4-page Case Study
Posted: 1/13/2010
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Land Bank of Taiwan Bank Simplifies System Management and Improves Productivity with E-Mail Solution

The Land Bank of Taiwan provides banking services to the real estate and agricultural industries in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and the United States. For six years, it has used Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 as its messaging solution. During that time, the total e-mail volume grew considerably, and system performance suffered when e-mail traffic was heavy. After learning of new features in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, the bank became an early adopter of the software in April 2009. Taking advantage of new high-availability architecture and other enhancements, the Land Bank of Taiwan expects marked improvement in performance and availability. The system is easier for administrators to manage. Also, employees who access e-mail remotely over the Internet are benefiting from new features in Microsoft Outlook® Web App that help them work more productively.

Situation

The Land Bank of Taiwan was founded in 1946 as a government bank to facilitate land distribution and development at the end of World War II. Since 2004, it has been a public company that serves the real estate and agricultural industries. The Land Bank of Taiwan is committed to developing the Taiwanese national economy and becoming a full-scale international banking institution. Recently it has developed new business in the areas of wealth management and trust funds.

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* With the new Database Availability Group feature, a two-server configuration with two copies of each e-mail database will provide the high availability we need and allow for faster disaster recovery.  *
Min-feen Liang
Operations Section, Information Management Office
Land Bank of Taiwan
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For several years, the bank’s messaging infrastructure has been based on Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 and the Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003 messaging and collaboration client. With 6,000 employees in nearly 150 branch offices, the bank relies heavily on e-mail. Employees use e-mail to communicate with one another, receive IT system alerts, and obtain various human resources forms such as travel and leave requests. The sales staff at the Land Bank of Taiwan depends on e-mail to review and approve business cases. In addition, many of the bank’s high-level managers must correspond regularly with government organizations such as the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan). When they are traveling, they require reliable e-mail access so they can get the most current data they need for reports. “At every level, e-mail is a very important tool for helping us communicate internally, with customers, and with government bodies,” says Min-feen Liang, who works in the operations section of the Information Management office at the Land Bank of Taiwan.

As a result of new business strategies and expansion over the last six years, the Land Bank of Taiwan has grown considerably. Along with that growth, the total e-mail volume has increased from 1–2 gigabytes to more than 200 gigabytes. “System overload is a big challenge for us,” says Liang. “When e-mail traffic is heavy, it takes a long time for e-mail messages to download to users’ inboxes, which hinders their ability to work quickly.”

Because e-mail is such a critical part of its everyday work, the Land Bank of Taiwan wanted a high-availability solution that would give users ready access to e-mail services and minimize downtime. With Exchange Server 2003, the bank provided high availability by using Network Load Balancing on its front-end servers and clustering with the Windows Server® operating system for its back-end servers. Traditional failover clustering, however, added a level of complexity to the messaging environment that required additional training for administrators. The bank wanted its messaging solution to be flexible and easy to manage.

Solution

As a longtime Microsoft customer, the Land Bank of Taiwan was committed to continuing with a Microsoft solution. It was eager to evaluate Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, which included new features and improvements that could meet the bank’s needs.

In April 2009, the Land Bank of Taiwan became an early adopter of the software and deployed it to a pilot group. The bank plans to deploy the solution to all employees in the first quarter of 2010.

For the Land Bank of Taiwan, one of the most important new features in Exchange Server 2010 is a simplified approach to high availability and disaster recovery. The bank plans to set up a Database Availability Group, which is a group of mailbox servers that combines on-site and off-site data replication to provide automatic database recovery from disk, server, or data center failures. IT administrators can also use the Online Move Mailbox feature—which keeps users connected during mailbox moves—to complete management tasks during business hours without taking users offline.

Windows® clustering technology is now integrated in Exchange Server 2010 and transparent to administrators, so they no longer need thorough knowledge of clustering concepts. They can also manage the high availability of Exchange Server 2010 using integrated management tools rather than Windows cluster management tools. The Exchange Management Console, a graphical user interface for administrators, provides integrated management and troubleshooting tools and a simplified navigation tree. Also, the Exchange Management Shell, a command-line interface for automating tasks, is based on Windows PowerShell™ 2.0 and includes remote management capabilities.

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* With the Online Move Mailbox feature, we can perform migration and maintenance activities during business hours. This greatly reduces the burden on our IT specialists.  *
Min-feen Liang
Operations Section, Information Management Office
Land Bank of Taiwan
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End users appreciate new features in Microsoft Outlook Web App, such as Conversation View and enhanced calendar sharing. Conversation View groups all messages from a single conversation together, regardless of the folders in which the messages are stored. An entire conversation can be managed as a whole for improved productivity. The bank’s employees can also schedule meetings more easily by sharing calendar information and sending invitations directly from Outlook Web App.

Benefits

The Land Bank of Taiwan expects that Exchange Server 2010 will improve the availability of its messaging infrastructure. With significant enhancements to management tools since Exchange Server 2003, administrators find the solution easier to manage. In addition, using Outlook Web App, remote workers have new ways of viewing e-mail, can open attachments quickly, and can easily see coworkers’ calendars to schedule meetings.

High Availability

By upgrading from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2010, the bank can take a great leap forward in terms of performance and availability. With a Database Availability Group, the Land Bank of Taiwan expects to recover from failures in a fraction of the time that was previously required. “Our IT administrators were impressed by the new high-availability architecture of Exchange Server 2010,” says Liang. “With the new Database Availability Group feature, a two-server configuration with two copies of each e-mail database will provide the high availability we need and allow for faster disaster recovery. It will also largely reduce the cost and complexity of deployment.”

The Land Bank of Taiwan also sees the new Online Move Mailbox feature as an opportunity to improve availability. In the past, users could not access e-mail while administrators were moving mailboxes from one server to another. “With Exchange Server 2010, when we need to move mailboxes between e-mail servers, we don’t have to disrupt users,” says Liang. “They don’t even know it’s happening, so e-mail services are always available to them.”

Simpler Administration

The use of traditional clustering with Exchange Server 2003 introduced a level of complexity that required IT administrators to be trained in clustering concepts. Administrators also needed to use Windows Server 2003 management tools to manage the clustered servers. Now that Windows clustering technology is transparently integrated in Exchange Server 2010, it’s far easier to manage the messaging environment. Administrators without any knowledge of clustering concepts can easily manage highly available Exchange Server 2010 mailbox servers using the Exchange Management Console and Exchange Management Shell.

Other improvements in administration will help the IT staff to work more productively. “With the Online Move Mailbox feature, we can perform migration and maintenance activities during business hours,” says Liang. “This greatly reduces the burden on our IT specialists, and there is no need for them to work overtime anymore.”

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* One of our goals in upgrading our messaging system was to build a solid foundation for collaboration and sharing. Exchange Server 2010 is a fundamental part of that foundation.  *
Min-feen Liang
Operations Section, Information Management Office
Land Bank of Taiwan
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Enhanced User Experience

Employees are taking advantage of improvements in Outlook Web App, which has new features and an interface that more closely resembles Microsoft Office Outlook. “More than half of our employees access e-mail from home or public computers,” says Liang. “They can pick up Outlook Web App easily because it is much more like Office Outlook, which they are accustomed to using.”

Conversation View is one new feature in Outlook Web App that helps employees improve efficiency. Previously, users had to search for messages related to a specific conversation and open, move, or delete messages individually. Now they can easily view the chain of messages that make up a single conversation, and they can ignore, move, delete, or otherwise manage a conversation as a whole. “Because Conversation View groups messages by subject, our employees can quickly review the chain of responses, even if individual e-mails are located in different folders,” says Liang.

New calendar functions also streamline communications for remote workers who use Outlook Web App. Before, Land Bank of Taiwan employees had to use Outlook to share calendar information and send meeting invitations. Now they can do both directly from Outlook Web App. In addition, employees find that attachments open much more quickly with Outlook Web App, helping them to work more quickly.

“One of our goals in upgrading our messaging system was to build a solid foundation for collaboration and sharing,” says Liang. “Exchange Server 2010 is a fundamental part of that foundation.”

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 the Land Bank of Taiwan, visit the Web site at:
www.landbank.com.tw

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 January 2010 
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 6000 employees

Organization Profile

Based in Taipei, the Land Bank of Taiwan specializes in real estate banking. It has 142 domestic and 5 offshore offices throughout Southeast Asia and the United States. The bank has 6,000 employees.


Business Situation

The bank’s e-mail messaging volume grew from 1–2 gigabytes to more than 200 gigabytes in six years, and response time was slow during peak traffic times. The bank wanted to improve performance and availability.


Solution

The Land Bank of Taiwan is an early adopter of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2010, taking advantage of its new high-availability architecture, improved performance, and enhanced remote-access features.


Benefits
  • High availability
  • Simpler administration
  • Enhanced user experience

Hardware

HP blade server computers


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • Windows PowerShell 2.0

Vertical Industries
Banking

Country/Region
Taiwan

Business Need
Business Productivity

IT Issue
Desktop, Device and Server Management

Languages
English

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