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Alko Protects Its E-Mail With IBM Solution


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Alko Inc., the state-owned independent retail chain, has chosen an IBM IT security solution to protect its e-mail systems from spam and viruses. Alko, which specialises in retail sales of alcoholic beverages in Finland, had witnessed an unpleasant increase of spam e-mails consuming bandwidth and cause slowdowns across networks. After a successful pilot phase, Alko chose IBM to implement an IBM Express Managed Security Services for e-mail security.

The IEMS e-mail security solution provides Alko and its 1100 e-mail accounts with state-of-the-art 24/7 protection including preventative spam control with several filters to catch junk e-mail, as well as virus control to detect and eradicate both known and new viruses. The security solution offers comprehensive reporting and management tools for Alko’s IT personnel while being operated remotely by IBM and its Business Partner MessageLabs.

For end users, the new service solution is fully invisible. It filters all incoming spam messages before they reach the company’s e-mail server or users’ mailboxes. The benefit of this method is a direct reduction in IP traffic volume, which would otherwise bombard Alko’s servers and network, reducing the bandwidth intended for other business-critical applications. Each incoming message and its attachments are scanned for viruses and other malicious software code before delivery to the end user, greatly reducing the company’s chance of infection.

“Although we have not been subject to any tailored spam attacks, both individual employees and we in Alko’s IT administration felt inconvenienced by the explosively growing spam traffic. Having worked closely with IBM on numerous prior IT projects, it was natural for us to ask their suggestion on how to solve the problem. Thanks to the IEMS service, we can now spend less time on managing e-mail server issues and instead focus on maximizing the company’s IT potential,” says Alko’s IT manager Mr. Olli Bovellan.

“A key advantage of IEMS e-mail security solution is the easy-to-use and easy-to-manage nature of it. IT security solutions provide an enterprise with best possible added value, when all systems work without the need to constantly patch or update them. With our service and support, personnel of Alko can now enjoy virus- and spam-free working days despite how massively the malicious e-mail traffic in the Internet grows,” says Mr. Pete Nieminen, Service Product Line Leader of Business Continuity and Resilency Services, IBM Finland.

The new project follows a major IT infrastructure management agreement signed by IBM and Alko in December 2006.

For more information about Alko Inc., visit

For more information about IBM, visit


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