When Mark Peterson joined Smartsheet as VP of IT, Real Estate and Facilities, three years ago, he immediately noticed something strange. Smartsheet sells a cloud platform, but, ironically, the company had bought several hardware appliances for deploying on-premise email security. “I was not in favor of taking on the cost and management overhead of hosting our own hardware, so we put an end to that project,” Peterson says.
The fast-growing company was evolving from its roots as a SaaS project-management and collaboration tool, to becoming the modern cloud “enterprise platform for dynamic work.” It also was headed toward a 2018 IPO − which would impose new compliance requirements. Peterson’s team developed a cloud-centric strategy for IT and security that led him straight to Mimecast.
“We have around 200 SaaS providers – and we always look for partners with great support and technology, and that don’t require a lot of management cycles. I’d say Mimecast is at or near the top of all those SaaS providers for ease of management.”
Mark Peterson - VP of IT, Real Estate and Facilities, Smartsheet
Peterson’s cloud vision extended beyond security – he believed that Smartsheet should adopt cloud tools for everything from infrastructure to productivity. Today, he says over 95% of the company’s technology tools are in the cloud.
In the early days of rolling out the cloud strategy, the team conducted a needs assessment and found a potential gap in the company’s security roadmap: email security.
“We’re a G Suite company and were relying solely on Google’s native email security tools,” he says. “We needed to uplevel that, so we moved to Mimecast. And when you think of all the resources we would have sunk into making those hardware appliances work, we’re much better off with Mimecast.”
Peterson, who had used Mimecast previously in his career, chose to implement email security with targeted threat protection, cloud archiving and mailbox continuity.
“We have hundreds of SaaS providers in our company – and we always look for partners with great support and technology, and that don’t require a lot of management cycles,” he says. “That’s one of the big reasons why we chose Mimecast. Today, I’d say Mimecast is at or near the top of all those SaaS providers for ease of management.”
Users were initially surprised at how quiet their email environment had become but rapidly became used to using desktop and mobile interfaces to interact with the Mimecast environment.
The system’s extensive reporting has improved visibility of the actual threats targeting the company, while the recent addition of journaling and the Mimecast M2A bundle have combined robust cloud-based security with message archiving and high availability.
Peterson more recently brought Doug Casanova on board to be Director of IT Infrastructure. Casanova had previous experience with Barracuda and Proofpoint, but had never used Mimecast before. “One of our people walked me through the management console, and it made complete sense to me,” Casanova says. “It became clear pretty quickly that Mimecast easily matched anything I’d used before.”
Casanova also cited ease of management as a key benefit to Mimecast. “We allocate two hours per week to doing ‘housecleaning’ on Mimecast, and we don’t even use it all the time. And when we miss a week I don’t worry, because Mimecast just works,” he says. “We have other tools requiring 20-30 hours a week of time, which can be a real headache. There are no headaches with Mimecast!”
And according to Peterson, Mimecast has made life easier for both he and Casanova. “Our team obsesses about security and end user productivity,” Peterson says. “We sleep better at night knowing we have Mimecast on the job.”