Seminole Electric Cooperative

Seminole Electric Netmail

Challenge

Florida-based Seminole Electric Cooperative decided to migrate its GroupWise system to Exchange to make it easier to integrate the mail system with other products as well as provide a familiar email platform for the younger generation joining the organization. When they began researching available solutions, they soon discovered that many of the solutions on the market were too high-priced for what would ultimately be a single-use email migration tool.

Solution

Despite the fact that the electric company initially only planned to migrate email platforms, they soon discovered that, along with the migration tool, Netmail included a unified email archiving solution. So even though Seminole Electric doesn't receive many eDiscovery requests, the company quickly realized that in today's ever-changing legal landscape, email archiving is an absolute necessity, and would help them comply with regulations like the EPA, the NERC, and SOX.

Results

Since the trouble-free migration to Exchange, the Seminole Electric Cooperative sees the primary business benefit as a matter of saving time during eDiscovery, noting that what used to take hours responding to an eDiscovery request in GroupWise, now takes seconds using Netmail, and saving money, adding that Netmail was approximately one-third the price of the other solutions they were considering.

Overview

Netmail helped the Seminole Electric Cooperative migrate from GroupWise to Exchange, and implement email archiving post-migration to make responding to occasional eDiscovery requests effortless.

Background

Seminole Electric Cooperative is one of the largest generation and transmission cooperatives in the U.S. Its primary mission is to provide reliable, competitively-priced wholesale electric power to its 10 Member systems, which include four of the largest distribution cooperatives in the nation.

Approximately 1.7 million individuals and businesses in portions of 45 Florida counties rely on Seminole's Member systems for electricity. Seminole is led by an experienced management group and governed by a 30-member board of trustees. The board is comprised of three representatives from each Member system.

Business Challenge

In 2013, the Florida-based Seminole Electric Cooperative decided to migrate its GroupWise system to Exchange to make it easier to integrate the mail system with other products as well as provide a familiar email platform for the younger generation joining the organization. However, when they began researching available solutions, they soon discovered that many of the solutions on the market, including the Quest solution from Dell, were priced too high for what would ultimately be a single-use email migration tool. Then they discovered Netmail whose price point was more in line with the budget set aside for the project.

In the original scope of work, Seminole Electric only planned to perform an email migration, but soon discovered that, along with the migration tool, Netmail included a unified email archiving solution. “Having a unified email archiving solution was a real plus,” remembers Steve Saunders, Director of Information Systems at Seminole Electric Cooperative. “From an IT perspective, we killed two birds with one stone. At first we were only considering implementing the migration component of Netmail, but it quickly became clear that in today’s society, email archiving is absolutely necessary.”

Despite the fact that the electric company doesn’t receive many eDiscovery requests, they must comply with regulations like the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). So in order to satisfy the occasional eDiscovery request, end users were relied upon to perform their own personal archiving using the functionality provided by GroupWise Personal Archives. “We were involved in litigation in the past and it was extremely time-consuming to try to satisfy subpoena requests performing searches through GroupWise Personal Archives,” says Saunders.

As for the migration to Exchange, the Director of IS recalls the experience at Seminole Electric Cooperative as relatively trouble-free and an overall positive experience. “There may have been some minor glitches,” Saunders says, “but we received excellent help from the Netmail Technical Team. The experience was very positive, very professional.” During the migration, the company also took advantage of a number of useful documents that Netmail provided, in particular a comparison document that illustrates how you perform a function in GroupWise versus how you perform the same function in Outlook, and picked up some pointers on email policy along the way.

Since the migration, the electric company sees the primary business benefit as a matter of saving time during eDiscovery, noting that what used to take hours responding to an eDiscovery request in GroupWise, now takes seconds using Netmail, and saving money, adding that Netmail was approximately one-third the price of the other solutions they were considering.

Critical Requirements

  • Find a reasonably-priced solution to migrate the electric company from Novell GroupWise to Microsoft Exchange
  • Streamline the eDiscovery process by reducing the amount of time and energy required to respond to occasional eDiscovery requests
  • Implement regularly-scheduled email archiving for the entire organization
Steve Saunders

The Bottom Line

Steve Saunders Director of Information Systems, Seminole Electric Cooperative