Mimecast Email Security Banishes Spam for Macmillan Cancer Support

After receiving an alarming increase in spam Macmillan looked to upgrade vendors. With Mimecast, time can now be spent on higher priority items.


Founded in 1911 by Douglas Macmillan, Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, medical and financial support for people affected by cancer. With more people living with cancer than ever before, the need for Macmillan’s work is constantly growing. Its loyal and committed supporters fund more than 98% of its services, so Macmillan takes care to manage its money wisely.

As James Byrne, Macmillan’s System Support Team Manager, explained: “We are answerable to our generous donors. So any investment in IT, for example, has to be carefully thought through and able to demonstrate a clear ROI.”


The primary challenge that Byrne and his team were looking to solve was the high cost of administration associated with Macmillan’s previous email security solution, which had proved inefficient against a growing spam problem. Before it could be rejected, spam was flooding the Macmillan email servers, slowing the whole system down and creating a significant management and support burden.

Byrne commented: “We also had a real issue with false positives. My team was spending too much time tracking down emails that should not have been quarantined in the first place.”

IT is vital to ensuring the smooth running and proficiency of Macmillan, and Byrne was under pressure to secure a dependable solution. Notably, their fundraising team has a high proportion of staff that operate out on the road, meeting supporters and corporate partners. The team’s ability to work efficiently is, therefore, entirely dependent on access to a reliable email system; and this was another factor that Byrne’s team had to address.

Byrne said: “We have a large team of fundraisers who are on the road for most of the day. Email allows them to keep in touch with colleagues and Macmillan supporters between appointments. It’s vitally important.”


The decision to turn to cloud computing was an obvious one for Byrne.

“Whilst there were a couple of initial concerns around the fact that the solution would reside outside of our building, these were soon outweighed by the obvious cost benefits and lower administrative overheads.”

After a rigorous selection process, Macmillan selected Mimecast to provide email security for its 1,300 user base.

Byrne added: “Before we made a final decision we did a lot of work comparing the virtues of a range of options, and Mimecast was a clear winner. The decision came down to value for money, but was not based solely on the cost of the solution. We factored in the migration process, the support we would receive and the solution’s capacity to make a real difference to the on-going cost of managing our email environment.”


Mimecast Email Security has now been safeguarding Macmillan’s email system against malware and spam for a number of years. Byrne said: “The move to Mimecast really couldn’t have been easier. We had the benefit of excellent, responsive support, which contributed to a seamless transition.”

The pro-active approach that Mimecast took to customer support both throughout the migration process and once Macmillan were fully on-board as a customer, really impressed Byrne, as he commented:

“The support we have received from Mimecast has been first class. It is very rare that we have to contact them with an actual problem. In fact, I believe that they have contacted us more times than we have them, letting us know when we have had issues with people sending out too much external mail, so we can deal with it before it becomes a problem.”

More importantly, Mimecast Email Security has delivered against its promises. The solution inspects email in the cloud, before it even reaches Macmillan’s on premise email infrastructure, to provide comprehensive protection.

As a result, the spam issue has been all but eliminated, significantly reducing the burden on Macmillan’s email infrastructure and supporting reliable performance. Equally, false positives are now rarely a problem according to Byrne:

“Before we moved to Mimecast, we’d be spending time tracking down wrongly blocked emails every day. These days, we very rarely get user calls asking us to find missing emails, maybe six times a year. The solution supports user productivity too. External email is vital to Macmillan so ensuring that our users receive the emails they need, whether they are in the office or on the road, and without having to deal with spam, is really important.”

Overall, Byrne is delighted with the impact of Mimecast’s Email Security solution on the productivity and resilience of Macmillan’s email system: “Mimecast Email Security is a simple, effective solution we can trust and, when we need support, we always get the answers we need quickly. Most importantly, the effect of spam on our users and on my team has been practically eliminated. Our users get a better email service as a result, and my team is able to spend more time on high value activities, rather than fire fighting.”

Sector: Non Profit/Charities
Size: 1300 End Users
Location: United Kingdom
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