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Victoria University

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Victoria University

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									                                        DIMENSION DATA SUCCESS STORY


                                        Victoria University




                                      Victoria University Dons Organised
                                      Messaging with Microsoft Exchange Server
                                      2003



Industry
Education                             Executive Summary
Country                               For academics, whose stock in trade is information,
Australia
                                      collaboration is critical, especially the ability to access
Challenge                             information from anywhere and keep in touch with colleagues.
Staff at Victoria University stored
email unsecured on individual PCs.    Melbourne-based Victoria University had an outdated email
This vital information was not
managed centrally and remote          system, resulting in a disconnected remote workforce. It
access was impossible, as was         installed Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 and a range of
access to calendar functions.
                                      related Microsoft software to ensure its staff could collaborate
Solution                              across campuses or around the world. Microsoft Gold Certified
Microsoft Solutions
                                      Partner Dimension Data helped install a reliable and powerful
                                      network infrastructure that has transformed isolated staff into
                                      highly collaborative teams. Thanks to Microsoft Exchange
                                      Server 2003, staff can keep up to date with colleagues,
                                      schedules and events through email, calendar, contacts and
                                      task notifications. Staff can manage their daily priorities from
                                      any campus or computer outside the university network.
Results
                                      Client Overview
    Increased use of calendar
    to book meetings and              Victoria University is one of Australia’s largest universities. It has 12
    resources                         campuses across Melbourne and nearly 50,000 students enrolled locally and
                                      overseas.
    Anywhere, anytime
    access to email
                                      Business Challenge
    Efficient time scheduling         High-quality tertiary education is the foundation of Melbourne’s Victoria
    A cost-effective solution         University. The university employs 3,000 full-time staff. Locally enrolled
                                      students number 46,000 and 3,900 students reside overseas. To honour the
    Scalable environment for          university’s commitment to excellence in education, its staff need excellent IT
    future growth                     tools, and email is one of the most critical.
                                      “The business challenge that greatly concerned us at Victoria University was
                                      email,” says Sam Khoury, Project Manager/Technical Lead – Email
                                      Collaborative Suite, Victoria University. “We were running a dated system. It
                                      wasn’t giving us the features or functionality we needed. Email is mission
                                      critical. When email is down, a considerable amount of work and productivity
                                      comes to a grinding halt.”
                                      Victoria University needed to update its 10-year old systems to provided
                                      better functionality. Staff had to use separate systems for email and
                                      calendar. Email messages were stored on staff members' PCs with no
DIMENSION DATA SUCCESS STORY                 Victoria University




central management. In addition, staff used a variety
of email client software to connect to the email system.
“The main issues were a combination of security,
functionality and reliability,” continues Khoury. “We did
have a few outages. And when the system is down no
one is very impressed.”
                                                                   The Microsoft® Office Outlook® Web Access feature
Many academics travel overseas to participate in the               in Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 allows staff to
university’s international programs with 15 major                  access email, calendar and contacts remotely from
research institutions around the world. When outside               any computer with an internet connection and Web
Victoria University’s network, these staff had limited             browser. Microsoft Exchange Server also allows staff
email access and could not see their calendars or                  to access this information from handheld computers
each other’s schedules, which made for unproductive                and smart-phones without the need for third-party
use of their time. “A lot of our senior executives are             software or additional middleware.
constantly travelling and they always need to be
plugged in,” says Khoury. “We had to move on from                  Microsoft® Active Directory® technology serves as a
the first evolution of email to a new stage in mobile              secure, centralised repository for usernames,
communications. There was a push to have email                     passwords and contact details. In addition, a Hitachi
available on handheld computers or smartphones,”                   Data Systems storage area network was installed to
says Mike Campbell, Practice Manager, Dimension                    provide cost-effective storage and reduce downtime.
Data. “The previous system couldn’t handle this and                “The implementation was an incredibly user-friendly
made it difficult for staff to collaborate.”                       process,” says Khoury. “We worked closely with
                                                                   Dimension Data. The process has been fully



               “The Microsoft Exchange Server product suite has most definitely lived up
                to its promise. The solution was implemented on time and within budget,
                         always a comforting outcome for a complex ICT project.”

                                                        Phil County, Director, Information Technology Services at Victoria University




“For any modern university, collaboration and mobility             documented with disaster recovery plans and so far
are part of the daily business cycle for all teaching and          the system has never gone down unexpectedly."
research staff,” says Phil County, Director, Information
                                                                   "The Microsoft Exchange Server product suite has
Technology Services, Victoria University. “Staff were
                                                                   most definitely lived up to its promise,” says County.
demanding a richer set of integrated services across
                                                                   “The solution was implemented on time and within
multiple devices but with a common user interface.
                                                                   budget, always a comforting outcome for a complex
They wanted the same experience whether they were
                                                                   ICT project.”
using a large desktop or a mobile phone – anywhere in
the world.”
                                                                   Value Derived
Solution Provided                                                  Victoria University’s academic and administrative staff
                                                                   quickly realised the benefits of the new system and
Starting in 2005, Victoria University evaluated a range            most people adopted it after one month’s use.
of options and conducted a series of pilot projects. It
selected the Microsoft Exchange Server platform as                 Increased Efficiency and Savings - Thanks to the new
being ideal for its needs and worked with Microsoft                collaboration infrastructure, Victoria University staff
Gold Certified Partner Dimension Data to design and                can easily see whether colleagues are free or busy.
build a new messaging architecture based on                        “People can immediately see who is doing what and
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.                                    confirm what they are doing with others,” says Khoury.
                                                                   “They can book an appointment or get a confirmation
Dimension Data used the clustering capabilities built              quickly and easily. Under the old system, about 400
into Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to ensure the                  people used their calendar. Now 3,000 people use it.
availability of the messaging system. “Microsoft                   It’s not only used for scheduling meetings, people can
Exchange Server is a market leader in enterprise                   use the system to book meeting rooms, video
messaging and we were impressed with its                           projectors and even cars. Now there isn’t any double
affordability and ease of use,” says Khoury.
DIMENSION DATA SUCCESS STORY                Victoria University

booking as people can check online
through Microsoft Office Outlook to see if a resource is
free or busy. Old wall planners have become a thing of      Solution at a glance
the past for many staff.”                                         Dimension Data used the clustering
The new system has made staff members less reliant                capabilities built into Microsoft Exchange
on the IT department for basic tasks such as retrieving           Server 2003 to ensure the availability of the
accidentally deleted emails. “People can recover their            messaging system
mail themselves and access their own deleted items,”              The Microsoft® Office Outlook® Web
says Khoury. “Before they had to contact IT and then              Access feature in Microsoft Exchange
wait a couple of days for IT to retrieve the email from           Server 2003 allows staff to access email,
backup. Now they can just fix it themselves and                   calendar and contacts remotely from any
quickly move on to other projects.” The solution based            computer with an internet connection and
on Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 proved highly cost              Web browser
effective for Victoria University. “We had an existing
central licensing agreement with Microsoft which                  Microsoft Exchange Server also allows staff
meant we didn’t have to pay any more to upgrade,”                 to access this information from handheld
says Khoury.                                                      computers and smart-phones without the
                                                                  need for third-party software or additional
Remote Access - The remote access capabilities allow              middleware
staff to access all the features of Microsoft Office
Outlook, such as email, calendar, contacts and task               Microsoft® Active Directory® technology
notifications, from anywhere outside the office. “We              serves as a secure, centralised repository
now have more than 50 users accessing their data                  for usernames, passwords and contact
using mobile devices. Other solutions we looked at                details
provided the necessary functions but at a much higher             A Hitachi Data Systems storage area
cost. On an average day, 200 people connect using                 network was installed to provide cost-
Webmail,” says Khoury. “With the stable and highly                effective storage and reduce downtime.
available environment we have built using Microsoft
Exchange Server 2003, they are guaranteed constant
access into the system. Staff, especially executives,
who have handheld computers and smartphones can
stay in constant touch thanks to the solution’s
advanced email capabilities.” Staff find the Microsoft
Office Outlook 2003 and Office Outlook Web Access
environments easy to use. “Staff are familiar with the
interface and they like to use it,” says Khoury. “This
makes training a lot easier.”
A scalable and reliable environment - The ability of
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 to work in a cluster of
servers allowed Victoria University to build a robust
and reliable messaging infrastructure. “We built a
highly available version of Microsoft Exchange
Server,” says Khoury. “The clustering builds in a lot of
resilience. Even if one server failed completely, it
would have no impact on our everyday operations.”
Victoria University and Dimension Data are currently
implementing a new network operating system based
on Microsoft Active Directory. “We are moving towards
leveraging a larger amount of Microsoft technology in
the university by 2008,” concludes Khoury.

								
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