Divisions of the Würth Group used disparate messaging solutions including Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003, Yahoo! Mail, and Google Gmail. In 2009, Würth Handelsges.mbH in Austria engaged HP Technology Services and Be-IT Solution to deploy a centralized e-mail solution for employees in Austria and Slovenia based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. The new system provides capabilities that transform how employees manage messaging. For example, users have one inbox for e-mail, voice-mail, and instant messages. They can also manage their inbox with spoken commands and view text previews of voice-mail messages. With the new solution, Würth plans to boost productivity by 20 percent, scale mailbox size by 900 percent, and deliver e-mail to the employees in Slovenia without increasing costs. The company can also reduce the risk of downtime, improve data access, and enhance customer service.
The Würth Group sells more than 100,000 types of fastening and assembly products such as dowels, tools, machines, and chemical products that are used in numerous industries including construction and automotive. With a presence in 84 countries, the Würth Group includes more than 400 companies such as Würth Handelsges.mbH, a division based in Böheimkirchen, Austria. Würth Handelsges.mbH employs 690 people who work at more than 20 locations. In 2008, the division sold more than €140 million (U.S.$203 million) in products.
||With the implementation of Exchange Server 2010 in Austria, we can provide a centralized e-mail solution for our employees in Austria and for 300 additional employees in Slovenia.
All Würth sales representatives spend most of their time traveling to customer sites. Tools such as mobile phones, e-mail, and instant messaging are critical to sales representatives who must stay in close communication with other employees and customers regardless of their location. Despite their access to mobile communications tools, it was often challenging for sales representatives to respond to others as quickly as they would like. For example, they could not always interrupt a customer meeting to answer a phone call from a colleague or another customer—or pull off the road to check e-mail or voice-mail messages.
Until 2009, the Würth employees in Austria relied on Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 for e-mail and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 for instant messaging (IM). Other divisions of the Würth Group made use of additional solutions for e-mail and IM. For example, 300 employees who work for the Würth Group in Slovenia used Google Gmail or Yahoo! Mail for e-mail, and Yahoo! Messenger for IM.
Employees in Austria and Slovenia struggled with their messaging solutions for various reasons. The employees who used a third-party e-mail service or the Microsoft Office Outlook® Web Access messaging and collaboration client could not access documents on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Portal Server 2003 sites. As a result, if employees did not have a particular file such as a product price list on their portable computer, they had to contact the office to obtain the information. The use of third-party e-mail services also restricted calendar sharing and prevented the use of consistent conventions for e-mail addresses. Calendar sharing was also an issue for employees who used Exchange Server 2003 because they could not view shared calendars from Office Outlook Web Access.
To minimize the cost of the e-mail solution in Austria, IT administrators maintained only one copy of the e-mail database, and this increased the risk of downtime. In addition, Würth Handelsges.mbH supported mailboxes that were only 500 megabytes (MB). As a result, employees used Outlook Data Files (PST files) to store older information on their computers.
Würth Handelsges.mbH wanted to implement a centralized and reliable messaging solution that could enhance productivity and collaboration for its own employees and possibly employees in other divisions.
In 2009, IT personnel at Würth Handelsges.mbH learned about Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. They were particularly interested in the software’s Unified Messaging capabilities. For example, Würth could use Exchange Server 2010 along with Office Communications Server 2007 to create a unified inbox for e-mail, voice mail, and IM. Employees could manage their e-mail, voice mail, calendars, and contacts with their computer or telephone. The ability to manage messaging with verbal commands would greatly help employees, especially when driving. In addition, the Voice Mail Preview feature displays a speech-to-text preview of voice-mail messages, which would give employees a quick way to check voice mail, even in meetings. Users could also take advantage of Call Answering Rules to specify how Exchange Server 2010 manages incoming calls. Not only can users record different voice messages for different callers, but they can also set up their inbox so that the system routes specified callers to another employee or phone number.
Other capabilities in Exchange Server 2010 also interested Würth Handelsges.mbH. For example, with Role Based Access Control (RBAC), authorized users could create distribution lists, and MailTips would help employees avoid embarrassing mistakes such as replying to all recipients after receiving a Bcc message. Also, with Microsoft Outlook Web App, remote users could access shared calendars and documents stored on SharePoint sites.
||Exchange Server 2010 makes a big difference for employees .... With all of the solution’s Unified Messaging capabilities, productivity should increase by about 20 percent.
In addition, performance improvements in Exchange Server 2010 would make it possible for Würth to use less expensive storage options such as Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) disks. As a result, the IT department in Austria could support e-mail for Slovenian employees—and provide all system users with a larger, 5-gigabyte (GB) mailbox. The company could also take advantage of the personal archive feature in Exchange Server 2010 to store old messages on the server instead of on users’ computers. And Würth could use the Database Availability Group feature to maintain more than one copy of the e-mail database.
To help with the design and implementation of the new solution, Würth Handelsges.mbH engaged HP Technology Services and Be-IT Solution. The team deployed the Windows Server® 2008 Enterprise operating system and Exchange Server 2010 on one HP ProLiant DL385 server computer in a data center in Austria. The team configured the server to support various server roles, and also connected Exchange Server 2010 to Office Communications Server 2007 so that users can access IM from their unified inbox.
The new solution currently hosts the mailboxes of 15 employees in Austria. By the end of 2009, Würth Handelsges.mbH will migrate the 300 employees in Slovenia to Exchange Server 2010. In the second quarter of 2010, Würth will scale its new solution so that it can also support the other 675 employees in Austria. To do so, the team plans to add three more server computers. All four server computers that will run Exchange Server 2010 will also run Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise so that the team can set up all server roles in virtual environments supported by Hyper-V™ technology. Würth will also create a Database Availability Group to support three copies of the e-mail database and provide automatic failover. To accommodate the increased number and size of mailboxes, the team will add direct-attached storage from HP that may include SATA disks. In addition, Würth will take advantage of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® so employees can use Microsoft Outlook Mobile 2010 to access their mailboxes with mobile devices.
After the deployment is complete in Austria, Würth will begin to deploy Exchange Server 2010 to locations in nine Eastern European countries. In addition, the company plans to use Exchange Server 2010 to support mobile phone services for employees in Slovenia.
By using a new solution based on Exchange Server 2010 and an HP server and storage infrastructure, Würth Handelsges.mbH expects to scale mailbox capacity by 900 percent, increase productivity by 20 percent, improve customer service, and reduce risk.
Scales Mailbox Capacity by 900 Percent
With Exchange Server 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2, Würth can scale its solution in Austria to support the Slovenia location without increasing expenses. The company can take advantage of lower cost storage options, and it can use the Database Availability Group feature to maintain three copies of the e-mail database without purchasing dedicated server computers to support the additional copies. In addition, Hyper-V technology will boost server utilization, which also minimizes the need for additional systems.
||Würth Handelsges.mbH can use the Database Availability Group feature in Exchange Server 2010 to affordably maintain at least three copies of the e-mail database at all times. This means the new solution will reduce risk—and be inherently more reliable.
HP Technology Services
As a result of these capabilities and cost savings, Würth can provide users with mailboxes that are more than 900 percent larger than in the past (5 GB instead of 500 MB). “With the implementation of Exchange Server 2010 in Austria, we can provide a centralized e-mail solution for our employees in Austria and for 300 additional employees in Slovenia,” says Alfred Wurmbrand, General Manager at Würth Handelsges.mbH. “As a result, we can present a consistent corporate identity to our customers through the use of e-mail address conventions. Employees will also benefit from using global address lists, distribution lists, and all of the other services provided by Exchange Server 2010.”
Increases Productivity by 20 Percent
Employees can be more productive with the new solution because they can manage messages more efficiently than in the past. They can access e-mail, voice mail, and IM in one inbox and manage messages with verbal commands. “Exchange Server 2010 makes a big difference for employees—especially sales personnel who can take advantage of voice integration to work while they drive,” explains Friedrich Saller, IT Manager at Würth Handelsges.mbH. “With all of the solution’s Unified Messaging capabilities, productivity should increase by about 20 percent.”
With the larger mailbox size and personal archives, Würth employees can spend less time managing their inbox and finding information stored in PST files. Features such as Voice Mail Preview will also boost productivity. Employees will be able to quickly read a text version of voice-mail messages, and choose to listen to all or only specific parts of the message. This ability to read a voice message, and view information about it such as its length, gives employees more options in how they can respond to callers. For example, an employee who is in a meeting can discreetly read a voice message to see if it requires an immediate response. If so, the employee can return the call, respond to the call with an e-mail message, or forward the message to another employee who can manage it.
Boosts Data Access and Service Levels
By using Exchange Server 2010, Würth employees can access shared calendars and information on SharePoint sites from remote locations with Outlook Web App. Employees will also have greater control over their own inbox and messaging capabilities with features such as Call Answering Rules, MailTips, and RBAC. “Having the ability to control what happens when a caller reaches voice mail helps employees better serve their customers,” says Andreas Zit, Technology Consultant at HP Technology Services. “Employees can record different messages depending on whether the caller is a known contact or a new contact.”
Würth can gain greater control over its infrastructure by replacing third-party messaging services with a Unified Messaging solution based on Exchange Server 2010. In addition, if a disk or server fails, the Database Availability Group feature will make it possible for the system to automatically fail over within 30 seconds so users do not experience an interruption in service. “Würth Handelsges.mbH can use the Database Availability Group feature in Exchange Server 2010 to affordably maintain at least three copies of the e-mail database at all times,” says Zit. “This means the new solution will reduce risk—and be inherently more reliable.”
For More Information
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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.
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Document published December 2009