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Case Study: College Votes 99% in Favor of CanIt, Eliminates 96% of Spam and all Spam-Related Help Desk Calls
Case Study

When Karel Jennings, a Systems Technician at Grande Prairie Regional College. added it up, he realized that each of the college’s faculty and staff was spending about 30 minutes dealing with as many as 100 spam email messages per day in the worst instances. However, although he received 10 to 15 complaints about the spam problem each week, not everyone agreed that a Draconian solution was in order.

The college’s existing anti-spam solution was no longer catching spam, and it was also inflexible. "With our old system," Jennings explains, "suspected spam was quarantined and then our help desk person had to go through it all " she would check it several times a day. Some users didn’t like that loss of privacy, and some faculty said that emails from students were getting to them late."

Jennings looked at several anti-spam solutions, but ?One of our biggest concerns was that some faculty wanted to be able to opt out. None of the other solutions could exempt just one user or a group of users. It was either on or off for everybody. With the CanIt Appliance, we had that flexibility."

Flexibility for Users and Administrators

Jennings chose the CanIt Appliance running CanIt-PRO, which gives individual end users the ability to set their own preferences for spam control or to opt out completely using a simple graphical user interface. The solution will scale well to the student population when the college begins to offer them email service.

Jennings also liked that the Appliance helped him manage his Microsoft Exchange email environment. "I distrust having many things running on one server," Jennings says, "so the Appliance was important. Also, although I’m a Linux monkey by profession, the whole point was to find a solution that other staff could administer if I’m not around. The administration interface is easy and straight forward. You don’t have to be technical to use it."

Everyone in Favor, Say "CanIt!"

Jennings took a consensus-based approach in choosing CanIt. "I trialled it first with the 10 worst-affected users, and it immediately worked well. Inboxes that used to get 100 junk messages each day are now down to three or four. Then I expanded the trial to the entire college. We began that trial on a Wednesday and by the end of the week I was getting positive feedback."

Even better, Jennings found that installation was simple. "I spent about two days pre-trial training the filters. Now that’s set up, it’s just about two minutes a day of my time now. When the appliance arrived, I assigned it an IP address, transferred the databases and off we went ? it took under an hour to get the server up and running."

Ease of administration aside, the bottom line for Jennings was that the users liked CanIt and expressed their desire to use it. "We took a vote and 298 out of 300 users voted ’yes’ to keeping CanIt."

About Grande Prairie Regional College
• Type: Higher education
• Number of mailboxes: ~300 faculty & staff

E-mail Environment and Use
• Microsoft Exchange server with Outlook clients serving all faculty and staff
• CanIt Appliance with CanIt-PRO sits in front of the Exchange server
• College plans to offer e-mail services to students in near future

CanIt Results
• Eliminated 96% of spam email within three days of installation
• Eliminated 10 to 15 help desk complaints per week
• Thorough spam control for all email users
• Minimal administrative involvement is required
• Individual users control their own levels of spam control

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