We're pleased to kick off a brand-new series, Legends of Mimecast, where we get to know the faces behind our global community of over 24,000 Mimecast users, and some of the internal faces behind the magic at Mimecast. First up: Les Bessant -- a familiar face in the Community Forums (and on our homepage!).
Les Bessant is an IT Manager, working for a national professional services company. He’s been “doing IT” since DOS 3 (he still shudders at the memory of wrangling CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT), has persuaded email to flow since Exchange 5.0 (please don’t ask about GroupWise) and has somehow kept his sense of humor.
Originally from Cardiff in South Wales (where Doctor Who is made), he now resides in Northeast England. He’s not sure if being the Les Bessant who comes up in Google searches is a good or a bad thing.
Could you describe the role in your company, and how Mimecast helps you with your daily work?
It says “IT Manager” on my job description, which is one of those titles that can mean many things. In my case, it covers everything from first- and second-line support, managing Active Directory and email, desktop images, telephones (landline and mobile), office relocations, and pretty much anything else computer-related.
I’m part of a small team – two of us here in Newcastle and two in Leeds. Between us, we look after around 220 staff spread over nine offices.
Which business-critical security issues was your company most looking to mitigate when it decided upon Mimecast?
We’d been using separate solutions for email filtering, continuity, and archiving. None were ideal – we’d been through several filtering providers (including one who helpfully let a virus through), the continuity solution needed to be manually invoked rather than kicking in automatically, and archiving was turning into a money pit, as we were charged by the ever-increasing volume stored.
We needed a robust solution that would cover all these functions with a single management console. Mimecast offered what we needed, at a significant cost savings, making both IT and senior management happy.
Best piece of advice/helpful pointers for one of your peers just starting off with our services?
Have a good look around the Policies section – Mimecast has some very handy functions that would otherwise need some additional software on your email gateway, tricky Outlook rules, or scripting. Autoresponders? No problem. Forwarding inbound messages to multiple internal and external recipients? That, too.
Favorite feature of Mimecast products that’s been a lifesaver for you and/or your organization?
It has to be the security filtering – as malware has grown from an annoyance to a major, and often directly targeted, threat, having a system in place to stop the messages before they reach our network helps IT sleep at night.
What keeps you busy off the clock?
My main off-duty activity is photography – I’ve got a small portfolio on show at my personal site. There’s also a blog, but it’s not all that interesting. One day, I hope to find the time and motivation to learn to play the guitar I bought a couple of years ago.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Doctor Who, of course.
If you'd like to be interviewed in a future edition of 'Legends of Mimecast,' email Community Manager Ryan Arsenault at email@example.com.