Webroot merges with Email Systems

Webroot Software has merged with Email Systems, a software-as-a-service (Saas) security provider.

Webroot, based in Boulder, Colo., will offer a new e-mail and Web security Saas solution that delivers e-mail archiving; image scanning and encryption; and anti-spam, anti-phishing and antivirus services for protecting Web-based communications, company officials said. The services will be integrated with Webroot's AntiSpyware Corporate Edition with AntiVirus endpoint protection software.

Email Systems, based in Westerham, Kent, United Kingdom, has been providing Saas-based e-mail and Web protection, management and compliance services since 2002, according to company officials. Email Systems now protects more than 1,500 businesses and 2.5 million e-mail boxes worldwide. The company filters and scans more than 1.2 billion messages per month.

'Email Systems offers an unrivalled Saas technology that represents a tipping point in enterprise security,' said Mike Irwin, Webroot's chief operating officer. 'We now have the opportunity to offer it on a much bigger scale.'

Terms of the merger agreement were not disclosed.

Saas, also known as on-demand software, is steadily gaining momentum as a delivery model of choice ' particularly in the commercial world but also in government.

With Saas, vendors provide maintenance, technical operations and support of commercial or specially designed applications. The Saas provider typically hosts the software at its facilities and offers a flexible subscription-pricing plan, usually as a monthly fee or on a pay-as-you-use basis. Organizations do not have to buy, install or maintain software or hardware because users access applications via the Internet from their desktop PCs or mobile devices.

Excitement has grown over the Saas model for various reasons, including its ease of deployment and management, its scalability and the reduced workload for information technology employees, said Brian Burke, program director for security products at IDC.

IDC expects an increase in models that include both on-site and hosted security services. Overall, IDC has forecast that worldwide spending on hosted messaging security services, which totaled $300 million in 2006, will reach $1.4 billion by 2011, Burke said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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