Middle East Communication Networks (MCN) is the holding company for a region-wide network of advertising, marketing and media companies. In total, the MCN organization comprises 68 agency offices in 20 cities, across 18 countries. Within the MCN family, the Promoseven Network is the largest advertising agency group in the region, also operating offices in 18 countries and comprising several agency brands. Other companies within the MCN fold include Universal Media, a media buying, planning and media architecture development company, and creative agency LOWE MENA.
The breadth of agency organizations under the MCN banner, through both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions, presented the complex challenge of integration to Arun Krishnan, MCN’s Regional IT Director. The nature of the agency’s creative work means that MCN’s 1,650 consultants need regular and reliable communications with their teams, clients and suppliers. Between 13,000 and 15,000 messages are exchanged daily, many attaching large files of designs and images. The company quickly realized that their Exchange infrastructure was growing exponentially and that it wasn’t equipped to cope with storing high volumes of traffic.
MCN needed to centralize their email management at the head quarters office with a framework that would offer resilience through disaster recovery and continuity. It also needed to replace some of the fragmented email solutions already in place that were limited to addressing anti-virus and anti-spam requirements, and expand email management to encompass security, audit trails, bottomless archiving, and continuity across the user base. “We were depending on too many service providers for our email communications and some of these were unable to maintain consistent performance levels. With this set up we found that one weak link could easily impact the whole mechanism,” says Krishnan.
The management team recognized that it needed an email management solution capable of handling hundreds of emails an hour, without clogging up the organization’s central Exchange server. Furthermore, instead of individual users archiving to .PST folders, MCN wanted to ensure that deleted emails were retrievable and forensic capture possible.
“The company really needed a better way of sending, retrieving and archiving emails – and a solution capable of handling attachment rules,” comments Krishnan.
Krishnan’s first priority was to scour the market for the right archiving solution. Various options were considered, but Krishnan realized that the cost of an on-premise archiving solution wasn’t an effective approach for the company’s requirements. “Our evaluation centered on the suitability of solutions specifically for our business environment but we found that we were comparing ‘apples with pears’, which made direct measurement difficult,” he continues. “We began a process of elimination by features and found that only Mimecast provided everything we needed within one package, and all covered by a 100% SLA – the first of its kind in this region.”
With a strict budget allowance, MCN required a solution providing immediate impact whilst also cutting administration and ongoing operational costs. The company already used two filtering solutions to manage antivirus and anti-spam across multiple domains. An on-premise solution for email archiving and ensuring high availability of the overall infrastructure would have further escalated costs and resulted in MCN managing five different products for the same result as Mimecast delivers through a single platform. While searching for the ideal solution, Krishnan and his team grilled Mimecast on its understanding of the complexities of MCN’s operation model. Mimecast passed with flying colors after suggesting its 10-year bottomless email archiving solution, Mimecast Enterprise Edition.