Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Quantum Marine Engineering manufactures hydraulic equipment for large yachts, serving a global marketplace of superyacht builders. In today's ever growing networked environment, the company's mobile sales force, commissioning technicians, and service and warranty representatives rely heavily on email to remain current with customers, with each other, and with their offices to maintain a timely and high level of business communications.
"Our email system can contain multiple communications about the same project, each with important details about our business obligations and expectations. Quantum has identified email as the single 'mission-critical' business IT application," Michael H. Bartlett, Quantum Marine's Director of Information Technologies explained.
The company uses Microsoft Exchange Server, and their reliance on email led to two common problems - larger and larger mailboxes, and difficulty finding the particular email that confirmed or denied a contractual change or system specification on a project that may have stretched over several years.
"Like most companies, we also need to at least consider the possibility of being required to produce documents in a discovery process," he added.
Quantum first looked into archiving solutions in late 2005, and they chose GFI MailArchiver in early 2006 and have been using it since.
I have GFI MailArchiver configured so that users generally only access their own archives, but there are some managers who have access to either departmental or organizational archives," he explained.
This configuration has allowed users - once they are familiar with the archive process - to comfortably reduce the size of their mailbox on the Exchange Server.
This immediate benefit is achieved with a simple demonstration and once users understand that all their email is saved and searchable they stop asking for more and more space in the Exchange database.
"This has provided the company with a huge performance increase, especially for mobile users who either connect through Outlook Web Access or a VPN. Once they see how to find an email and have worked the flexible search conditions they are happy to clean out their mailbox. Once they understand that all internal and external inbound and outbound email is archived, even users who have saved 'everything' can finally be persuaded to reduce their inboxes and saved folders to manageable sizes," Mr. Bartlett said.
Convincing management that an IT initiative is worth the investment and that there will always be a return on that investment is a constant battle for IT professionals around the world. Although Quantum's management blessed this mail archiving initiative, it was not regarded with a whole lot of respect... until there was a problem on an installation.
Mr. Bartlett explained: "A customer had asked in an email to us about the suitability of a component they were using to hook up a piece of our equipment. Our sales force and technicians both were adamant about having replied, saying that what they were proposing wasn't suitable; but no one could come up with the email."
Within five minutes, Mr. Bartlett found the email with GFI MailArchiver using a keyword search as well as the whole string and conversation. He also discovered the reason why no one could find it in their Exchange mailboxes: The email with the key to the puzzle had been sent through a couple of techs and finally through a department head who no one had included in the original list of possible responders.
"The GFI MailArchiver installation, in the company owners' eyes, paid for itself at that one moment. GFI MailArchiver has proved to be reliable, easy to use, and easily configured for security and retention policies. There have been a couple of times over the last year and a half where I have needed support and each time the issue has been resolved swiftly. I have also found the pricing to be competitive, and Quantum is satisfied with the overall value of the product."
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