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Posted: 1/19/2012
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CONSAP SPA Public Insurer Halves Administrative Costs with Cloud-Based Messaging Solution

Italy’s public insurer CONSAP SPA wanted to improve employee productivity and lower costs by implementing a cloud-based messaging solution. By moving to Microsoft Exchange Online and the Microsoft Business Online Productivity Standard Suite (BPOS-S), the agency has reduced its administrative costs by half. It has also reduced the time required to manage email inboxes, while making it easier for employees to organize their schedules, contact colleagues across the organization, and set up meetings.

Business Needs
Since 1993, CONSAP SPA has served as Italy’s public insurance organization. The company provides Guarantee Funds for victims of road accidents, victims of hunting, and insurance and reinsurance brokers; it manages the Italian Compensation Body and offers Solidarity Funds for victims of usury and extortive crimes, for purchasers of real estate which are to be erected. It provides the Rotation Fund for solidarity to victims of Mafia crimes, and the fund for credit to young people. It is also the Clearing House for recourses among companies falling within the Direct Compensation System.

The organization’s 170 employees were using an outdated messaging system supplied by its telecommunications provider. However, the messaging system only provided 20 gigabytes (GB) of storage for the entire company, requiring the agency’s already taxed IT staff to spend time deleting and backing up email messages for employees. The system also lacked advanced features such as shared calendars and contacts, making it difficult for employees to manage their schedules, contact other employees across the organization, and organize meetings.

“With our previous messaging platform, CONSAP didn’t have a global address list that could be shared among the users,” an IT lead confirms. “This created challenges for our employees as they had to keep track of each employee’s email address, telephone number, and location by hand and set up meetings manually.”

CONSAP saw an opportunity to improve employee productivity and lower costs by moving to a cloud-based messaging and collaboration system. The insurance agency considered setting up an internal system hosted on its own servers, but it decided that it would be more economical to implement Microsoft Exchange Online, a full-featured hosted email, calendar, and contacts solution that is hosted over the Internet within Microsoft data centers.

IT leaders concluded that a cloud-based messaging system would help the government agency reduce costs by eliminating the need to purchase and maintain its own servers. The agency, which was already using Microsoft Office 2010, chose Exchange Online to provide its employees with the same rich Microsoft technologies they were already familiar with.

CONSAP began moving its messaging system to Exchange Online in April 2011 and completed the migration a month later. The new messaging system has provided each employee with 25 GB of email storage—far more storage capacity than the 20 GB the entire company had with the old system. In addition, CONSAP can now back up all of its email for 10 years, while taking advantage of a broader range of messaging and collaboration features.

With Exchange Online, CONSAP has lowered the IT costs associated with purchasing and maintaining its own servers. At the same time, it has reduced the time required to manage email inboxes. It has also improved productivity by making it easier for employees to track their appointments, locate other colleagues, and schedule meetings.

Lower Costs
By moving its email system to Exchange Online, CONSAP has eliminated the cost of purchasing and maintaining its own servers. Had the agency hosted its messaging system on-premises, it would have required four or five servers at a cost of about €50,000 (US$72,015). In addition, the public insurer reduced its administrative costs by half by limiting the number of IT staff required to manage its messaging system.

Reduced Management Time
By choosing Exchange Online, CONSAP has dramatically increased its employee mailbox sizes, while decreasing the amount of time workers spend deleting email. “We used to have to clean out the mailboxes once a month, which took us at least eight hours,” an IT lead says. ”The increased capacity with Exchange Online allows us to keep old messages without worrying about creating backups and deleting messages to make more room. Since we’ve had the new system, we’ve completely forgotten to go through the old messages, as space is no longer an issue.”

Better Archiving Capabilities
In addition, Exchange Online has made it possible for IT staff to archive email messages—something that wasn’t possible with the old system. In some cases, employees need to keep copies of email messages for regulatory compliance purposes. In most cases, however, an ongoing record of messages simply makes it easier to view work that has already been completed.

Improved Productivity
Perhaps most important, Exchange Online has improved employee productivity. With the shared calendars and contacts features, employees easily schedule meetings by viewing their colleagues’ calendars. They also have access to features such as global address lists, external contacts, tasks, conference rooms, and delegation. Moreover, employees can view their email from any device that has an Internet browser—including their smartphones and laptops—making it easier to work from other locations away from the office.

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Solution Overview

Organization Profile

CONSAP SPA is a company owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, in charge of managing Guarantee and Solidarity Funds on behalf of public administrations.

Software and Services
Exchange Online

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