Sendmail, Cloudmark team against spam

Sendmail, whose technology shuttles nearly 60 percent of e-mail on the Internet, agrees to make Cloudmark's antispam filtering tools a centerpiece of its commercial mail management software.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen
2 min read
Sendmail, whose technology shuttles nearly 60 percent of e-mail on the Internet, has agreed to make Cloudmark's antispam filtering tools a centerpiece of its commercial mail management software.

SendMail produces open-source software that routes corporate e-mail to and from the Internet; 90 percent of Fortune 1000 companies use the software on their networks. It also sells a commercial version that includes e-mail management and filtering services to protect enterprises against viruses and spam. By partnering with Cloudmark, Sendmail replaces its former antispam provider Elron Software, and it stakes its sales on the effectiveness of Cloudmark to fend off unwanted e-mail.

"Antispam is a very critical piece of mail management and mail filtering," Sendmail CEO Dave Anderson said. "Cloudmark is now the core of what we sell (in antispam). And we sell one consolidated package (for e-mail management) so that all of the e-mail quaranteed can be processed from one centralized location."

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Anderson said that the company could see revenue increase 50 percent in the next year as a result of the Cloudmark deal.

For Cloudmark, the deal gives the company new stature in an industry rife with competition. Sendmail chose Cloudmark after testing 42 antispam software products over several months, Anderson said. Cloudmark's product Authority won for its performance and effectiveness at mitigating false-positives, or mislabeling legitimate e-mail as spam, Anderson said.

"This deal is important because there's so much sendmail out there, that anything associated with it is bound to get some scrutiny from commercial sendmail shops," said Matt Cain, research analyst at Meta Group, based in Stamford, Conn. "From Cloudmark's perspective, it raises their visibility, and gives them new distribution."

The agreement also plays into a broader trend among e-mail software companies of all stripes to consolidate their businesses. Corporations typically contract with several separate technology companies to protect their e-mail networks from viruses and spam, using security software and content-specific filtering. But e-mail software providers are setting their sights on building full-service shops.

This summer, e-mail appliance maker IronPort Systems licensed Brightmail's antispam technology for its newest product, the IronPort C60. In September, antivirus software company Sophos acquired ActiveState, a provider of corporate spam-fighting technology. Last week, computer-security maker Zone Labs agreed to bundle antispam software from Cloudmark with its products.

"This is a sign of the rampant partnering in e-mail hygiene market," Cain said.

San Mateo, Calif.-based Cloudmark distributes SpamNet, a spam-fighting tool that identifies junk e-mail and quickly updates e-mail filters by harnessing the intelligence of the Web community. The consumer product is based on Razor, an open-source, spam-filtering system that sifts out junk mail on the advice of nearly 500,000 users. The company also sells Authority, e-mail filtering software for corporations. As part of the deal, SendMail will resell Authority as part of a set of filters it offers enterprise customers, which include antivirus software.

Cloudmark's customers include Documentum, Fidelity, Restoration Hardware and Nolte.