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“The migration to Exchange 2010 was completed in exactly the 26 days stipulated in the implementation schedule with absolutely no interruption of e-mail traffic and no e-mails lost.”
Raymond Wells, Vice President of IT / Deputy Director of The National insurance Board

The National Insurance Board of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas (NIB) relies on its communications infrastructure to improve productivity and provide service to a population of approximately 330,000 Bahamians, distributed among 29 islands. A major objective of NIB was to reduce downtime and simplify the management of its e-mail system which accounted for most of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the IT environment. By implementing Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Office Communications Server in a virtualized environment, NIB has regained control of its communications infrastructure costs, reduced TCO to one third of the cost for maintaining the old system, and laid the foundation for Unified Communications with the goal of maximizing collaboration of its employees disseminated throughout the Commonwealth’s archipelago of islands.




The National Insurance Board (NIB) is the organization charged since 1974 with administering the social security program in the 29 islands, 661 cays, and 2,387 islets that comprise the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Its primary mission is to provide income-replacement in instances of sickness, invalidity, maternity, retirement, death and industrial injury/disease to a recipient base of approximately 100,000 beneficiaries.

Given the distributed nature of the islands of The Bahamas, NIB depends on its communications infrastructure, primarily e-mail, to connect its 500 employees throughout the length and breadth of The Bahamian Archipelago. During the past nine years, the agency had relied on a legacy e-mail system for collaboration and to manage enrollment in the social security program, as well as other administrative tasks.

As part of an Infrastructure Optimization Plan undertaken recently, NIB evaluated the legacy systems and determined that updating the existing e-mail system was a priority in order to improve TCO, minimize downtime and progress to a more dynamic IT infrastructure that would support true collaboration.

“The increasing complexity of maintaining and supporting an aging infrastructure, which we could no longer manage in-house, required substantial investment in third-party vendors. Any problems with e-mail flow would take minimum from half a day to 1 ½ days to rectify”, says Raymond Wells, Deputy Director of NIB with responsibility for IT. “More serious problems required additional support to be flown in from Canada at a considerable cost and could take days to rectify.“

NIB wanted to take control of their communications infrastructure maintenance and support while laying the foundations for Unified Communications.



“Our research showed that industry studies place Exchange in that ‘magic quadrant’ of effectiveness plus low TCO, in addition to highlighting that migrating to Exchange was a best practice among government organizations looking to save costs,” Wells says.

With support from Microsoft Certified Partner Inova Solutions, NIB migrated to Exchange 2010 in a virtualized environment, in addition to implementing Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS).





“The migration to Exchange 2010 was completed in exactly the 26 days stipulated in the implementation schedule, with absolutely no interruption of e-mail traffic or e-mails lost,” says Wells.

During the conversion, e-mails received in the legacy system servers were automatically copied to the Exchange Server to ensure that the agency was fully operational at all times.

“At one point we had two identical live environments and could move the accounts seamlessly,” explains Inova Commercial Director, Hans Kruithof. “Once training was provided to the few people who were on vacation or sick leave during the implementation schedule, the old application was shut down and the space reclaimed for storage.”

Inova also provided services that were key to the success of the project such as: Project management and control Total Execution of the project (Through their local native Caribbean employees) End-user Training of the whole IT staff on administration of exchange 2010 (through a Certified Partner in Learning Solutions, Netpro N.V)



Given the distributed nature of the islands of The Bahamas , a virtualized environment means lower upfront costs, reduced operational expenses, such as power and space consumption, resources expenditures in terms of capital, as well as time and effort because of simplified management.

“The greatest benefit provided by the Exchange 2010 migration is the positive impact in the TCO for NIB’s IT environment”, says Raymond Wells, Vice President and IT Deputy Director.

TCO for the first year is estimated at $60,000. The previous vendor had estimated that the e-mail system update would cost between $200,000 and $300,000.

Maintenance and support, which can now be performed in-house, accounts for half of the TCO during this first year. This means 67% less that the estimated annual cost of maintenance and support for the legacy e-mail system, which was approximately $90,000.

“We expect that if we perform the same exercise to estimate TCO a year from now it would go down to less than 10K because now we can manage the system through Active Directory,” says Wells.

This integration of Exchange 2010 with Active Directory frees up resources because it does not require a dedicated administrator for the e-mail system.


Already NIB is reaping the benefits of laying the foundations for Unified Communications.

“Staff training would have been a huge challenge.” says Kruithof. “By installing the
first phase of OCS, NIB we were able to take advantage of the Live Meeting features to provide training on the outlying Islands at no cost.”

 “This experience makes it very easy to justify moving forward with Unified Communication and to continue to optimize all of our IT assets to meet the agency’s core needs.”



Exchange 2010 is the first server in a new generation of Microsoft server technology built from the ground up to provide your organization with the same enterprise-grade capabilities whether deployed on-premises or as a service from Microsoft or partners — or as a mix of both. Exchange 2010 introduces a new integrated e-mail archive and features to help reduce costs and improve the user experience. Further, for customers deploying the server, the new release simplifies the way organizations provide always-on communications and disaster recovery, meaning administrators spend less time managing their e-mail system.

For more information about Exchange Server 2010 go to:
http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/2010.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

http://nib-bahamas.com

You can contact directly Mr. Raymond Wells
Vice President, IT/Deputy Director, NIB

rwells@nib-bahamas.com
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