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Privately-held US electronic mail outsourcing specialist Fabrik Communications Inc has started up a UK subsidiary, in an attempt to expand its services outside of the US. The company has partnered with UK messaging company, Lloyd McKenzie & Partners Ltd, which will host Fabrik’s UK server centers and provide technical support for its customers. The rationale behind what Fabrik describes as a message service provider is that outsourced mail can be both more reliable and secure than an internally implemented system. San Francisco, California-based Fabrik hosts internet connected servers which act as ‘a virtual firewall’ for companies, by having an internet connection on one side, and a private connection to the customer on the other. The servers virus scan the mail, and translate it between commonly used but incompatible mail systems, including Lotus cc:Mail, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Mail and X.400 mail systems. Customers are then able to use their non internet mail enabled mail systems to send internet mail. To host mail Fabrik charges each user $6 a month, and currently has around half a million users from 800 companies. It plans to grow worldwide by the using partner companies to host its mail servers, and provide technical support.

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