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financial services sector, was facing challenges in managing its outdated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
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
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,”
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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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
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