veritable feeding frenzy that email security vendors have got into. Some offering 6 months of service free, others touting free migrations to their platforms. Ultimately betting the farm on a gimmick in a hope they can attract you. They’re not really considering the financial impact on their business-model of ‘free’ stuff in this, already cut-throat, market. Race to zero anyone?

The problem I have with this race to the bottom, is it undermines the value of email security and the gateway and is a dis-service to you, the customer. The last thing you need is a vendor who’s sold themselves to dirt cheap technology in a mad dash to gain market share. In a year or two it’s likely you’ll be migrating away from that vendor too as they run out of money and innovation.

The knock on effect of this market behaviour is also a lack of investment in R&D, which you’ll notice when you start to conduct your own due diligence on these vendors. Offering a free migration to a service could well be covering up weaknesses in technology that are likely to be a show stopper if you dig deeper. If you’re in this situation as the vendor about their ‘cloud infrastructure, and whether it’s really cloud or not; chances are it’ll be a hosted version of their on-premise gateway technology. I don’t need to point out that’s not cloud, nor is it scalable, and it’s bound to hurt sometime down the line.

Faced with the choice between incomplete and imperfect it makes sense to take some time out from worrying about this unplanned migration, put aside the hysterical marketing from the ‘look at me’ vendors and consider your options.  We’ve put together a short video that makes this point and might help you decide what steps to take next.

Yours in email.