Making sure email is as safe as houses
South Africa: The business of architecture is not all about beautiful buildings. It’s also about paper.
“Contracts, drawings, quotes, redrafts and the many documented discussions between clients, builders, project managers and the like are almost always sent or received via email,” says Grant Hall, IT manager at Stefan Antoni Olmesdahl Truen Architects (SAOTA). “If gorgeous contemporary buildings sit at the heart of SAOTA, then email sits at the head.”
SAOTA takes documentation very seriously. It has an extremely well developed filing system for all documentation with systems for both hard copy and digital documents. “The only possible problem in our system is human error,” says Hall. To protect both the company and its clients from the frustration and time loss associated with misfiled documentation, SAOTA searched for a technology solution to the human problem.
“We wanted to create a safety net to offer final and absolute protection against lost documents. Mimecast’s email software wraps around our Microsoft Exchange mail server and makes sure that our email is always available, easily searchable and never ever lost. The ease with which email can be retrieved has massively reduced the stress of lost documentation as well as making sure that we aren’t spending endless hours trawling through quarantine folders and deleted items caches,” says Hall.
“Our initial requirements were around the storage of emails. Mimecast offers bottomless storage for up to ten years but when we looked deeper into the product we realised that there was a lot more on offer,” says Hall.
Mimecast UEM is a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) implementation, where email is transparently routed through Mimecast’s carrier-grade data centres and stored in a secure repository that provides access to mails remotely via the Web, a mobile device or Outlook plug-in. Users can search the archives going back months or years in fractions of a second. In addition, Mimecast is ECT Act compliant meaning that all mails can be retrieved with the full auditable forensic detail intact.
“We have more control over our email system in terms of legal compliance, documentation and just generally keeping the email system from becoming an inefficient bandwidth guzzling monster,” says Hall. “We have implemented a selection of customised email rules, which have reduced the number and size of non-work related emails entering the system. No more 10meg PowerPoint documents of cute cats chewing up our bandwidth!” says Hall.
“This system helps me sleep better at night. It provides a level of technological support that is unexpected in an email service,” he concludes.
“SAOTA is ahead of the curve in implementing Mimecast. While other industries such as financial services, technology and legal have been quick to understand the enormous value of a fully compliant email solution, the architecture and design industry in South Africa has, until now, stuck to what they know,” says Garth Wittles, managing director of Mimecast South Africa.
Mimecast delivers cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange, including archiving, continuity and security. By unifying disparate and fragmented email environments into one holistic solution that is always available from the cloud, Mimecast minimizes risk and reduces cost and complexity, while providing total end-to-end control of email. Founded in the United Kingdom in 2003, Mimecast serves approximately 4,000 customers worldwide and has offices in Europe, North America, Africa and the Channel Islands.
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