Lineas - Moderniseren is nu kinderspel, vooral voor ICT

At A Glance

  • Lineas is Europe’s largest private rail freight operator, headquartered in Belgium and with offices in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Lineas’ mission is to take freight off the road and onto the railways to benefit climate and mobility. The company has more than 2,100 employees. Maurice Peterse, IT Infrastructure manager, is responsible for Lineas’ entire ICT environment including the Support Services Desk. “We were the first European rail freight carrier to privatise,” he says. That happened in 2015 andin 2017, the company said goodbye to its old name of B Logistics. “A year and a half ago, we appointed a new CIO who set up a team with the task of modernising the organisation, including the ICT environment.”

Lineas is on the eve of a large-scale ICT renewal. But the rail freight operator still has a few years to go with their existing email environment.

Modernization

There is a great need to modernise - the rapid expansion of the company in Europe requires a scalable business model that can cope with the changes in the short and long term “We have grown rapidly in recent years. We now have an environment with five hundred virtualised servers”. Of these, 90 percent are located in two data centers, and 10 percent in the cloud. As a result ofthe privatisation, Lineas now has to leave the data centre of the public railway manager Infrabel. “The intention is that we will place more ICT resources in the cloud, while the rest will run from a colocation data centre,” says Peterse. “To this end, we are setting up a plan in which we identify which core applications are suitable for the cloud.”

Traditional Mail Environment

Email environment is one of those core applications. Peterse eventually wants to move it from the current Exchange servers to the cloud. “However, such interventions take a lot of time”, he observes. “I estimate that we still have two or three years to go with the current email environment.”

“Employees want to go through their email smoothly. This means that they click on links relatively quickly, and thanks to Mimecast they are protected in this respect.”

Maurice Peterse, IT Infrastructure Manager

Because large amounts of e-mail are involved, Peterse has to ensure that the environment performs optimally. Delaysare unacceptable. Lineas uses Mimecast’s Archiving solution to ensure a smooth transition without any loss of data. It does more than just write older mails to a different location.

“If you send a 2-megabyte attachment to fifty people within the company, you don’t want to duplicate it unnecessarily on different servers,” says Peterse. “Instead, one copy is made that is accessible to everyone who receives the email.”

Security is Leading

Archiving is important, but according to Peterse, email security is much more important. Lineas cannot afford to fall victim to malware or suffer data leaks. “Security was the main reason for choosing Mimecast.The end-user remains the riskiest factor in security. During a recent test, Mimecast researchers showed me an example of a phishing email. I am an-above average security conscious user, but that’s not to say I would not have clicked on the links shown to me during that test. Mimecast’s solution minimises such risks. They stop malicious links and get a warning in case of doubt”.

As a result, employees can also work moreefficiently, Peterse continues. “Employees want to go through their email smoothly.This means that they click on links relatively quickly, and thanks to Mimecast they are protected in this respect”.

Future-proof

Even after the modernisation, Lineas will continue to use Mimecast’s solutions.“The plan is to further expand our security, including intrusion alerts and security testing. Whatever we choose, it will fit in well with our Mimecast solution. We have clearly made a good choice.”

“Modernisation is now easy feat, especially for ICT."

Maurice Peterse, IT Infrastructure Manager

Mimecast’s other solutions offer functionalities that Peterse is very interested in. “Because of the good experience we’ve had with Mimecast we want to explore the possibilities their other software offers. For example, it is now possible to receive reports on outgoing emails. As a result, we know exactly which emails are opened and how often potential customers click on certain links. That’s very useful information for our communications department”.

Mimecast is very involved in the evolution of the environment at Lineas. “They are very driven. When I started at Lineas, a representative immediately made an appointment to meet in person to take me through the solutions we were using, and a detailed explanation of the reports Mimecast offers.”

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