4-page Case Study - Posted 2/27/2013
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Swedish Migration Board

Migration Board Upgrades Messaging Solution to Reduce Costs and Administration

The Swedish Migration Board works on behalf of Sweden’s parliament and government to make decisions on work and residence permits in addition to asylum and citizenship. Several years ago, the Migration Board moved to a Microsoft messaging solution. Email is critical for the employees who handle about 250,000 cases per year. Most recently, the Migration Board upgraded to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 to take advantage of enhancements in disaster recovery and storage. This migration is the first step in the organization’s adoption of a Microsoft Unified Communications platform that includes Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Microsoft Lync Server 2013. The Migration Board also expects to ease administration, reduce costs, and improve productivity.

The Swedish Migration Board works on behalf of Sweden’s parliament and government to make decisions for people who want to visit, study, work, live, or seek asylum in Sweden. The Swedish government controls the Migration Board through statuses, ordinances, and ongoing management. The Migration Board handles about 400,000 cases per year, handling about 250,000 cases internally. Approximately 150,000 cases are handled by the foreign embassies.

The Migration Board is constantly trying to increase its accessibility and develop services that are in line with applicants’ needs and to shorten the processing time for applications. Email is a critical service for most employees who work at the Migration Board. Several years ago, the board moved to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 as part of an overall migration to a Microsoft platform. The organization maintains about 5,500 mailboxes for 3,500 employees who use the Microsoft Outlook 2010 messaging and collaboration client to manage their email.

* Because database availability groups enable us to use a lagged copy of the database for backups, we no longer have to manage a third-party backup solution. *

Teppo Oksa
IT Specialist, Swedish Migration Board

To improve the application process for asylum seekers, the Migration Board has developed a line-of-business application that integrates with Exchange Server 2010 and displays case workers’ calendars and available conference rooms. Applicants can then make appointments based on a case worker’s availability and location. Through Exchange Server 2010, the Migration Board has also established connections with the Swedish police and consular offices around the European Union so that employees can securely share information with those organizations.

The Migration Board is always interested in how the latest technologies can help it develop better processes for helping applicants get established in Sweden. Most recently, it decided to evaluate Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 to understand how enhancements to the messaging solution could benefit its employees. Although the organization was happy with Exchange Server 2010, it decided to adopt Exchange Server 2013 and deployed it in production for all employees.

Working with Microsoft Partner Network member CGI, the Migration Board deployed Exchange Server 2013. It deployed two Client Access Servers that are load balanced using Windows network load balancing. It deployed three mailbox servers in a database availability group.

For storage, it uses a tiered storage-area network (SAN). Because Exchange Server 2013 manages data efficiently and delivers a 50 percent IOPS (I/O operations per second) reduction relative to Exchange Server 2010, the Migration Board can take advantage of lower-cost SATA disks for the Exchange Server 2013 data. For disaster recovery and backup, the Migration Board is keeping three copies of its 12 mailbox databases—10 for end users, one for resources, and one for shared mailboxes. One mailbox server is using lagged copies of the databases to provide native backups and has replaced the traditional disk backup solution it used with Exchange Server 2010. It also implemented a retention policy for deleted items so that employees can restore messages they have deleted through the Recovered Items folder.

The Migration Board increased employee mailboxes to 4 gigabytes (GB) from 500 megabytes (MB), and created retention policies to delete email messages. If employees want to keep older messages, they can easily move them to folders outside the inbox and add their own policies to manage older messages.

IT administrators at the Migration Board are using the Windows PowerShell command-line interface to create scripts to help administrators perform tasks in Exchange Server 2013, such as creating new user accounts or mailboxes. For server administration, the IT staff uses the Exchange Administration Center.

Many mobile employees at the Migration Board use Exchange ActiveSync to access email and calendars on their mobile phones. To access email when they work from remote locations, they can use Microsoft Outlook Web App, which they can access through popular browsers. They can also use the offline feature in Outlook Web App to access email and attachments when they are somewhere—such as on an airplane—with no Internet access.

Going forward, the Migration Board plans to deploy Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 to take advantage of the interoperation between that solution and Exchange Server 2013. After moving its file shares to SharePoint Server 2013, the organization will implement site mailboxes for project teams and groups who need to share documents. It will also deploy the Microsoft Outlook 2013 messaging and collaboration client. “Employees can access documents through site mailboxes in Outlook 2013,” says Teppo Oksa, IT Specialist at the Swedish Migration Board. “We also plan to use the eDiscovery Center and search capabilities within SharePoint Server 2013.”

* By using the native backup solution in Exchange Server 2013, we avoided renewing annual licenses for our third-party backup solution, which saved us a lot of money. *

Teppo Oksa
IT Specialist, Swedish Migration Board

After the Migration Board has deployed SharePoint Server 2013, it plans to deploy Microsoft Lync Server 2013 to provide presence, instant messaging, online meeting, and conferencing capabilities for employees.

By deploying Exchange Server 2013, the Migration Board now has the possibility to deploy a full Microsoft Unified Communications solution that can help employees speed up application processes.

Eases Administration
The IT staff at the Migration Board has eased administration in several ways by deploying Exchange Server 2013. “Because database availability groups enable us to use a lagged copy of the database for backups, we no longer have to manage a third-party backup solution,” explains Oksa.

By creating administration tools using Windows PowerShell, IT has reduced the amount of time required to perform tasks such as creating user accounts. “We plan to build scripts for disaster recovery,” explains Oksa. “That way, if an outage occurs, we don’t have to think about what to do. We just run the scripts to recover as quickly as possible.”

The IT staff can also offload some tasks to other groups. With retention policies and larger mailboxes, employees can take more responsibility for managing their own data. And after SharePoint 2013 has been deployed, IT can give responsibility for eDiscovery to the security group.

Reduces Costs
With its Exchange Server 2013 implementation, the Migration Board has reduced costs for its messaging solution in two ways. “By using the native backup solution in Exchange Server 2013, we avoided renewing annual licenses for our third-party backup solution, which saved us a lot of money,” explains Oksa. The Migration Board also saves money for storage, because it can use lower-cost SATA disks.

Improves Productivity
With the improved resilience, Migration Board employees do not have to worry about experiencing email outages. In addition to improved service levels, employees can be more productive no matter where they are or what device they are using because they can use Exchange ActiveSync or Outlook Web App to access email and calendars.

Going forward, employees will have access to more collaboration tools through SharePoint Server 2013 that will help them be more productive at their jobs—without having to learn a new tool. “Because employees can access documents stored in SharePoint through Outlook 2013, they can collaborate through a familiar interface,” says Oksa.

Provides Platform for Future Growth
By upgrading to Exchange Server 2013, the Swedish Migration Board can provide a highly available messaging infrastructure that supports critical business processes as its employees have come to expect. The organization’s investments in its messaging capabilities help position it for future growth as it continues to refine its infrastructure. With the addition of solutions such as SharePoint Server 2013 and Lync Server 2013, the Migration Board can find new ways to integrate these solutions with its line-of-business applications to improve application processes, especially for those seeking asylum.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 enables you to increase user productivity and keep your organization safe, while staying in control of your environment, both online and on-premises. With Exchange Server 2013, you can help your users manage increasing volumes of email and work together more effectively as teams, while protecting business communications and sensitive information as you meet internal and regulatory compliance requirements.

For more information about Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, go to:

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:

For more information about CGI products and services, visit the website at:

For more information about Swedish Migration Board services, visit the website at:

Solution Overview

Organization Size: 3500 employees

Organization Profile

The Swedish Migration Board is the authority that receives applications regarding visas, work/study permits, or asylum in Sweden. It also offers asylum seekers temporary accommodations while their applications are considered.

Business Situation

The Swedish Migration Board wanted to understand how Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 could help improve its messaging environment.


It deployed Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 for 3,500 employees as the first step in deploying a Microsoft Unified Communications solution that will also include Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Microsoft Lync Server 2013.


  • Eases administration
  • Reduces costs
  • Improves productivity
  • Provides platform for future growth

Software and Services
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft Outlook 2013

Vertical Industries
National Government Agencies


Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Team Collaboration
  • Data Protection and Recovery
  • Unified Communications

IT Issue
Personal Productivity