Email communication is crucial for leading software company NetSuite. Only one vendor could satisfy all their requirements.
NetSuite is a leading provider of cloud-based financials, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and omni-channel software suites that allow businesses to automate operations, streamline processes, and access real-time business information anytime, anywhere.
NetSuite is a leading software company that relies heavily on email communications with customers and between employees to function efficiently. But its longtime AS/AV vendor offered a limited solution that lacked email management or business continuity capabilities. In addition, the tool had gradually been losing effectiveness, with spam increasing and unwanted messages reaching user inboxes.
So when the NetSuite IT team learned that they planned to phase out the tool’s anti-spam capabilities leaving just anti-virus, it was an easy decision to move to a new vendor.
“We began our search for a replacement AS/AV solution for email on Exchange server, so the vendors we considered originally were focused primarily on AS/AV,” recalls Silvio Barretta, IT manager of support services for NetSuite in the Americas. “As our search continued, however, we began to see the advantages of a more comprehensive email management solution that could deliver continuity, archiving, and e-discovery capabilities we didn’t have at the time.”
While email outages didn’t occur frequently, Barretta notes that even brief interruptions could have a significant business impact because there was no fallback option for email access. Plus, email archiving was a particular challenge.
NetSuite’s mailboxes used 80TB of disk space and were self-managed by users, who deleted messages as their mailboxes reached a 1.5GB limit, or about every 90 days. NetSuite mailboxes did not allow PST files. Users’ deleted messages were backed up to tape and were saved for 3-6 months, or until the tape was reused. If a user requested access to an email that was more than three months old, there was a good chance it was irretrievable.
After a series of vendor presentations, Barretta and NetSuite’s IT team recognized that Mimecast stood apart from the rest. “With the benefit of full email management—continuity, archiving, and e-discovery, as well as AS/AV—Mimecast was so much more powerful and offered a suite of capabilities that weren’t available with anyone else,” he says. “Plus, we were very impressed with how easy Mimecast was to use; the interface was extremely straightforward.”
NetSuite selected Mimecast, and Barretta and the NetSuite IT team began to prepare for implementation. “We worked with Mimecast and our operations team to ensure we were organized and well-prepared for implementation a few weeks in advance of cutover,” Barretta explains. “The implementation itself went very smoothly; it was probably the easiest implementation I’ve done in my entire career.”
The Mimecast implementation received its first major test just a few months later when NetSuite migrated to Exchange 2010, which resulted in a series of email outages that lasted up to an hour each. “We notified employees in advance of the impending outages through our NetSuite interface so they expected the failover to Mimecast. So when our servers were down, during the transition, employees were able to access email easily. Mimecast worked flawlessly, and made the migration go much more smoothly,” Barretta says. “Importantly, any outages were completely invisible to our customers who continued to receive the information and service they expect.”
Barretta adds that the feedback the IT team received about Mimecast from NetSuite employees, including company executives, after the migration was highly positive, with everyone saying that they really valued the continuous email access Mimecast ensured. The company is also benefitting from the Mimecast solution’s email archiving and e-discovery capabilities, although those advantages have been less visible to end users. “Mimecast is a phenomenal product,” Barretta concludes. “It offers a breadth of functionality that allows us to do more than we were capable of doing before. Plus, the support available from Mimecast is fantastic, though the solution is so easy to use, we’ve rarely had to request any support.”
In the future, NetSuite will test the Mimecast Mobile Access Solution, which in the case of a failover will enable users to also access email on their smartphones with Mimecast. NetSuite is also considering the Mimecast Outlook plug in, which can streamline the email retrieval process for users.
Seamless business continuity
After NetSuite’s positive experience during the Exchange migration, when Mimecast’s capabilities became apparent, it’s difficult to imagine that any email outage will be acceptable in the future, says Baretta. “The ability to work even when the server is down is a great advantage for the company and we know that even if something happens to Exchange, we’re covered,” Barretta comments. “For those of us in IT, we understand that continuous email access is a must. So much of what we do is email based, and our ability to provide support depends on the ability to access email and respond quickly.”
Simplifies e-discovery, email retrieval
Mimecast e-discovery and archiving capabilities have simplified an otherwise cumbersome process for the NetSuite IT team. “We don’t get a lot of e-discovery requests, but in the past, the process of restoring email from tape backup and then conducting a keyword search was a painful, time-consuming process that could take several weeks per request,” Barretta says. “With Mimecast, we simply set search parameters, which take just minutes, and the entire process is completed automatically in a few hours at the most. Once the file is retrieved, we simply download it and forward it to the requestor.”
An added benefit for NetSuite is the time for which emails can be archived. With tape backups, the company used to store email for six months at the most. Now, with Mimecast the retention period is ten years.
Improves IT team efficiency
NetSuite has about 15 IT help desk reps who work on email issues—and all have noticed a significant reduction in the time spent on email management tasks. “We used to get a lot of time-consuming calls about releasing emails,” Barretta comments. “The volume of email-related calls to the help desk has been reduced by about half since we implemented Mimecast. This adds man-hours back to each employee’s day that can now be spent on other tasks that are critical to the business.”
Blocks spam effectively
NetSuite’s previous solution provided only AS/AV capabilities, and Barretta notes that in spite of this focus, it wasn’t able to control increasing spam levels effectively. In fact, the vendor was in the process of phasing out the anti-spam portion of its product.
Now with Mimecast, NetSuite benefits from a noticeable reduction in spam (66 percent of monthly email volume, on average, is blocked as spam at the gateway), in addition to a range of other benefits.