Founded in 1937, St. Giles Society Inc. is one of Tasmania’s largest, non-government organisations catering to the needs of people living with disability across the State. It provides vital support to people with a wide range of needs, and relies on email to help it manage excellent care provision, as IT Manager, Jim Sullivan explained:
“We rely on email for communication, for instance in dealing with patient referrals in a timely fashion, so reliable access to email is vital. Equally, email now represents an important evidential record, so the ability to efficiently store, and quickly find, historical email can protect us from potential legal action in the event of a dispute.”
St Giles’ email infrastructure was based an on-premises Exchange Server solution, supplemented by a range of point solutions – MailGuard, for instance, provided anti-virus and anti-spam.
However, the infrastructure did not feature a dedicated email archiving solution. Instead, historical email was spread across fragmented local storage and PSTs, a situation that was causing Jim problems in a number of ways: “Email was creating huge demand for local storage space and, without a single, unified archive it was difficult to carry out eDiscovery requests across historical email – to the extent that users had all but stopped asking.”
On top of that, the solution did not provide Jim with a single, centralised means of managing email policies and stationary. “Managing stationary essentially meant manually changing settings for 130 or so individual users across nine sites. In practice, that meant we relied on individual users to create and update their signatures, so we ended up with very little in the way of consistent branding.”
Finally, Jim was also actively investigating the benefits of a move to hosted email, and had quickly realised that streamlining and updating the wider infrastructure, whilst adding reliable email continuity would be vital to de-risking any future migration: “It was clear that simplifying our email environment, while finding a way to deliver always on email, was going to be a vital precursor if we were to realise the wider benefits of a move to hosted email.”
Jim investigated a number of solutions before selecting Mimecast Unified Email Management (UEM) as offering a single solution to all his email-related challenges.
He said: “I had looked, for instance, at adopting SafeGuard, alongside MailGuard, to acquire email archiving capabilities, but this did not have the advantage of offering us a single solution. When you add continuity into the mix, we would have ended up with three point solutions to do the job that Mimecast could do in its own.”
In the end, Mimecast UEM was a clear winner, Jim said: “Mimecast was very attractive because it was a single integrated solution and gave me the ability to manage our entire environment from a single console, a single pane of glass.”
With a decision made, Jim worked with dedicated Mimecast support professionals to manage a smooth migration. “The support I received from Mimecast was second to none, and the documentation was excellent,” he said. “Overall, the whole process was painless for me, and painless for users – they barely knew anything was going on.”
The move to Mimecast UEM has given St. Giles a feature rich, robust, secure email environment, while simultaneously reducing the overall complexity of its infrastructure and preparing the way for a move to hosted email.
In particular, adding accessible archiving has streamlined storage and made finding historical emails far easier - both for users who can self serve via a seamless Outlook plugin and the Mimecast Mobile Apps, and for Jim when responding to discovery requests.
Jim said: “We now have a single cloud repository for all our historical email, so the days of spending hours searching through PSTs and local storage are gone. I am a one-man show, but I can now carry out discovery requests in a matter of minutes. In fact, soon after our move to Mimecast, I was able to find email evidence that potentially helped us to avoid unnecessary litigation.”
Centralised policy management and control of email branding has also proven a significant benefit, helping St. Giles to present a consistent brand: “The fact that I don’t have to manage policies and signatures for 130 individual users saves me a lot of time. With Mimecast I make one central change and it is done for everyone.”
Meanwhile, the addition of email continuity backed by a 100% availability SLA and tight integration with robust email security has helped to clear a path to hosted email. Jim explained: “Without Mimecast we simply would not be able to migrate to Exchange in the cloud, we’d be taking a huge risk. Now we have secure, feature rich email management in the cloud from Mimecast and a streamlined infrastructure on-premises, I have no doubt we can do it.”
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