Case Study: EBMS

Billings Case Study EBMS Montana Systems IT

EBMS needed to upgrade to a more modern email messaging system in order to achieve reliable access for all users and mobile devices. It also needed to support its emerging business strategies. While the end goal was the migration of all users from the existing Microsoft Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 environment. To achieve this, Systems verified and deployed all components of the target platform design while developing an automated migration process.

Challenges

The client determined that its current Exchange 2003 environment was no longer capable of meeting emerging business requirements and needed to be upgraded to an Exchange 2010 environment with minimal disruption to daily business processes.

Exchange 2010 provides features that improve mobile device support, system reliability and application availability. Enhanced features in Exchange 2010 would improve fault tolerance against single server failures by including multiple mailbox database copies, load balancing client traffic across multiple devices, and multiple servers responsible for end-to-end message transport. In addition to the standard Exchange 2010 features, this project required a deployment methodology capable of dynamically migrating users with minimal administrative involvement but capable of handling a diverse set of user requirements.

Solution

To meet all project requirements, Systems leveraged the Microsoft Solutions Framework to divide the project into multiple phases that could be easily managed. Systems developed a migration process to ensure the end-user communications were in accordance with the change management plan, match the target users to a particular end point, and facilitate the deployment of the required software to the end point while migrating mail-related data to the new platform.

The pilot migration of the first batch of mailboxes was successful with minimal end-user impact. Throughout the initial migrations, the process was refined to simplify future migrations and improve overall success rates. Executing the remaining mailboxes to Exchange 2010 required minimal manual effort, thus reducing resource requirements and overall project costs.

By migrating to Exchange 2010, the client received a feature rich messaging platform, a proven migration methodology, and an approach validated across many different clients with unique requirements. The automated migration process eliminated issues inherent in multi-step processes for thousands of mailboxes, and it also minimized the amount of future administrative time required for any particular migration event.

Results

  1. More cost effective deployment process
  2. Improved mobile device support
  3. Improved fault tolerance while limiting overall server requirements
  4. System reliability and application availability