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Boosting Productivity and Saving Money with Email Archiving

November 6, 2007

Summary

The National University of Singapore solved the problem of overloaded email in-boxes, which were blocking vital communications, by adopting an automated email archiving solution based on Symantec Enterprise Vault.

No more choking on email

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is one of the leading research universities in Asia, with over 30,000 students at three campuses. Email is the primary form of communication at NUS, where over 550,000 messages are sent every day, and the amount of email stored grows by 10 percent a year.
But the university’s storage infrastructure couldn’t support such a high volume of communications. Students frequently exceeded the 10MB limits set on their email inboxes, and couldn’t send or receive new messages until they deleted some old ones or archived them into .pst files. This prevented them from communicating with instructors and classmates, not to mention receiving bills and fee updates from NUS’s finance department. Moreover, students were turning to Web-based, third-party email solutions, exposing NUS to security threats.
Tommy Hor, the director of the university’s computer center, and his team decided to start fresh and consolidate all the data storage on campus, including email. He needed an automated, intelligent email archiving tool that would leverage the new tiered storage infrastructure based on EMC Centera hardware.
Working with Symantec Consulting Services, Hor opted for an archiving solution based on Symantec Enterprise Vault. Each student gets a 20MB email inbox, plus up to one GB of email archive storage (50MB and 10GB, respectively, for faculty). Quota-based archiving functionality in Enterprise Vault allows the NUS team to configure inboxes so that email over 30 days old is automatically moved to the tier-two EMC Centera storage platform. End users can easily access archived email via Microsoft Outlook.

More flexible email policies

Through single-instance archiving, the Enterprise Vault solution has achieved at least 30 percent data compression, letting NUS avoid about $206,000 in storage technology acquisition through the end of 2008. The more flexible, automated email policy is also creating large productivity gains.
The Alchemy Solutions Group, using its Total Operational & Economic Impact (TOEI) methodology, identified millions in savings, cost avoidance, and productivity improvements that the university will realize by December 2008. The gains stem from the following benefits:
  • Elimination of .pst file management for all faculty and staff (average of 12 minutes per user, for an aggregate of 200 hours each day for all 7000 faculty and staff)
  • IT help desk spends practically no time dealing with overlimit email accounts
  • Finance department saves more than 300 hours a month spent tracking down missing payments
  • • Avoiding extensive future purchases of email software, servers and storage infrastructure
The value of the new email storage infrastructure was summed up by Hor: “Email is truly a business-critical application for us. We had a very good experience with the Symantec team in terms of their knowledge of the products and experience in implementation. The implementation was very smooth because Symantec Consulting Services led a team effort and Symantec Enterprise Vault integrates easily with our EMC Centera platform.”
For more details on the business value the National University of Singapore is realizing from its email archiving solution, read the Business Value Analysis by The Alchemy Solutions Group.

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