In 2013 The Greenbrier Companies, a longtime Microsoft customer, decided to move from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2013. Simultaneously, the company needed to migrate from its Postini AS/AV solution, which was being withdrawn by Google®. Since an upgrade was needed, the company’s IT team decided to add an automated email archiving tool to replace its manual archiving process and ease its ability to meet regulatory requirements.
Greenbrier originally planned to go with an all-Microsoft solution, but found that the Microsoft tools would not easily support its international needs. Microsoft recommended its partner Mimecast, which could provide not only AS/AV but also automated email archiving and business continuity, all within the company’s existing Microsoft Exchange environment. “The fact that we had servers in both Poland and the U.S. presented some unique mail-routing challenges,” explains Duane Ternes, Vice President of IT for The Greenbrier Companies. “We also needed to automatically append confidentiality notices to emails in different countries in several different languages – we thought that was a fairly straightforward need, but as it turns out, not many vendors can support it.”
Ternes’s team consulted with Gartner and evaluated several other vendors before turning their attention to Mimecast. They found that most vendors were primarily focused on eDiscovery, and most incorporated AS/AV capabilities via technology integration with third parties such as Barracuda. “Every vendor either did anti-spam/anti-virus or archiving well,” said Ternes. “Not both.” And then the team met with Mimecast. “As soon as we saw the Mimecast demonstration, we knew we would go with it,” said Dan Kutch, Greenbrier’s Technical Services Manager. “Mimecast met everything on our checklist and much more. All integrated, all native. And the clincher for us was that we would be able to retain Outlook folders for our users in their archives. The Mimecast solution is the best we’ve seen for Outlook environments.”
Unlimited, automated email archiving Before Mimecast, says Kutch, Greenbrier had limited storage for email archiving. So when the IT team was presented with a case, they would turn on journaling for the affected user(s) to capture everything required from that point forward. Then the team set about manually retrieving past email from PST files. “It was extremely time consuming,” Kutch says. “Many hours of work for each incident.” With Mimecast, Greenbrier has unlimited, automated email archiving. Now when an IT team member receives an eDiscovery request, he or she can conduct a thorough search across the international business in minutes. Mimecast also enabled Greenbrier to revise its retention policy from one year to 10 years in order to ease the process of meeting regulatory requirements. In the past, the IT team had to make manual exceptions to select users’ email inboxes in order to meet those requirements, which required a significant amount of work. “Now, everything is automated,” says Kutch. “We can just set it and forget it.”
Mimecast was able to easily accommodate Greenbrier’s need to route mail to two different servers (Poland and the U.S.) and can automatically append confidentiality notices in native languages in multiple countries. “Mimecast is architected with international companies in mind,” says Kutch. “It’s a very intuitive, elegant solution.”
Mimecast was designed specifically to work within Microsoft environments, which has paid off in several respects for Greenbrier. First, it enabled the Greenbrier IT team to retain Outlook folders for email users in their archives. “That means we can phase out our .PST files eventually,” says Kutch. It also means that the process of setting up new Exchange users is vastly simplified. In the past, after the IT team set up a new user account, Greenbrier’s security team then had to set up each user in Postini and enable external access. Now, any user set up in Greenbrier’s Active Directory is automatically enabled for Mimecast. “This saves a lot of time, but also leads to fewer errors, and that means a smoother onboarding process for new users,” Kutch explains.
Greenbrier was not unhappy with Postini, says Ternes, and worried that a new vendor might lead to an onslaught of spam. “We’ve found the Mimecast spam and virus coverage to be excellent – spam and viruses have been virtually eliminated,” he says. “We feel we get tremendous value from Mimecast,” Ternes concludes. “The cost is just slightly higher than what we paid for Postini, but we gained unlimited data storage, automated archiving and disaster recovery.” “Our original intention was just to find a replacement for Postini,” says Ternes. “Mimecast does all of the things that Postini did quite well, and provides some really valuable additional features that Postini did not have. I would not hesitate at all to recommend Mimecast to anyone – in fact, I already have.”