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UCS Solutions, a subsidiary of Business Connexion Group provides ICT-related solutions and services primarily to businesses operating within the retail value chain.
With a focus on the utilisation of SAP and other retail-related solutions, it supports businesses through consultation and collaboration, ensuring clients gain maximum returns from their IT investments.
UCS Solutions is an ITIL and ISO 20000 certified IT Service Provider and the first South African company to achieve ISO 20000 (IT Service Management) and ISO 22301 certification. UCS Solutions prides itself in putting its customers first, leading from the front, and continuous innovation. In February 2011, it deployed a dedicated on-premise email archive solution. Although it enjoyed a robust backup solution in Microsoft Exchange, this environment was intended as a failsafe to protect and recover current data in the event of a failure or disaster.
Archiving provides an important function for a business: storing and protecting data (sometimes years old) in a manner that is economical and accessible. This was an important value add for UCS Solutions, which processes significant volumes of mail across its internal and external networks every day and has a need to protect informational assets and ensure compliance with several global standards.
“UCS Solutions ’ increasing mail volume was outpacing on-premise storage availability, while the system’s LAN dependency made it difficult for our extremely mobile workforce to access mail archives off site,” explains Luis Lourenço, Executive: Infrastructure Services.
This complexity, coupled with database and replication errors placed unnecessary pressure on support staff additionally errors within UCS Solutions ’s Outlook experience when trying to retrieve archived emails frustrated users. The business began to rely once more on Exchange to bridge the gap. When its licenses came up for renewal in 2013, UCS Solutions opted to re-evaluate its existing solution against competing offerings.
After a stringent assessment process, Mimecast’s cloud-based bundle of archiving, security and continuity services was a clear contender. As a Microsoft Partner and trusted Reseller, UCS Solutions wanted a solution aligned with Microsoft Exchange, without the storage and management demands.
The attraction of a single solution that could address several pain points was enhanced by the fact that Mimecast offered a proven and effective user adoption programme that would help drive knowledge sharing and empower users with the skills needed to search and retrieve archived mail. It also provided a useful portal for troubleshooting on line, which would reduce service demands on in-house IT resources and improve the overall user experience.
Exchange provides a near-flawless environment, but it’s not infallible, particularly not while the system remains reliant upon third party ISPs for connectivity. “Mimecast for Outlook has a seamless connectivity to Exchange and the mail continuity it provides is business critical to UCS Solutions maintaining our stringent SLAs with our customers,” continues Lourenço.
The incumbent email branding solution relied heavily upon users to brand their emails to the external world. “This was a challenge, given our branding requirements and compliance standards. With Mimecast, a convenient and centralised policy manager controls email branding at the gateway, ensuring UCS Solutions not only looks superb, but that all the various disclaimers and terms and conditions required by ISO are also communicated in the proper manner,” says Lourenço.
UCS Solutions’ impressive customer list reads like the “who’s who” in SA retail and includes the major retailers. The retail sector is notoriously staunch in terms of its compliance regulations. “End-to-end alignment of our internal processes to POPI requirements, as well as PCI and ISO27001 global standards, is business critical for UCS Solutions. Mimecast has features and functionality which help us to comply with both our internal and external compliance needs. Mimecast ensures secure, confidential handling of data that underlines UCS Solutions’ own integrity and our responsibility for our customers’ most important assets – information,” continues Lourenço.
“Many UCS Solutions employees are deployed at customer sites, including international customers in the UK and the Middle East. Mimecast has eliminated these mobile workers’ reliance on VPN so that employees enjoy a seamless user interface and are able to access mail and search archives instantly wherever they are,” Lourenço concludes.
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