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many VARs try to distance themselves from Postini’s new channel policies, the
head of one VAR that partners with the
company says he’s exactly where he wants to be.

Rachal, founder and CEO of MxToolBox, said
his company was one of the few large Postini VARs that continued to purchase
Postini’s services directly from the company.

February, Google and Postini sparked controversy by pushing most Postini VARs,
many of which are small and midsize businesses, to purchase Postini’s e-mail
security services through distribution or directly from Google at severely
reduced prices.

provides customers with anti-spam and anti-virus filtering—what Rachal calls
"e-mail hygiene"—as well as e-discovery and archiving services, and
recently began offering hosted e-mail on the Zimbra platform, which is owned by
Yahoo. In addition, MxToolBox also hosts Microsoft Exchange.

the midst of the major vendor upheavals, Rachal said he remains confident that
his business will continue to thrive.

are focusing [in the] long term on our core competency, which is delivering
e-mail hygiene, services and support," Rachal said. He said while the
shakeup in the e-mail security market is a bit disconcerting for VARs that
derived most of their business from Postini’s products and services, the
moves by Google and Postini were unlikely to eradicate channel partners
altogether, especially those who serviced the lucrative SMB market.

the demand for managed services grows, VARs like his will continue to play a
key role in driving widespread adoption of new technology, especially for SMBs,
Rachal said.

very costly for these big companies to acquire SMB customers directly, and
that’s why the IT channel exists," he said. The trick for VARs and MSPs (managed
services providers) is to remember that their first concern should be adding
value for their customers and making technology decisions based on customers’
needs, he said.

look at a customer opportunity and figure out what the best choices are for our
customers," Rachal said, adding that remaining ‘monogamous’ with one
vendor wasn’t always a smart choice for a VAR,
especially in a highly commoditized market.

don’t compete on price; in fact, we’re much higher priced than most of our
competitors and our customers know that," he said. MxToolBox’s value, Rachal
said, is that hosted e-mail services address a major SMB pain point, which makes
the price worth it to his customers. "You can match desktop e-mail functionality in a
Web browser now, and the hassle of maintaining infrastructure is

Even SMB customers have multigigabyte mailboxes and
terabytes of data and there’s value in service providers that can manage and
maintain all of that data, Rachal said.