Chattanooga Software Center

Local Firm Develops New E-mail System

by Kevin Lusk

Chattanooga Times Free Press

August 7th, 2001


A local technology company has developed a way for businesses to get rid of potentially harmful computer viruses.


SurfN Development Corp. [now the Chattanooga Software Center] uses a UNIX-based operating system to provide e—mail access to companies. Instead of relying on an in-house server, businesses access e-mail through the Internet.


"We handle all of the operating system procedures," said Alan Field, company president. "We only let things through that are safe."


Much like Web-based providers Hotmail and Yahoo!, company employees check email through Web browsers. Because UNIX accounts exclude viruses, officials don’t have to worry about infected messages being sent to employees.


With SurfN [the Chattanooga Software Center], officials don’t have to Worry about interoffice, e—mail messages being sent to dozens of other servers before eventually arriving back to the office.


"It’s hard to believe, but an e-mail could go through 50 different servers before reaching the final destination," said George Spalding, chief executive officer for Comprehensive Health Group. "With this service, we are able to monitor where the e-mail goes. It (interoffice messages) never leaves our operating system."


Much like an operator handles phone calls at a switchboard, company officials are able to monitor all emails that enter the system. If something goes through that looks "fishy," personnel addresses the issue with employees, said Bo Grimes, spokesman for Container Service Corp. in Ringgold, GA.


It also helps when another employee is out of the office.


"We can go in and view anyone's mail," Mr. Grimes said. "If we get a quote request from a salesman and he sends it to a person on vacation, we can go into his e-mail and retrieve it. We don't have to worry about passwords."


SurfN officials are working on a patent for the product called SurfN E-mail Management. It was developed by Keith Goldman, systems administrator. "It (the patent) may take up to two years to achieve," Mr. Field said.

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