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					                                              Microsoft Forefront: Security Products for Business
                                              Customer Solution Case Study




                                              University Uses Hosted Filtering Solution to
                                              Reduce Spam by 85 Percent



Overview                                      “Where our users formerly received on average 10
Country or Region: United Kingdom
Industry: Education—Universities
                                              spam messages per day, with Microsoft Forefront
                                              Online Security for Exchange they receive 5 to 10 per
Customer Profile
Edinburgh Napier University was founded
                                              week.”
in 1964 in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has        Scott Walkingshaw, Lead IT Developer (Servers), Edinburgh Napier University
14,400 students and 1,867 staff on eight
campuses.                                     Edinburgh Napier University wanted to improve its system of
Business Situation                            filtering e-mail messages. The university’s IT staff were creating
The university needed a way to filter         manual rules to block spam, an effort that generated too many
unwanted e-mail messages. It hoped to
avoid capital expenditures, reduce false      false positives and was not the most productive use of their time. A
positives, and decrease its administrative    software upgrade would have required capital expenditures for
burden.
                                              associated new hardware. So Edinburgh Napier signed up to filter e-
Solution                                      mail messages through Microsoft® Forefront™ Online Security for
Edinburgh Napier signed up for Microsoft®
Forefront™ Online Security for Exchange       Exchange. Employees continue to access e-mail messages as they
and the Microsoft Live@edu online student     did before; for students, the service is combined with the Microsoft
application suite to filter e-mail messages
before they reach university computers.       Live@edu suite of online applications. The university has reduced
                                              spam by 85 percent and completely eliminated false positives. It
Benefits
 85 percent reduction in spam
                                              has also lowered the administrative burden for IT staff by 93
 Choice and flexibility                      percent. The system was flexible, easy to deploy, and did not
 93 percent decrease in administrative
  burden                                      require any additional investment of capital.
 Easy, inexpensive deployment
“Microsoft Forefront                     Situation                                        required new server hardware. The IT
                                         Edinburgh Napier University educates 14,400      department would have had to purchase
Online Security for                      students at eight campuses, with most of its     three new servers for two sites, with
Exchange uses multiple                   locations in Edinburgh, Scotland, and            additional expenditures for complementary
                                         international offices in China and Malaysia.     technologies. The cost could have been high.
antivirus engines, so                    Edinburgh Napier was founded in 1964, first
even if one fails to                     as a college, later as a polytechnic; it         Instead Edinburgh Napier decided to find a
                                         achieved full university status in 1992. In      different approach to filtering unwanted e-
update, another is going                 order to achieve its objective of being          mail messages—a solution that would not
to catch the virus before                perceived as the best modern university in       require new capital expenditures for
                                         Scotland by 2010, the university declares:       hardware and would also free up staff time.
it would ever get to us.”                “We will deliver what our customers want, in
Scott Walkingshaw, Lead IT Developer     accessible, flexible, and creative ways,         Solution
(Servers), Edinburgh Napier University   inspiring confidence in our students, staff      Edinburgh Napier became interested in the
                                         and with the employers and communities we        managed service model, which is designed to
                                         serve, both home and abroad.” It has 1,867       remove unwanted incoming e-mail messages
                                         employees.                                       and threats before they reach an
                                                                                          organization’s computers by routing them
                                         In June 2003, the university sought to control   through an offsite service. Edinburgh Napier
                                         unwanted e-mail messages by implementing         investigated other services but selected the
                                         an antispam solution. “It worked very            filtering service from Microsoft® Forefront™
                                         effectively at first,” says Scott Walkingshaw,   Online Security for Exchange (then called
                                         Lead IT Developer (Servers) at Edinburgh         Microsoft Exchange Hosted Filtering).
                                         Napier. “But over the years, spam volumes
                                         increased. The system creaked under the          “We were intrigued because the service
                                         volume it was forced to deal with.”              would provide us with best value from our
                                                                                          existing campus license agreement with
                                         As spam proliferated, university staff started   Microsoft,” Walkingshaw says. “We signed up
                                         manually creating mail policies to block it.     for a trial and had several calls with Microsoft
                                         Many users forwarded their junk mail to the      to understand how the system worked, and
                                         IT support desk, which had a policy of logging   how we could make sure that our users would
                                         each message as a call and treating it as an     not see a significant change. The service
                                         action item. “Sometimes we’d get an average      quality had to meet our requirements and be
                                         of 16 calls a day,” Walkingshaw recalls.         at least as good as what we had previously.”

                                         Furthermore, the policies—internally referred    The test proved successful. Walkingshaw
                                         to as manual rules—that arose out of these       says, “Microsoft Forefront Online Security for
                                         calls often generated “false positives,” where   Exchange uses multiple antivirus engines, so
                                         legitimate e-mail messages were identified as    even if one fails to update, another is going to
                                         spam. IT staff would then spend additional       catch the virus before it would ever get to us.”
                                         hours unblocking the false-positive              Edinburgh Napier finalized its decision in
                                         messages. Walkingshaw says, “It took             June 2008 and went live with Forefront
                                         approximately three staff hours a week.”         Online Security for Exchange in early July.

                                         He knew that new antispam system software        Now Microsoft Forefront Online Security for
                                         could probably handle the situation, but         Exchange routes all of the university’s
                                         upgrading the software would have also           incoming e-mail messages (about 515,000
                                         per month) through the Microsoft global data-      staff—by implementing the low-cost, flexible,
“We used to have an                      center network. Messages that are flagged as       easy-to-implement Microsoft Forefront Online
                                         spam can be quarantined for up to 15 days          Security for Exchange solution.
average of 15 support                    or sent to a specific user’s mailbox for review.
calls per day, but with                                                                     85 Percent Reduction in Spam
                                         Staff messages are then passed on to               The system has dramatically reduced spam
Microsoft Forefront                      university mail server computers, which run        for e-mail users at the university. “Where our
Online Security for                      Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. Employees          users formerly received on average 10 spam
                                         access their e-mail messages through the           messages per day, with Microsoft Forefront
Exchange we now                          Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 messaging           Online Security for Exchange they receive 5 to
average just one per                     and collaboration client, just as they did         10 per week,” says Walkingshaw.
                                         previously. (Some also use the Microsoft
day.”                                    Office Outlook Web Access technology.)             Not only is the system blocking more
Scott Walkingshaw, Lead IT Developer                                                        unwanted e-mail messages, it is also letting
(Servers), Edinburgh Napier University   For students, the virtual domains feature of       through more of the messages that users
                                         Forefront Online Security for Exchange routes      want to see. False positives have dropped
                                         messages to the Microsoft Live@edu suite of        from about three per day to zero.
                                         online applications. Live@edu provides
                                         students with e-mail messaging, shared             “When the system first went in, we got
                                         workspaces, and other applications to aid in       several comments from users about how
                                         educational collaboration.                         happy they were at the reduction in spam,”
                                                                                            says Walkingshaw. “Obviously, it has to be
                                         Filtering through Forefront Online Security for    improving their productivity to not waste time
                                         Exchange is one of the several hosted              with unwanted e-mail messages.”
                                         services offered by Microsoft Online Services.
                                         Additional services offered include: archiving,    Choice and Flexibility
                                         to store e-mail and instant messages that          Edinburgh Napier is able to mix and match its
                                         help companies meet legal and regulatory           on-premises and online services to best
                                         requirements; continuity, to store a month’s       address its particular needs. It can offer staff
                                         worth of e-mail messages that can be               messaging through Exchange Server 2007
                                         accessed during a planned or unplanned             and Forefront Online Security for Exchange,
                                         outage; and encryption, to provide policy-         which provides them with the robustness and
                                         based message encryption from sender to            flexibility of the Office Outlook 2007 software
                                         recipient.                                         and Office Outlook Web Access technology.

                                         Edinburgh Napier is considering future             Meanwhile, Edinburgh Napier can choose to
                                         implementation of the encryption service for       offer students—who have a different set of
                                         a handful of staff members who can use it to       needs and work habits—the Microsoft
                                         do their jobs more efficiently. Walkingshaw        Live@edu suite of online applications.
                                         says, “Having worked on encryption systems         Similarly, going forward, Edinburgh Napier
                                         in the past myself, I know how difficult they      may provide the encryption service to the
                                         are, and this option is very attractive to me.”    small number of staff members who can take
                                                                                            full advantage of it.
                                         Benefits
                                         Edinburgh Napier has achieved its goals of
                                         reducing spam and false positives—while
                                         easing the administrative burden on the IT
93 Percent Decrease in Administrative
Burden
The new solution has virtually eliminated the
time that staff spends administering the
solution. “We used to have an average of 15
support calls per day, but with Microsoft
Forefront Online Security for Exchange we
now average just one per day,” says
Walkingshaw.

But the reduced amount of work does not
mean that administrators—or users—have
given up control over their e-mail messages.
“Users can see what was blocked, if they
like,” says Walkingshaw. The increased
transparency has gone a long way toward
improving trust in the system for the small
number of users who had been skeptical
about it.

Easy, Inexpensive Deployment
Deployment of the system was easy—similar
to flipping a switch to route e-mail messages
through the Microsoft server. It also saved
the university additional capital expenditures
that would have been involved in buying new
mail server computers required for an in-
house software-based solution.

Because Microsoft Forefront Online Security
for Exchange is included in the campus
licensing agreement, Edinburgh Napier has
gained an effective spam-filtering solution at
minimal cost. And by combining Forefront
Online Security for Exchange with the
Live@edu student collaboration package, it is
able to offer its users better service. Such
improvements in both efficiency and service
help the university achieve its purpose of
delivering what its customers want, in
accessible, flexible, and creative ways.
For More Information                                            Microsoft Forefront Product Portfolio
For more information about Microsoft                            The Microsoft Forefront comprehensive line
products and services, call the Microsoft                       of business security products provides
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                          greater protection and control through
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                             integration with your existing IT infrastructure
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-                         and through simplified deployment,
2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-                        management, and analysis. Forefront is a
hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone                      comprehensive solution that helps provide
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in                         protection for the client operating system,
the United States or (905) 568-9641 in                          application servers, and the network edge.
Canada. Outside the 50 United States and
Canada, please contact your local                               For more information about the Forefront
Microsoft subsidiary. To access information                     product portfolio, go to:
using the World Wide Web, go to:                                www.microsoft.com/forefront
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Edinburgh
Napier University products and services,
call 08452 60 60 40 or visit the Web site
at:
www.napier.ac.uk




                                                                 Software and Services
                                                                    Services
                                                                     − Microsoft Forefront Online Security for
                                                                       Exchange



This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT
MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS
SUMMARY.

Document published May 2009

				
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Description: Edinburgh Napier University wanted to improve its system of filtering e-mail messages. The university’s IT staff were creating manual rules to block spam, an effort that generated too many false positives and was not the most productive use of their time. A software upgrade would have required capital expenditures for associated new hardware. So Edinburgh Napier signed up to filter e-mail messages through Microsoft® Forefront™ Online Security for Exchange. Employees continue to access e-mail messages as they did before; for students, the service is combined with the Microsoft Live@edu suite of online applications. The university has reduced spam by 85 percent and completely eliminated false positives. It has also lowered the administrative burden for IT staff by 93 percent. The system was flexible, easy to deploy, and did not require any additional investment of capital.