INSL's SpheriQ service started off well in our tests. A detailed setup process was well managed and we liked the inclusion of a relay test conducted against our mail servers.
Users can be imported via CSV files or by linking with your LDAP server. Actual groups of users are difficult to manage without LDAP: each individual user must be laboriously added to his group, and adding a user to a second group removes him from the first without warning. INSL tells us this will be addressed in the next version.
Policies are grouped into anti-virus, anti-spam, pornography and attachment blocking, which can then be adjusted per domain, per user group and per user. The inheritance allows for plenty of flexibility while keeping the management process simple.
We liked the very good reporting facility, which at first felt a bit basic but provided all the information we wanted with attractive graphs. The reports did take a long time to load, but did not disappoint once they had done so.
The service can integrate any AV product the customer likes, so long as suitable APIs are available. We would have liked a default setting to include notifying an administrator of outbound viruses.
Documentation is good, and there is online help available in the GUI if you really need it. Support is also extensive, although we did manage to talk the help desk into changing the admin password without quite as much verification as we would have liked. INSL claims it has since addressed this.
Overall, SpheriQ is an excellent service. We like the interface and depth of filtering options. An archival service would have made it well placed for top spot in this test.