Several years ago, a rising deluge of spam, much of it offensive to the firm's largely female workforce, prompted Tollman & Wiker InWest (TWIW) Insurance Services, LLC, to seek better ways of protecting its incoming e-mail."We felt as employers we should protect our staff from this stuff," recalls Kevin Dickmann, who, as technology manager, ran IT single-handedly for the 85-person insurance agency based in Ventura, Calif. "Every morning, our employees were finding 30 to 40 messages they had to review and delete." What's more, e-mail's importance to daily operations was growing by leaps and bounds, so keeping it safe and sound was critical.

While the insurance companies with which TWIW works still depend heavily on faxing, the agency relies on e-mail for getting proposals to clients quickly and sending them information for verification. "E-mail is critical to our operations," Dickmann states. "It's part of our workflow. But, we care about keeping people free from offensive things and promoting a good work policy," he says. "So, we started looking around."

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