Announcements – ExchangeDefender Blog

September 8, 2017

Schedule and SLA during Hurricane Irma

Filed under: Alerts,Announcements — vlad @ 11:02 pm

As many of you know, ExchangeDefender HQ is in Orlando, FL and as of noon today that office is closed until further notice. As of the latest hurricane projection, Orlando is likely facing the worst case scenario of being in the NE quadrant very close to the eye of the storm that will roll over the county next to us. Best case scenario, we will be returning to our Orlando offices on Tuesday, Septembrer 12th. Our capacity at that point is obviously questionable because roads, infrastructure and staff may be impacted.

ExchangeDefender is a global business and we have made several contingency plans and do not expect any interruption to our services. Although the majority of our staff is in Florida, we don’t have a single piece of computer/network infrastructure here so the show will go on as usual. The SLA for normal support cases will still be within 4 hours, we will still answer support tickets and phone calls. You should not be able to tell the difference for ordinary issues.

Where we expect to have the most significant challenge is in the areas of projects and special “courtesy” assistance that we typically go well above and beyond the call of duty – things like exporting mail, adding accounts by hand, reaching out directly to clients on your behalf, sales engineering and proposal writing, legal advisory services, compliance officer training, marketing collateral design and event support services are highly dependant on manpower which is something we may be lacking. We will still not say no but we do hope you’ll extend us some extra patience as we go on.

I feel it is my responsibility to be honest and up front about our priority process as we go through next week. This is the typical disaster priority schedule our entire staff is briefed and drilled on but with obvious bias towards Florida and the hurricane.

1. Most important priority will be given to the US and Florida government organizations that are coordinating efforts in the disaster zone. Staff is directed to drop literally anything else they may be doing to assist them.

2. Urgent tickets, system outages and performance issues will be treated as a secondary priority.

3. Ordinary support tickets will still be resolved within the SLA 4 hour window.

We understand that any issue impacting our service is a critical issue to those unable to go about their work because of something in our realm of responsibility. We have made numerous contingencies, failover and backup plans and expect to execute the plan accordingly. We do not employ warm bodies and people that do not care – everyone that is a part of a team understads service delivery is a team effort and wants to see everything continue to work for you as flawlessly and transparently as possible. Hopefully this blog post gives you additional insight as to how we will be handling that with regards to Irma. Personally, I understand that many of our partners in Texas are reeling, that many of our partners and clients in Florida/Alabama/Georgia/Carolinas are scared and we have been working unprecedented hours to make sure everyone has their contingency and failover plans implemented, tested and documented. To everyone in the way, we’re in this together. There is no hurricane party or a 5 day weekend for us, it’s all hands on deck with that deck now spanning 4 states. We’ll get through this. We may move a bit slower than usual, but we will get through this.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek, CEO.


May 10, 2017

New features and events

Filed under: Announcements — vlad @ 2:24 pm

With the events at the end of April / beginning of May behind us, we’re getting back to the new features and client requests in our core products. We executed a massive upgrade to the core of the ExchangeDefender network which now gives us the capacity to start implementing more layers of protection and functionality in email. Here are some news and a request.

.US tld – Over the past month we have seen a massive and coordinated SPAM storm using .us and new extended/vanity top level domains. They all follow the same pattern: all use .us tld, all are registered with a foreign agent/contact, all have properly setup rDNS, SPF records and DKIM auth (which even few legitimate .us mail servers have) and all come within a 24 hour window until the domain and VPS the storm originated from is destroyed. One interesting catch is that they do not process or acknowledge non-delivery receipts. We’ve had an unusual spike in complaints about SPAM levels all linked to the .US tld and since May 9th, 2017 we have rolled out a new set of rules to filter this content out. We are not blacklisting the tld, legitimate mail will still pass.

TLS issues on ExchangeDefender – We have finally decomissioned the TLS v.1 / SSL v.3 protocols on our inbound network and implemented more strict SPF record checking. This means that those old, unpached servers if any are still left will be forced to either send mail in plain text or upgrade their SSL implementation.

Public Folders, Shared Mailbox, etc – What do you hate about them? This is an open ended question, please feel free to send an email to vlad@ownwebnow.com with subject “Public Folders” and tell us what you’d like to see. As you may imagine, everyone uses and manages stuff differently so we want to see what we could change in our approach and control panels to allow for this to be done easier and quicker. We have folks using Outlook to manage them, we have folks using our control panel, we still have people that try to create a folder and give the whole world access to it (bad!) so if you’ve been frustrated by what we’re currently offering or if you’d just like to see something added, we’d love to hear about it.


September 8, 2016

New ExchangeDefender Exchange Essentials

Filed under: Announcements,Hosted Services — vlad @ 11:42 am

ExchangeDefender is excited to announce a redesigned Exchange Hosting Essentials service aimed at entry level market. By providing an affordable and hassle-free way to purchase, provision and budget Exchange services we are hoping to give our partners a better way to design solutions for small business email problems.

. . .

When we first introduced Exchange Essentials a few years ago, we created an offering with cost reduction in mind, by allowing the users to compromise on support, redundancy and features in order to get the product that fit their budget. What we found out with the product matrix is that interest is primarily polar – client either demands the lowest price or the highest set of features for the buck but nothing in between. In numerous discussions with our most successful partners we’ve come up with a better plan that more closely matches the way service providers offer Exchange services within their plans.

Matrix1

This old matrix is now history.

We agreed with our partners that the model needs to be simpler – to budget, to position and to customize with clients specific needs in mind.

We’re starting off with the low entry level price of $3.99 per user, billable monthly with no contract, commitment, minimum or maximum and a powerful Exchange platform to run their business on. This gives our partners a competitive pricing point to offer an entry level service and keep them under their control, brand, management and centralized billing.

We’re making additional features simple and easy to add on as well. As each client has unique demands and requirements, we’ve made each functionality easy to add on as necessary giving them predictable costs that are easy to budget as the business grows and needs more sophisticated solutions. Don’t want to deal with SPAM or want to keep vulgar content out? That’s just $1. Business continuity in the event of an outage? Just another $1 more. Compliance Archiving? Encryption? As the business demands grow these additional features can be added and removed as necessary giving our partners unprecedented control.

NewExchangeEssentials. . .

Our agenda is simple: We want to deliver the most affordable, most flexible way to get businesses running on Exchange in the cloud. We have a lot of partners that are still managing their own on-premise Exchange deployments that will need massive upgrades with low ROI and we believe that many will take advantage of this affordable way to get into the cloud while maintaining the profit margin and client control. We believe that many of our partners serve small business clients on older infrastructure that may have hesitated pulling the trigger on the cloud migration because of upgrade requirements, long contracts and commitments.

With our announcement today, ExchangeDefender is making a tremendous offer – come to the cloud and we’ll pay for the first year. No minimums, contracts, commitments or prepayments. The faster you act, the more you’ll save.  

Get in touch with your account manager today and let’s come up with a plan to get your clients to the cloud you own.

 

Link: Webinar: New Exchange Essentials 2017


December 9, 2015

Billing Compliance & Reporting Changes in 2016

Filed under: Announcements — vlad @ 2:56 pm

ExchangeDefender has always been a partner-focused organization and we’ve always done everything in our power to assist partners when bill payments became difficult. Unfortunately, with 2016 our upstream vendors are implementing stricter controls which will see some of our services stop to function on accounts that are seriously past due. Here are current policies as they stand:

Payments for all services are due on the 1st of the month. Any users with active service subscriptions at this point make us liable for licensing fees.

If your credit card is declined it will be automatically attempted on 1st, 2nd and 3rd of the month (regardless of whether it’s a weekday or the weekend).

By the 5th of the month you will receive an email, a support ticket and a personal phone call alerting you to the problem with the billing with an option to pay for the service with a new credit card, Paypal or check (United States only).

If the invoice is not paid by the 10th of the month, services are suspended and there is a $10 late fee.

If the invoice is further ignored by the 15th of the month, all services will be suspended with the account subject to deletion. Logging into the support portal will show you the following:

billDelinquency

While we regret the inconvenience these changes will be causing, they are not up to us. Our vendors, who control and own licensing that you may be renting on a monthly basis as a subscription, can deactivate their license if it is not paid. While we are liable for the entire license count, there are certain promotional licenses for trials, educational, non profit and special licensing and new management software (that come with new servers) give some vendors advanced control over their licensing.

But we really cannot pay because _____.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get around not paying the bill for the services rendered. The only way to maintain service is to transfer the service directly to us or one of our partners for billing.

What if we disagree with the invoice / items?

You have 30 days to contest items on an invoice. Pay for the seats you do not have an issue with to keep legitimate services free from any restrictions.


February 6, 2015

Windows Web Hosting Hardware Upgrade

Filed under: Announcements,General,Hosted Services — vlad @ 10:33 am

Platform Upgrade

If you follow our NOC you’ll notice that earlier this week we had a hardware upgrade to our Windows Web Hosting platform. Our team put in extra hours to minimize the amount of down time you and your clients would experience. The key components of the upgrade were RAM and CPU. This resulted in better performance for you and your clients.

Do I as the partner need to do anything?

There is absolutely nothing that you need to do on your end.  The upgrade took place on the server side and no changes need to be made on your end. It was a seamless transition and everything from data to host IP addresses remain the same. You and your clients can use the same great product as you always have.

Additional Perks

An additional perk is on the backend of things. The new hardware allows us to perform backups and recoveries more efficiently than what was previously available. This means less down time for you and your clients in the event of a disaster.

Moving Forward

The hardware upgrade was smooth transition. Over the past few days we have seen increased performance. In addition to performance enhancements we now have a more efficient way of backing up your data. As technology is always changing we look forward to making more improvements for you across all of our platforms!


February 2, 2015

ExchangeDefender – Licensing (Enhanced)

Filed under: Announcements,ExchangeDefender,General,Software — Tags: — vlad @ 10:24 am

Over the years we’ve always had a desire to increase the aspects of reporting in several areas. However due to time restraints and prioritizing our efforts towards ensuring we made our platform completely stable and continuing to provide a rock solid solution, we had to defer until later.

This has been the case for the last few years. We all worked insane hours to ensure that everyone had an awesome product, that they would be proud to call their own! Now we are enjoying the fruits of our labor and focusing on creating more of the eye popping visual features that will really help showcase our product!

As a result, I’m proud to showcase one of our latest ExchangeDefender features.

While signed in as a (Service Provider) account, you can view the licensing page located under: Licensing->Management. Here you could see the total seat count for the desired domain at a glance. We’ve expanded this to also include the ability to list each individual account under the domains. This is a toggle-able option that is off by default to help limit the initial page load for those who don’t want the extra information.

XD Licensing

Not only that, you also have the ability to save and download a PDF of the current view. This has been highly requested by several users as to provide them the ability to keep archived copies of their seat counts each month for financial records. Other users have simply expressed the need to print these reports, which we have also implemented with one click access.

XD - Licensing 2

Lastly we understand that our partner’s clients also like to be kept in the loop about their spam information from time to time. Listed next to every domain is the ability to view and print the current SPAM statistics for that account. All of this information is simply one click away, quick and easy access to the information your clients want to see!

Stay tuned we’re working on even more exciting features to help ease the load of bringing a new client on-board and continuing to manage that account!


May 8, 2014

Exchange Essentials Relaunch

Filed under: Announcements,Hosted Services — vlad @ 3:01 pm

Hello partners, Vlad here, bringing you the latest news about the most anticipated launch we’ve had all year: Exchange Essentials. If you haven’t seen the webinar about the new service(s) please click here to watch it:

Exchange Essentials Relaunch

In short, we found that lots of people were using our Exchange Essentials to serve the segments of the market that we didn’t think would find Microsoft Exchange appealing. We were surprised both on the low end (for part time businesses, MSPs that were tired of supporting POP3/IMAP) and on the high end (bigger companies that wanted to save costs and didn’t need or want the full enterprise look and feel). So we decided to redo the product around our core strengths and help you put out a solution that made a lot more sense. With that, we feel like there are three core values that we bring above and beyond our competitors:

1. You will never go down. Exchange is Exchange, it will go down – when it does, you’ll still have Emergency and LiveArchive to send and receive mail.

2. You won’t have to compete with us. Service is only available through our partners, no direct sales.

3. You are getting the best regardless of how much you pay. There is no difference in terms of the infrastructure that is holding your data, you won’t be stuck on slow servers or old versions just because you didn’t pay for the top tier.

So we now have Exchange tiers that are priced below Microsoft and Google Apps and in our opinion offer a far better designed-for-business service. And we did not want to compromise on the solution – which complicates things a little with contracts, prepayments, commitments and different features coming at different price points. So I wanted to give you an idea of what will happen the next time you attempt to order Exchange Essentials from us.

I want to sign up my client for Exchange Essentials..

If you attempt to do so through the portal or over the phone, you will get a message that someone from our management needs to speak with you. I’m not going to sugar coat this: Reality is that we can only make money on these services if we all do our part. Consider the call as a part of presale consulting – we want to make sure you know exactly what the product differences are, how to market them, how to sell them, how to price and them and how to profit from it all.

How are we going to do that? Well, shortly after speaking with one of us you’ll get a welcome packet. Here is what’s in it:

Brandable Marketing Collateral – We’ve built client-facing marketing collateral that just needs your name and your logo (or change it up completely if you wish)

Pricing Guide – Detailed pricing, contracts, requirements and pricing breaks in an easy to understand guide.

ExchangeDefender Essentials Question Based Sales Guide – Sample questionnaire, question sequence and open ended questions that you can ask your prospects in order to determine the best solution for them.

Sample Proposal, Contract and Invoice – Proposal language, sample contracts and item descriptions for your invoice.

Web Site Collateral – Cut and paste info into your web site.

PowerPoint Presentation – Presentation covering Exchange services that can be delivered in under 3 minutes to a non-techie audience, just apply your company colors and logo.

Yes, that’s a lot of stuff but the more we can do to help you the less time you’ll have to spend trying to figure out how to describe this product on your web site or create from scratch.

It’s as simple as that. Exchange Essentials is already available for order in United States and Essentials service with mailbox servers in Australia and Europe will be available starting with June ‘14.

Let’s talk! If you aren’t profiting from the cloud you’re missing out.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender


March 7, 2014

ExchangeDefender & Exchange 2013 Essentials Changes

Filed under: Announcements,Webcast — vlad @ 2:56 pm

ExchangeDefender Essentials and Exchange 2010 Essentials have been some of the most popular products in our portfolio for the past year or so. Originally designed as a compromise between “Enterprise” and “Essential”, the products were designed with IKEA principle in mind: “We started with the price… and built a product around it.”; Due to the products popularity and demand we have redesigned 2013 network from the ground up and would like to share the details of the changes that are coming up in April:

ExchangeDefender & Exchange 2013 Essentials
Wed, Mar 26, 2014 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT
https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/896377176

 

On the original 2007 network we ran pricing specials as we reached capacity on our large scale clusters where we could fit a few hundred mailboxes before building another mailbox cluster. With 2010 we had an Essentials system that was identical to our Business setup but without data center redundancy and business continuity – something many could easily live without until they had an issue or their needs grew. During this time we were presented with many usage scenarios in which Essentials simply made a lot of sense.

With 2013 we are expanding the Essentials portfolio to present both new solutions as well as new pricing points to give our partners working in home and micro-business settings a way to create a solution that fits these new concerns. While the focus is clearly on paying only for the essentials, the business model will allow the client to compromise only in the areas they desire to based on the environment they manage – we have made many of the product features optional, adjusted the SLA, adjusted support and business continuity offerings, and a lot more that will be discussed on March 26th.

Please take a moment to register for the webinar and we look forward to sharing the new product suite with you!

Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender
vlad@ExchangeDefender.com


January 7, 2014

Announcing LiveArchive 4

Filed under: Announcements,ExchangeDefender — vlad @ 12:20 pm

After extensive beta testing and taking tons of feedback on the design and future of LiveArchive, we are proud to introduce you to our newest version of ExchangeDefender LiveArchive. Available today and with all your email already loaded into the new system. What’s new?

New LiveArchive goes beyond email business continuity – it not only caches your inbound and sent mail but also keeps your contacts, calendars and appointments. It’s available anytime you need it via a secure web site, it is easily accessible from your smartphone and it even use IMAP to get to it from your email software like Outlook or Thunderbird.

Just remember to bookmark https://livearchive.exchangedefender.com

This was an enormous undertaking as a result of everything we’ve learned through the year of running the massive failover service. We’ve retired Microsoft Exchange as it simply could not scale or effectively provide the kind of service the new IT demands. When LiveArchive was conceived most business users had a central server and workstations in close proximity to it, so the biggest demand was to at least be able to access email if anything went down.

In 2014 and beyond things are a lot more complex and everything is in the cloud that never goes down, right? Smile

Truth is not just that the cloud is far less reliable than advertised but that there is often no centralized point of backup or control of corporate data. Some information is in Exchange, some is on your phone or your iPad, some is on another cloud file sync service and third party subscription services take care of the rest.

Our design challenge with the new LiveArchive was clear: Look beyond email and create a central point of business continuity for all corporate communications. We have built a massively scalable and redundant platform that can pull and receive information from third party services.

This is what we have delivered with LiveArchive and this is the future of ExchangeDefender as a business – providing security and backup for the cloud.

What does it look like?

With Microsoft out of the picture the look and feel of Microsoft Outlook Web Access is replaced with a scalable UI that works great in any browser you may have – which is convenient when you consider the growing variety of mobile devices and tablet/laptop platforms. Just point your browser to LiveArchive and it will find your grid as you authenticate.

lam2

During the beta testing process we recommended that our partners configure dormant profiles on their clients mobile phones so that when the downtime does happen they are just a few clicks away from setting up a full communications platform. In fact, once you switch from your native email platform to LiveArchive the experience with the mobile device is exactly the same, it’s very hard to tell the difference.

lam1

Please don’t wait for your infrastructure to crash before you look at setting up LiveArchive, partners that don’t track passwords and configurations tend to reset clients ExchangeDefender password as a first impulse reaction to an outage and then deal with another stack of problems on top of the actual outage. But we got you anyhow – our iOS and Android apps will be on the market soon and they deliver the full experience of the LiveArchive right inside of the app.

ios1

Don’t worry, you won’t even have to remember the LiveArchive address once you install the app, it’s right there on the shortcut bar:

ios2

In summary, it’s cold outside and now is the time to check this out. Smile

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek
CEO, ExchangeDefender
(877) 546-0316 x500
vlad@ExchangeDefender.com


December 12, 2013

We’ve Upgraded Exchange Essentials

Filed under: Announcements,ExchangeDefender,Promotions — vlad @ 10:29 am

Let’s face it, not all businesses need mission critical, data center redundant, year-long business continuity backing their operations. They just need an effective system to communicate and collaborate. Say hello to ExchangeDefender Exchange Essentials 2013. Here is the executive overview:

Microsoft Exchange 2013 Mailbox (10GB)

ExchangeDefender Essentials Security

5 days of business continuity (Emergency)

Private Branding + White Label

24/7 Support via portal, phone and chat

Just $7.99 $6.99 / month

This highly redundant offering is a perfect starter email solution for a company migrating from SBS or in-house server solution. True, it doesn’t have long term business continuity of LiveArchive, compliance, encryption, migration assistance or data center redundancy but if you need to manage your budget this is a great way to do it.

One more thing: For the next month we will be offering a discount of $1 that will be locked in for at least one year, so it’s yours for just $6.99 per user per month. Of course you can rebrand it and adjust the pricing to compensate you for provisioning and rollout.

But what if it goes down?

Exchange in the cloud is the same as Exchange in your office, there is no magical version and from time to time it will have issues. We have a redundant and clustered deployment so when we have to do maintenance or when there is an unexpected issue, we can shut down servers without interrupting service. But let’s say something significantly bad is going on and everything goes lights out – what now? Well, we have ExchangeDefender Emergency backing you up and giving you access to 5 days worth of email archive that you can search, view and reply/compose from. You continue to work until your Exchange mailbox is ready.

inboxmessageformsolosave

This in fact is the biggest and easiest upsell in our cloud portfolio: Once you show your users how easy it is to be able to send and receive email when there is an outage, just tell them you have another solution that also gives them access to all their contacts and appointments – along with a year worth of items available for them. Oh, and it works on your mobile device as well so you don’t have to be stuck in front of a PC with a web browser. For just $2 a month more you can have ultimate peace of mind knowing that you’ll never have to worry about your mail.

But Vlad says this is not for business? Is it?

As an expert (not meaning smart, meaning I’ve been through enough email outages to know better) I cannot in good conscience recommend a solution that I know has a potential to cause downtime. ExchangeDefender Essentials was built as a way to compromise on data center and business continuity systems in order to create a budget friendly service.

My personal opinion of the potential pitfalls is not the corporate representation of the product or everyone that works here: We support the product around the clock, we spare no expense when it comes to creating a high end product, we have built what we believe is the most effective and most powerful email solution on Exchange 2013. But if something has a potential to go down, when the rock solid one costs just $2 more, I just cannot hide my contempt for it, that’s all. Take it with a grain of salt as you do all opinions. This is just one of the differences with ExchangeDefender, we are here for our partners and our clients – not investors. We want to give you every benefit we can possibly come up with so you can win in the market and make your clients happy.

To sum it up

Enjoy. If you have any users on SBS this is a great opportunity to get them on a solid platform for $6.99 with the discount through the end of January 2014.

Sincerely,
Vlad Mazek, MCSE
CEO, ExchangeDefender
vlad@ownwebnow.com


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