4-page Case Study
Posted: 10/26/2009
9932
Rate This Evidence:

Morgan Keegan & Company Investment Firm Saves $400,000 and Expects to Boost IT Productivity by 30 Percent

Morgan Keegan & Company, an investment banking and brokerage firm, wanted a messaging solution that could more easily support changing business requirements. Employees wanted to be able to access data faster and with more types of client devices. In addition, IT administrators struggled to reduce complexity and costs. The company addressed its challenges with Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 Enterprise and direct-attached storage (DAS). The new environment gives employees a single point of access to e-mail and instant messaging, along with data in other applications. It supports more types of client devices and is more stable and easier to control. As a result, the company expects to boost IT administrators’ productivity by up to 30 percent, reduce recovery time by 20 percent, and cut long-term storage costs by 15 percent. Also, the use of DAS has saved Morgan Keegan U.S.$400,000 in hardware costs.

Situation

With U.S.$142 billion in assets, Morgan Keegan & Company is one of the nation’s largest regional brokerage and investment banking firms. About 4,000 employees work from 300 locations to provide a variety of consumer and commercial services that include securities brokering, mortgage and insurance products, and wealth and asset management. In 2008, the company—a division of Regions Financial Group—earned $1.3 billion in revenue and had a net income of $128 million.

*
* We’ll reduce our storage requirements by 15 to 20 percent with Exchange Server 2010. And … we’ll drop our long-term storage costs by about 15 percent even though we’re increasing mailbox sizes.  *
Dan Evans
Manager of Messaging and Collaboration
Morgan Keegan & Company
*
E-mail is one of the most heavily used applications at Morgan Keegan. Employees rely on it to rapidly share information in the office and on the road. Instant messaging (IM) is also very popular. In the past, the company’s e-mail and IM solutions were not integrated. E-mail was based on Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007 and the Windows Server® 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system; Reuters Messaging provided IM.

From the office, employees accessed their inbox with the Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 messaging and collaboration client. Remote users accessed the solution through a virtual private network (VPN) or Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access. Employees had to switch between Microsoft e-mail applications and Reuters Messaging to send and receive messages. Morgan Keegan wanted to streamline how its employees access e-mail and IM, and it wanted to support more choice in mobile devices and Web browsers. The company also wanted to give mobile employees access to more features in e-mail.

Administrators sought an easier way to manage and scale the company’s e-mail solution. The IT department had to work hard to keep costs down and still maintain high levels of availability and site resilience. Exponential data growth also created issues. For example, more employees needed mailboxes that were 1 gigabyte (GB) or more. However, the existing solution—which relied on a storage area network (SAN) for data storage—was expensive and difficult to scale. In addition, larger mailboxes often slowed system performance.

Morgan Keegan needed a new solution that could more rapidly adapt to changing business requirements—and could boost employee productivity and reduce costs. The company also was interested in how it could create a unified communications solution that provided a single point of access to messaging tools as well as better integration with existing applications such as Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and Microsoft Dynamics® CRM.

Solution

In 2009, Morgan Keegan decided to redesign its messaging solution with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. Features such as Role Based Access Control (RBAC), Database Availability Groups, Unified Messaging, and support for additional storage options addressed the company’s challenges and facilitated cost savings. “Exchange Server 2010 gave us a great opportunity to reinvent our messaging and collaboration foundation,” explains Dan Evans, Manager of Messaging and Collaboration at Morgan Keegan. “With it, we could create a new core solution that would facilitate the integration of new technologies. We’d also be able to move away from our SAN to direct-attached storage [DAS], which would help us to scale our capacity.”

Exchange Server 2010 delivers improved performance and supports lower cost storage, which makes larger mailboxes more affordable. The company could also use Exchange Server 2010 to simplify the setup and administration of remote mailboxes and give users more choice in client devices and Web browsers. Users can access e-mail with Microsoft Outlook Web App using all major Web browsers or with Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile and Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® using virtually any mobile device.

In addition, Morgan Keegan could take advantage of Unified Messaging in Exchange Server 2010, and IM capabilities in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, to create a single inbox for e-mail, voice mail, and IM. Other features in Exchange Server 2010 would further enhance the level of control users have over their electronic communications. For example, employees can use the Message Tracking feature to check whether a message has been delivered to a recipient. The MailTips feature warns users before sending a message that could result in potentially damaging or embarrassing mistakes—such as if the distribution list for an internal message includes someone from outside of the company.

*
* With our new solution built on Exchange Server 2010, we realize consistently high availability and site resiliency with very little maintenance and administration. We also expect to reduce our RTO by 20 percent.  *
Dan Evans
Manager of Messaging and Collaboration
Morgan Keegan & Company
*
In September 2009, Morgan Keegan deployed Exchange Server 2010 on 12 Dell PowerEdge R710 server computers that run the Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise operating system. The company has two data centers, each with a Database Availability Group made up of six systems. The server computers in each Database Availability Group maintain two replicated copies of the mailbox database and host a variety of server roles. Each Database Availability Group stores an additional copy of the mailbox database on DAS supported by eight Dell PowerVault MD3000 modular disk storage arrays. To provide site resilience, administrators will soon add a fourth disaster-recovery server computer to each Database Availability Group that will host a copy of the mailbox database from the Database Availability Group at the other data center.

IT administrators connected Exchange Server 2010 to the company’s PBX system and deployed Office Communications Server 2007 to evaluate a larger unified communications solution. The company is also testing Microsoft System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 and Windows® phones with Windows Mobile® 6.5 to simplify device management. In the near future, Morgan Keegan also plans to replace its existing virus protection software for Exchange Server with offerings from the Microsoft Forefront™ line of business security products.

Administrators have already migrated 150 employees to the new messaging solution supported by Exchange Server 2010. All 150 users can access e-mail and IM through a universal inbox. Morgan Keegan expects the new solution to support all 4,000 employees by the end of 2009.

Benefits

With its new solution based on Exchange Server 2010, Morgan Keegan has increased flexibility, efficiency, and control. The company has avoided the purchase of $400,000 in SAN hardware by using DAS to store copies of e-mail databases. It also expects to reduce long-term storage costs by 15 percent, cut recovery time by 20 percent, and increase administrators’ productivity by up to 30 percent.

Enhances Agility and Efficiency

With Exchange Server 2010, employees have seamless access to messaging tools and data from a single inbox. “From a collaboration standpoint, everything our users do starts with e-mail,” says Evans. “And with the new features in Exchange Server 2010, productivity will go up across the company. It provides a portal that integrates tools like e-mail, IM, Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM so that information flows more easily. Employees also get the same experience regardless of where they are or what device they are using.”

Administrators can easily update the solution to meet users’ needs. For example, employees will no longer have to struggle to maintain a small mailbox to meet system limitations. “In the past, creating a 2-GB mailbox for a large number of employees was too expensive,” Evans says. “With Exchange Server 2010, we can quickly set up large mailboxes for all of our employees without making drastic changes in architecture and storage.”

Boosts Control and Compliance

Today, employees have greater control over e-mail. “New capabilities in Exchange Server 2010—from MailTips to end-to-end Message Tracking—are big deals to us,” explains Evans. “We're a financial institution, so it's all about how fast we can exchange information. Sometimes employees need to know when an e-mail message gets to its destination, and today they can do that on their own.”

*
* Just simplifying the process of giving our remote employees access to e-mail and IM with Exchange Server 2010 will increase the productivity of our IT administrators by at least 20 to 30 percent.  *
Dan Evans
Manager of Messaging and Collaboration
Morgan Keegan & Company
*
Administrators can also set up more detailed access-control policies with RBAC, which helps boost compliance and increase efficiency. “RBAC in Exchange Server 2010 gives us the ability to create roles so that employees like HR managers or support-desk personnel can access the information they need to get their jobs done,” says Evans. “This is great because people can get their question or issue taken care of with one call instead of multiple calls to different people for support.”

Reduces Long-Term Storage Costs by 15 Percent

By using DAS to store the majority of data from its new messaging solution rather than expanding its SAN, Morgan Keegan was able to avoid spending $400,000 on hardware to meet increasing e-mail storage requirements. “We were able to purchase all of the hardware for our entire messaging solution built on Exchange Server 2010 for about the same amount of money we would have spent just to expand our SAN,” Evans says.

Replicating databases in Database Availability Groups also helps minimize the number of database copies that Morgan Keegan needs to back up. As a result, Morgan Keegan can provide its users with larger mailboxes and still shrink its storage footprint. “We’ll reduce our storage requirements by 15 to 20 percent with Exchange Server 2010,” explains Evans. “And because we’ll reduce our SAN usage, we’ll drop our long-term storage costs by about 15 percent even though we’re increasing mailbox sizes from 500 MB to
2 GB across the firm.”

Cuts Recovery Time by 20 Percent

The company can also increase system stability and recover more quickly from outages. Databases are no longer associated with a specific server computer; instead, they are spread across server computers in Database Availability Groups, which improves resilience. In addition, having multiple database copies reduces the time required to recover from a failure—or the recovery time objective (RTO).

“We have high availability and RTO figures with Exchange Server 2007, but it takes a lot of effort,” Evans says. “With our new solution built on Exchange Server 2010, we realize consistently high availability and site resiliency with very little maintenance and administration. We also expect to reduce our RTO by 20 percent.”

Increases IT Productivity by 30 Percent

The new solution is more stable and easier to manage, so the IT staff has fewer issues to resolve. Setting up remote access for employees has also become less complex because IT administrators no longer have to set up VPN access or configure multiple applications for e-mail and IM. “By taking advantage of Outlook Web App, employees can start being productive from new locations almost immediately,” says Evans. “As soon as employees get their workstation and network connectivity, administrators can quickly provide them with access to e-mail and IM at a moment’s notice without having to manage a lot of logistics. That’s tremendous. Just simplifying the process of giving our remote employees access to e-mail and IM with Exchange Server 2010 will increase the productivity of our IT administrators by at least 20 to 30 percent.”

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Morgan Keegan & Company services, call (800) 222-8866 or visit the Web site at:
www.morgankeegan.com

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 can help you achieve better business outcomes while controlling the costs of deployment, administration, and compliance. Exchange Server 2010 delivers the widest range of deployment options, integrated information leakage protection, and advanced compliance capabilities, which combine to form the best messaging and collaboration solution available.

For more information about Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, go to:
www.microsoft.com/exchange

For more information about Microsoft unified communications, go to:
www.microsoft.com/uc

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published October 2009
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 4400 employees

Organization Profile

Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Morgan Keegan & Company is a full-service investment firm with 300 locations and 4,000 employees in 19 states. In 2008, the company earned U.S.$1.3 billion in revenue.


Business Situation

Morgan Keegan wanted to increase the flexibility of its e-mail solution so that it could more easily interoperate with other applications. The company also wanted to increase scalability and reduce complexity.


Solution

The company built an agile messaging and collaboration solution with Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010 and direct-attached storage.


Benefits
  • Enhances agility and efficiency
  • Boosts control and compliance
  • Reduces long-term storage costs by 15 percent
  • Cuts recovery time by 20 percent
  • Increases IT productivity by 30 percent

Hardware
  • Dell PowerVault MD3000 modular disk storage array
  • Dell PowerEdge R710 server computers

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2
  • Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile

Vertical Industries
Capital Markets/Securities

Country/Region
United States

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Unified Communications

IT Issue
  • Desktop, Device and Server Management
  • Personal Productivity

Languages
English

RSS