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Managing the Message: Mirapoint Inc.

Now that e-mail is ubiquitous on college and university campuses, the challenge is in delivering, securing, and managing messaging so that the needs of every constituent are met.

There are various approaches to providing this range of services. Many campuses rely on legacy systems coupled with add-on products on an as-needed basis. Others have turned to turnkey solutions providers, such as Mirapoint Inc. This company offers a comprehensive solution designed to replace patchwork delivery systems with one, integrated hardware/software package. Mirapoint touts its system as flexible, modular, and scalable. Adopters can buy Mirapoint's total solution, or choose one or more systems as an add-on to an existing system.

Mirapoint's advantages are simplicity, service, and security, says Jeff Brainard, senior product marketing manager for Mirapoint. By moving from multiple vendors to one single solution, institutions simplify management of the system, reducing the amount of time administrators must devote to messaging.

Security is a major focus at Mirapoint. It has engineered a multi-pronged approach to thwarting spam, including blocking known spammers, content filtering, and SMTP authentication, as well as heuristic scanning and white/black list tools.

Mirapoint delivers Webmail, hosted services, wireless messaging, and unified communications services through its three products: Message Server, Message Director, and Directory Server. Message Server handles the routing, switching, storage, access, and management, as well as calendaring capabilities. It supports a broad range of standards-based clients, including POP, IMAP, and Web-based and wireless clients.

Message Director is a high-throughput, standards-based router supporting millions of messages daily. Director processes e-mail traffic for controlling spam and viruses. It is also the center of policy enforcement and user access control. This is the platform for institutions that need a common user and subscriber information database.

The Mirapoint messaging center presents a user-friendly interface. Clearly displayed in the window are buttons for the inbox, calendar, and control functions such as options and preferences. Anyone familiar with Outlook or other such e-mail programs can use Mirapoint's interface without the need for training.

Mirapoint has developed a Messaging Operating System (MOS), which acts as a single system image for deployment of messaging-based services. The MOS can be updated over the network and provides integration between the software and hardware subsystems. Mirapoint's "MessageBase" message store can handle rich media types, such as voice and video attachments. It also supports wireless Internet standards and can be scaled to support additional users and services without redesigning the system.

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