Updates to commercial MTAs


Last week Message Systems announced the release of Momentum 4. This high volume MTA has a large number of features that make it possible for large volume senders to manage their email and their delivery. I had the opportunity to get a preview of the new features and was quite impressed with the expanded features. Improvements that caught my eye include:

  • Real time views of delivery statistics, including opens and clicks. MessageSystems tells me some of their customers are using this to adjust campaigns on the fly.
  • Built in campaign creators. In the past Message System users have had to used other software to create their messages, now the creation is built into the MTA.
  • Template storage. Anyone inside an organization can access templates, no more awkward looking or unbranded password reset requests.

Today I also received word that Port 25 has updated the power MTA DKIM signing code to minimize DKIM replay attacks. This prevents some of the recent spam runs where senders hijack a valid reputation by taking a DKIM signed message, add extra headers and then resending it through another server.
For many applications, users can chose an open source MTA. But the commercial MTAs have a lot of features that make is so much easier for bulk senders to manage their reputations. I continue to be amazed at the features built into these appliances that make it easier for senders to comply with the challenging space that is email delivery.

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  • Only PowerMTA is a true MTA in that it focuses solely on email delivery and is designed to work with an existing message creation/submission application. Momentum 4, just like StrongMail in the past, is the result of Message Systems’ strategic shift to focus on its email marketing suite (meant to compete with the services offered by an ESP). To call it an MTA is not really accurate anymore.

  • If you are going to use my blog as an advertising medium, please be so kind as to identify yourself and the company you work for.
    The above message was brought to you by Russell Fletcher, the VP of Sales at Port25.

  • Laura thanks for the updates on Momentum 4. What you are pointing out in your post is how the state of the art of an MTA is evolving and we agree. To address the other comment made here, at the core, Message Systems Momentum starts by being an MTA. None of the richness of the Momentum MTA capabilities is going away… But we continually learn from our customers how they want to put messaging to work more efficiently and that is what is behind the new feature additions.
    Many companies (including our ESP customers and other large senders) would like to have messages generated for them from lists, templates etc.. Many companies want better insight into opens, clicks etc.. to use in targeting and their messaging strategies. Because Momentum now includes these features, does not mean it is not an MTA any longer. Message Systems is simply advancing the state of the art of what it means to be an MTA in todays world.
    As an analogy, because Microsoft (as well as all other major database suppliers) have added replication, in memory and analytics services to their database products – like SQL Server or Oracle, does that mean the SQL Server is no longer a “true database”. The state of the art of databases is evolving to support a new world ecosystem beyond the early 1970s and 1980s databases. The same holds true in e-mail messaging. My thoughts anyway….
    Steve Dille, SVP of Marketing, Message Systems

  • No, looks like Message Systems is the only vendor being promoted here Laura. Just was trying to clear up your usage of “MTA.”

  • Nice post, Laura, thank you.
    I’ve contacted Port25 to know better about their product, but unfortunately I wasn’t well attended.
    Now I guess I should try Message Systems.
    Thank you =)

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