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Customer Evidence 
Nucleus Software
  IT company switches to Microsoft mailing solution to improve employee productivity
Case Study
Posted:  May 15,2008 

Nucleus Software, a software product company specializing in the banking and financial services sector, was facing challenges in managing its outdated mailing solution. The solution did not have any of the latest features commonly offered by emailing systems today, and was subject to constant failures. Also, there was no support available. Hence, Nucleus decided to migrate to Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003.

With extremely careful planning, Nucleus and its implementation partner, IRIS Unified, were able to migrate the 1100-plus employee mailboxes onto Exchange Server overnight. Nucleus can now avail of all the latest features including calendaring, single sign-on and email access from multiple devices, along with extremely good support for all its issues. Its employee productivity has increased significantly, and the management of the organization is very pleased with the solution.

Since its inception 22 years ago, Nucleus Software has been developing and providing software solutions to the banking and financial services industry. Its products include solutions for retail banking, corporate banking, credit cards, Internet banking, and cash management. Nucleus Software is a leader in lending solutions.

The flagship product of Nucleus Software is FinnOne™, a full suite of solutions catering to lending requirements of banks and the financial sector worldwide. With global presence and development centers, Nucleus has developed solutions in retail and corporate banking, credit cards, cash management, relationship banking, customer relationship management (CRM), ATM, credit appraisal, trade finance, ecommerce, and m-commerce.

Nucleus Software is focused on intellectual property rights (IPR) creation and a product-led strategy.

Struggling to keep up using dated technology
Prior to the deployment of Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003, Nucleus was using a mail server which was based on old technology, and which had already been declared an end-of-life product by its manufacturer. Nucleus, therefore, did not have any of the industry-standard features that are required for any mail server, and which are essential for all major companies today.

“Our old mail server did not allow our employees to avail of several commonly available features, like the address book. The user interface was not very user-friendly. The most significant pain point was that administrators needed Unix skills to manage the server,” says Rajesh Garg, Associate VP - Information Systems Support, Nucleus Software.

Nucleus wanted features like calendaring, to enable it to save time spent in scheduling and other day-to-day tasks. As a lot of the company’s employee’s work at the client site, another key requirement was that mail should be delivered on multiple devices, and that employees should be able to access it in multiple ways. This was also not possible with the old mailing solution.

Additionally, there was no integration between the mail servers in different locations; Nucleus was using different mail servers at all three of its locations. As a result, the cost of maintenance was relatively high. Maintaining such a system was a very complex task and was causing the IT department a great deal of trouble. What was worse, Nucleus did not have any support for any of the issues it was facing. Employees were constantly facing situations where the mail solution would fail, and they were unable to get their issues rectified.

IRIS Unified Technology Limited, one of Microsoft’s technology partners, analyzed the issues being faced by Nucleus. “Since Nucleus’ old mail server used the POP3 and SMTP protocols, the company was facing a lot of challenges in managing the solution. Both the protocols are a bit vulnerable. They had to open quite a few ports on their firewall, which, in turn, created problems on their internal network. So they were looking for an alternate solution,” says Krishna Sai, Director – Technical at IRIS.
Reliability and ease of implementation were key considerations. Also, when we calculated the value that would be delivered once this solution was implemented, the decision was very simple

Vishnu R. Dusad

CEO & Managing Director, Nucleus Software
Nucleus’ IT team decided to make the move to Exchange Server 2003, as some of its senior IT team members had prior experience implementing the solution. When all the technical aspects of the solution had been evaluated, Nucleus found that the total cost of ownership was also very low. Nucleus became convinced that Microsoft Exchange Server was the best solution for its needs.

“One of the reasons why Microsoft was chosen was that it has a support infrastructure that is far better than other companies in the same area. Secondly, the solution met the Nucleus’ requirements. Also, Nucleus calculated the ROI internally, by making estimates of the time spent by each person on managing various tasks on separate devices. It found that if it deployed Microsoft Exchange Server, its investment could be recovered within a year’s time, by effectively managing all the features of Outlook at the client site,” says Garg.

According to Vishnu R. Dusad, and CEO and Managing Director, Nucleus Software, “Reliability and ease of implementation were key considerations. Also, when we calculated the value that would be delivered once this solution was implemented, the decision was very simple.”

With Microsoft Exchange Server, Nucleus would also get all of the features it had been looking for, including calendaring, and access to email over multiple devices. Its employees would save a lot of time in managing their own and each other’s appointments. Project and task management would become far simpler.

“We went ahead with Microsoft Exchange Server because we knew that it was one of the best email solutions available in the market. It offered all of the features that we required for our day-to-day operations,” says Garg.

Additionally, the company’s employees had prior experience working on Microsoft Exchange Server. As a result, they were very comfortable with the technology.
The deployment was done in August 2007. Teams from both IRIS and Nucleus were involved in the migration. Nucleus had a zero downtime requirement, so the deployment had to be done over one weekend. IRIS prepared the servers, kept them ready, and at the time of deployment simply changed them. At the server side, Nucleus completed the deployment in one single night. The old mail server was stopped at 12:00 in the night and by 6:00 in the morning, the new server was up and running. At the client side, the deployment took more time, about 10 or 15 days. This, however, did not interfere with the employees’ work, because they already had Outlook clients on their machines.

“We had around 1100 people at the time, and migrating all the 1100 mailboxes in six hours was a very tough job. Migrating from an old, outdated technology, which is end-of-life, to a mail server that uses new technology, is a very complex task by itself. There is no direct migration between the two. We had to write some automated scripts or shell scripts, which helped us to complete the entire migration within six hours. But we could do it with a very well-thought out process plan and the automated process which we followed,” says Garg.

Says Sai, “We tested the application in our test scenarios and sorted out all potential problems at the time of the test run. Because we were so thoroughly prepared, the final implementation was an overnight exercise for us.” Certain issues, which came up, were handled at the team level itself.

Two-step migration
Currently, Nucleus is using Exchange Server 2003. Sometime this year, it plans to move to Exchange Server 2007. “We didn’t want to go directly to Exchange Server 2007, as it was a very new technology at the time. We didn’t want to go directly to a technology that was just evolving and was not yet stabilized in the market. We wanted to go with the technology that was very well established and which people were comfortable with,” says Garg.

Nucleus did not require any training to implement the solution.
Six to seven months post-deployment, Nucleus is very happy with the solution, and with its experience with the team at IRIS, which enabled this deployment, especially considering the complexity of the task that had been undertaken.

Better features
Today, the company has all of the features required by any major business to operate. “Exchange Server is a very powerful solution, and it has helped us a lot. We can now create and view distribution lists. We can automate our conference room bookings. We can find out phone extensions directly through Outlook—with our old solution, none of this had been possible,” explains Garg.

Improved productivity
Since Exchange Server is integrated with the Windows Server System, employees can now avail of a single sign-on function instead of having to maintain different passwords. Also, employees working at client sites can now access their mail from any device. Such features have allowed Nucleus’ employees to work faster and better. According to Garg, “All these features are a huge comfort to the company. They have also led to a significant improvement in employee productivity.”

Excellent support
Additionally, Nucleus claims that the support from IRIS has been very good. “They are always there whenever we require any kind of assistance,” says Garg.

Nucleus has now achieved its business objective of having an uninterrupted mailing solution. According to Garg, “Implementing or changing the mail solution of an 1100-people company is a very big challenge. No company would attempt it when it has grown in size and employee strength. The process must be planned extremely carefully, and there must be a good team to carry out the implementation, otherwise it is bound to fail. We took this challenge and we succeeded.”

Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
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Nucleus Product Portfolio
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About IRIS
IRIS Unified Technology Limited, part of IRIS Group, offers a wide range of business services and solutions in the areas of e-learning solutions, corporate training, and the sale, development and implementation of software and related business solutions. It has more than 100 customers, which include several large MNCs.

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Solution Overview
Nucleus Software
Information Technology / Information Technology Services
Industry Size
Customer Profile
Nucleus Software provides software solutions for banking and financial services industry across the globe. It is a leader in providing solutions for retail banking, corporate banking, credit cards, Internet Banking & Cash management. Nucleus Software has five development centers globally and is headquartered in Noida, India.
Business Situation
The company had been using a mail server, which was based on old technology. Therefore, its employees did not have access to industry-standard features that are essential for all major corporates today.
Nucleus Software decided to move to Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003, which would enable it to get all the latest features, excellent support and increased productivity.
• Better features
• Improved productivity
• Excellent support
Software and Services
» Windows Server System
Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 
IRIS Unified Technology Limited
"We went ahead with Microsoft Exchange Server because we knew that it was one of the best email solutions available... It offered all of the features that we required for our day-to-day operations"

Rajesh Garg
Associate VP - Information Systems Support, Nucleus Software


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