LeapFrog clears spam, speeds extranet

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Last fall, Lisa Martin, president-CEO of LeapFrog Solutions, a strategic marketing and communications agency, was spending about an hour each day slogging through spam in her in-box. Worse, the influx of junk e-mail was also affecting the company’s business because LeapFrog keeps documents and files related to its clients on a company extranet used by employees, more than 20 consultants and customers. Fairfax, Va.-based Leap-Frog’s market includes local, state and federal governmental agencies as well as b-to-b companies.

Although Martin and her 12-person staff knew their clients’ marketing materials were secure, they also knew that it was taking everyone, especially those coming in from outside the company, a lot longer to access them. The security system in place at the time often booted visitors off or didn’t allow them to log on in the first place.

The company addressed the problem by installing a new security appliance to its IT infrastructure, Symantec’s Gateway Security 360R. The appliance also let them add secure wireless connections throughout the offices.

Almost immediately, Martin and VP-Marketing & Operations Colleen Hahn saw a change.

"We saw an increase in productivity because spam is filtered away from our in-boxes, and employees can choose to look at it or not," Hahn said. "And wireless was a great way to go because when we’re working with clients in our office, they can log on to the network."

With less spam to deal with, employees have more time for clients. Martin said productivity is up about 10% overall. In fact, she only spends about 10 minutes each day dealing with spam now—a sixfold decrease.

Another benefit is less visible but extremely important, Hahn said. Since the entire network is protected from viruses, LeapFrog employees don’t have to worry about getting infected when logging on to their clients’ extranets, and they know they can’t infect those networks with a bug. Clients don’t have problems logging on remotely anymore, either. They can get to their press releases, brand guidelines, marketing materials and print collateral quickly.

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