Top SA engineering firm turns to Mimecast for rock solid e-mail
BKS Group implements Mimecast Unified Email Management to solve e-mail security problems.
A rising tide of spam and viruses arriving via e-mail was the catalyst for BKS Group, one of South Africa's leading civil engineering and management companies, to implement Mimecast's Unified Email Management (UEM) to improve e-mail hygiene and bring additional benefits in terms of business continuity and availability.
The company was facing ongoing and increasingly frustrating e-mail management problems, explains BKS Group's IT manager, Jorge Nunes. “Junk e-mail was a security risk, a major irritant for users, and was increasingly becoming an operational problem because of the bandwidth and storage space it consumed.”
BKS Group had been investigating options for a supplier of an e-mail marketing solution, for which Mimecast had been a possible contender. As the technology team started to look more closely at the Mimecast UEM technology, they were increasingly impressed with the anti-spam and anti-virus capabilities, and particularly that the service did not require any significant changes in user behaviour to be effective.
E-mail passes through Mimecast's triple-redundant data centres to be cleansed and validated before being passed to the BKS Groups' existing Microsoft Exchange server. This allows for a saving in bandwidth usage on the data links. Users can still continue using their familiar MS Outlook mail client, without even knowing Mimecast is there.
“Spam and viruses were a big problem for us at BKS before we implemented Mimecast UEM, with spammers changing their tricks every day,” explains Nunes. “Mimecast gave us a month trial period. We set it up, and it was flawless. Within a week I knew this was the solution we wanted.”
The BKS Group had moved its 650 e-mail users from Novell's GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange Server during 2007, and was finding the built-in security not up to the task. The team has the mammoth duty of supporting as many as 350 mobile users at any one time, either travelling, or based on-site for large projects. This mobility posed additional e-mail availability issues. Off-site staff were either connecting in via fixed-line VPN from the site network, or dialling up via 3G mobile connections to a dedicated BKS Group access point (APN).
As Mimecast is based on a software as a service model, it gives an additional measure of availability as work does not have to come to a halt if there is no direct connection to the BKS corporate e-mail servers. Mimecast provides a Web-based portal that gives users a fail-safe way to access their e-mail even in difficult connectivity situations.
This cloud technology is ideal for BKS users, who often need to exchange large graphic or CAD files. Mimecast strips attachments from messages, giving the recipient the option to click on a link to pull them down as and when they want them from the Mimecast servers.
While BKS Group was looking at Mimecast for a simple e-mail marketing tool, it ended up getting a complete continuity solution, and an end to its spam and e-mail-borne virus problems. This makes life easier for its engineering teams, but also saves hours every day for the IT staff that no longer has to deal with time-consuming and unproductive e-mail issues.
“We can now see the thousands of malicious and unwanted e-mail messages being trapped by the filters, which work so well that it has become normal not to receive spam, and we've never had a virus come through since we moved to Mimecast,” concludes Nunes.
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