Mohawk Industries Uses Mimecast to Simplify Email Archival/Retrieval, Ensure Effective AS/AV Strategy

Technology ages very quickly. Mohawk and its 20,000+ employees needed an email management vendor able to stay state of the art.


Mohawk Industries is the leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk brands include Dal-Tile, Karastan, Mohawk, Pergo, Martazzi, and Quick-Step. The company employs more than 20,000 people worldwide.


Though it employs thousands, Mohawk Industries has just three IT team members dedicated to supporting and managing email, says Colby Grueber, the company’s infrastructure director. That makes efficiency critical. Yet in 2011, Mohawk relied on an IBM Archiving Platform (CommonStore) that was fading fast. “We did not have mailbox quotas or retention periods at the time,” recalls Grueber, “so when we did our weekly backups, we were essentially backing up everything any employee had ever sent or received. Some employees had 50 GB NSF files.”

As a result, Mohawk’s weekly backups took seven days to complete. “We’d essentially finish one backup, and immediately begin the next one,” says Grueber. “And often, the backups failed, and we would lose data. It was a disaster, and the amount of storage and tapes required for backups had grown out of control.” At its peak, total weekly backup volume grew to 10 TB.

Simultaneously, Grueber’s group was receiving more frequent requests for litigation holds – meaning, legal department requests to pull email records for particular employees. While Mohawk had a basic storage and retrieval tool in place (IBM’s CommonStore), finding and retrieving email from the system was an arduous process, according to Grueber. First, the team had to find the right file, and then they had to manually scan all the emails in that file in order to pick and choose what the legal team required. “It was a one- to two-day process, minimum,” says Grueber. “That’s a lot of time for our small team, considering the growing volume of requests. The tool just wasn’t working for us anymore.”

Another concern was continuity. Though email outages hadn’t been a big problem in the past, any outage that did occur would have a severe impact on operations says Grueber. “We rely on email for just about everything,” he says, “from internal communications to customer communications. We were at a point where we really felt we should have a safety net in place to ensure continuity in the event of an emergency or outage.”

Finally, Grueber and team knew that there was room for improvement on the AS/AV front. “Our spam levels were slowly creeping up, and users had noticed,” he said. “It’s our job to make sure email helps their productivity, not hurts it. So we decided to look for alternatives to our SPAM appliance.”


Based on past issues with difficult upgrades to their on-premise CommonStore server and SPAM appliance, Mohawk decided to go the SaaS route when evaluating replacements. After looking at several options, the company opted for the Mimecast email management offering to replace the two point solutions. “Mimecast offered a complete package of email security and email archiving, with litigation search capabilities. It was also easy to use and upgrade, and was compatible with existing applications,” Grueber notes. “Plus, it was available at a very reasonable cost. In fact, our goal was to replace the AS/AV and legal discovery capabilities without increasing our investment overall. Mimecast was less expensive than it would have been to renew and upgrade our existing CommonStore solution alone.”

Grueber and his team implemented Mimecast in a staged approach, beginning with AS/AV and then completing the import of Mohawk’s existing email archive. Since the original implementation, the company has expanded its use of Mimecast to two additional business units, and Grueber’s team is now working on a third implementation to cover more than 10,000 email users overall.


Ensures rapid response to legal requirements
Mimecast automated email archiving allows Grueber and his team to recover archived email quickly, a critical factor given the rising number of legal requests for email evidence. “We frequently receive requests from the company’s legal department asking for specific email communications,” Grueber says. “Before Mimecast, we were forced to complete a manual search to recover the necessary emails, a process that sometimes took days.

Today, with Mimecast automated search capabilities, we can find what we need in less than an hour in most cases. It’s at least ten times faster than the process we relied on before, and more accurate.

Reduces server requirements
Mohawk was required to maintain more than a dozen servers with its previous on-premise email storage and retrieval tool, and with Mimecast, the company was able to retire unnecessary servers. “Thanks to Mimecast and our new email retention policy, we reduced our storage space by more than 25 percent,” Grueber comments, “and while we didn’t free up internal disk space, we absolutely could have. In our case, our legal team required that we keep the files that might be required for litigation on site.”

Simplifies upgrades, eliminates backup requirements

“When we were searching for an email management solution, we knew we wanted a single, cloud-based product,” Grueber says. “Our previous on-premise solution required that the vendor be on site to upgrade, and the process was time consuming and expensive. With Mimecast, we’ve been able to streamline all processes for greater efficiency and time savings overall. We’ve even been able to eliminate our need for backups thanks to integration with Office™ 365 and Mimecast.”

Delivers superior spam control
Mohawk had an existing AS/AV solution, but spam levels were rising and end users had felt an impact. “Mimecast is a better AS/AV solution, and that is what matters to our end users,” Grueber. “For example, with our previous solution, we had an especially high number of false positives; we were forced to evaluate and release messages that were falsely identified as spam several times a week. With Mimecast, we do it only about once a month.” On an average month, the Mohawk organization receives 10-12 million email messages. Mimecast blocks as spam approximately 70 percent of those messages before they even enter the Mohawk network.

Reliable, consistent support
When Grueber and his team undertook Mohawk’s largest IT project, converting from Lotus to Office™ 365, the team anticipated challenges, but the results were surprising. “In the face of such a major transition, we were very concerned with what might happen, but we did not have a single issue with the switchover where Mimecast is concerned. Mimecast performed flawlessly,” Grueber says.

Mohawk Industries
Sector: Manufacturing
Size: 10600+ End Users
Location: U.S.
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