Oliver Hume is a multi-disciplinary property services group with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold and Sunshine Coasts. The firm is Australia’s leading residential project marketer and employs around 120 people.
Reliable email access is important to Oliver Hume’s sales and customer care staff, whether they are in the office or on the road. IT Manager, Carlos Labura is essentially a one-man IT department and explained: “Real estate is a highly competitive market, so we have to be on the ball when it comes to responding to new business leads and living up to the service promises we make to existing customers. Reliable email access is an important part of that.”
The email system serving each of Oliver Hume’s offices was based on a head office Exchange Server supplemented by a range of point solutions – for instance, hosted email security provided by Trend Micro and large file sharing capabilities based on consumer grade services like Dropbox.
While the firm had wide ranging disaster recovery (DR) support in place, it did not have a real time email continuity solution – an issue that came to a head early in 2014, when Carlos was preparing to move Oliver Hume’s head office to new premises:
“Given that the head office infrastructure supplies email to our entire organisation, keeping email flowing during the move was a key consideration. Network services would be down overnight, but I had to plan for potential over-runs, which meant some kind of email continuity solution was pretty central to minimising business disruption.”
Initially, Carlos explored the option of temporarily expanding Oliver Hume’s DR solution to provide a temporary fix, but it quickly became apparent that this was a complex, time consuming and potentially costly option: “Replicating our Exchange environment at our DR location, then shipping in hard drives to restore data to our local servers once they were back online was not a realistic option.”
Instead Carlos turned to Mimecast for a simpler, more cost effective solution in the cloud. He said: “When I looked at Mimecast I was immediately confident it was the right solution. It was much more manageable and less complex than our other options, and offered ongoing continuity at the same cost as a one off disaster recovery solution.”
Having selected Mimecast for email continuity, Carlos decided on Mimecast Unified Email Management Express (UEM), which offered a range of features and benefits that Oliver Hume’s existing point solutions could not match.
The Mimecast team guided Carlos through a quick and pain-free set-up process, which required no additional hardware on site. “Getting the solution set up was really straightforward,” Carlos said. “I got excellent, responsive support and experienced no major roadblocks along the way.”
First and foremost Mimecast UEM ensured that all Oliver Hume staff retained email access during the head office move, via the familiar Outlook interface.
Carlos said: “We did the move overnight on a Thursday, but networking issues meant we were not back up and running until about 1.30pm on the Friday. Mimecast Email Continuity ensured our users could access email as normal, whether they were using companyowned or personal laptops and smartphones.”
Crucially, the continuity solution did not require any action from Carlos, leaving him free to resolve the wider networking issue: “It just kicked in automatically as soon as the core servers went offline, then switched back automatically once we were back up.”
Mimecast UEM has also strengthened the range of email security features available to Oliver Hume. Most beneficial amongst the additional features: “Users can now manage their own quarantined emails, which I am sure will eliminate helpdesk calls and reduce the amount of time I spend dealing with email admin.”
Finally, Mimecast Large File Send has made it easier for users to share large files, and ensured Carlos has compliance under control. He said: “Now users can send large files direct from Outlook, while encryption and custom expiration options ensure our data is secure. On top of that, it’s easy to manage and auditable for me.”
Overall, Carlos has been delighted with Mimecast UEM: “I’ve been impressed with every aspect of Mimecast UEM. It has kept email flowing during outages without any problems, secured our email environment, and added features to help make our users more productive.”