REVIEWER: Jamie DeFoor, manager of system administration at Georgia College.
BACKGROUND: Georgia College and State University, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. More than 1,000 faculty and staff members at four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, including hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, residential learning communities, study abroad and myriad internships.
PLATFORMS: Georgia College is running Computer Generated Solutions Unlimited Mailbox on a cloud-based platform.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Georgia College wanted to move beyond the costs, complexities and limitations of the legacy on-premise email environment that services its faculty and staff members to a cloud-based email that could serve the student community, as well. The school manages some 300 software applications to support student, faculty, and staff activities. In such a dynamic learning environment, Georgia College faculty and staff members generate and share a high volume of email communications that require terabytes of storage space. As it worked to minimize storage costs, optimize system performance, and meet growing compliance requirements, the organization was challenged by the lack of comprehensive email archiving, retention and discovery capabilities in its legacy, on-premise email system.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: After running Unlimited Mailbox for nearly one year, Georgia College reports that the system consistently meets and exceeds its expectations. It has enabled the organization to efficiently achieve a comprehensive and automated record of all its faculty and staff messaging. Based on their tests, system administrators are confident that the new disaster recovery capabilities will enable a full and timely system recovery should a crash occur. From a storage and system performance perspective, Unlimited Mailbox gives the school the ability to set a variety of timing rules for aging older emails out of the system depending on the legal and practical requirements of its specific user groups. Analytics generated in the system enables administrators to play ‘what-if’ to optimize aging strategies. The system also provides de-duplication tools that remove redundant messages and attachments to free up space and improve system performance. Also, Georgia College can now comply with even the most challenging requirements quickly and professionally, providing near-instantaneous results with pinpoint accuracy. Perhaps most importantly, Unlimited Mailbox has provided Georgia College with a path to quickly and efficiently migrate its complete messaging data set to a new email platform.
STRENGTHS: Unlimited Mailbox makes an excellent migration tool. It has a toolbox that can enable us to manipulate the information to prepare for and save time in the migration. This has enabled us to streamline the preparations for the coming migration while requiring only minimal internal resources. Because we are confident in the capabilities of Unlimited Mailbox, we are looking forward to the next step of migration.
WEAKNESSES: Like most high-tech products, Unlimited Mailbox isn't a plug-and-play solution. It requires CGS service delivery and support which, from the beginning, has always been efficient and effective.
SELECTION CRITERIA: With the baseline complexities of Georgia College’s existing system, we realized the need for a migration partner and solution that fully understood how to do the message rewrites and the translations needed to migrate to a cloud-based platform. While initially focusing on migration, we saw in Unlimited Mailbox a comprehensive email management solution that could help us solve our operational and compliance issues. With very little internal resource requirements, we gained needed archiving and disaster recovery capabilities, as well as a professional and instantaneous e-discovery solution. Moreover, Unlimited Mailbox has proven to be an excellent migration tool that has streamlined our preparation for the upcoming migration to a new email platform.
DELIVERABLES: The primary deliverable is the Migration Tools, and the secondary deliverables are archiving, disaster recovery and e-discovery capabilities.
VENDOR SUPPORT: The support with CGS has been wonderful, starting with the initial call to the test installation and throughout our production installation. The CGS team has always been there to support the product and has been ready to address the problems that have come up. The best part of the experience is having a committed staff behind the product.
DOCUMENTATION: The Unlimited Mailbox documentation is complete and straightforward. The documentation is all you need to use the product.
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