Portage Township

Portage Township Community Schools loves Netmail

Challenge

Portage Township Community Schools had been using the email archiving and security capabilities of Netmail for years. With a high level of confidence in the software, they decided to use the built-in migration capabilities of Netmail to migrate to Exchange.

Solution

Using Netmail’s unique methodology, the school district was able to collect and archive all new email messages prior to moving end users to Exchange. Users were then moved to the new email system where they had immediate access to all new and archived messages.

Results

One of the additional benefits for the school district was the ability to use continue using Netmail Archive post-migration to manage email storage and respond to the occasional eDiscovery requests the school district receives.

Overview

Netmail provided Portage Township Community Schools with a successful email migration to Exchange, that in the words of the school district’s Network Engineer, Russ Hilton, could only be described as “smooth sailing.” The migration project and assistance from the Pro Services Team also saved the school district’s small IT staff significant time and energy.

Business Challenge

Portage Township Community Schools is a public school district based in Porter County, Indiana, with a reputation of being one of the highest academic achievement counties in the entire state. Eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school make up the school district that serves approximately 8400 students. Portage Township Community Schools has a reputation for excellence in academics, the fine arts, and extracurricular program and a mission to help each child in the district reach their fullest potential.

In 2012, Portage Township Community Schools made the strategic decision to move its 1100 staff members from GroupWise 8 to Exchange. A long-time client of Netmail, the district has been using the archiving capabilities of M+Archive (Netmail Archive) and the email security capabilities of M+Guardian (Netmail Secure) for years. With a high level of confidence already in the Netmail's Team and software, they decided to use the migration capabilities of Netmail Migrate to migrate their email platform.

Upgrading to the Latest Version of the Netmail Platform

Before performing the email migration, the Netmail Pro Services team needed to upgrade the school district to the latest version of the Netmail Platform which involved converting the school district‘s existing 3 years worth of archives to the latest format compatible with Netmail Archive. In addition to upgrading to Netmail Archive, the district also upgraded their existing M+Guardian appliance to a two-node Netmail Secure virtual machine to ensure redundancy.

At the same time, the school district also moved their entire operating system from Netware to Windows Active Directory. “Originally, we tried to complete the entire project in 3 months, but we were putting in new systems simultaneously and my team was short-handed at the time. In the end, it took us 6 months to complete the entire project,” recalls Russ Hilton, the Network Engineer at the school district, “but for the most part, it was smooth sailing.”

Critical Requirements

  • Migrate the public school district’s 1100 staff members from GroupWise 8 to Exchange
  • Transfer 3 years of archived data from M+Archive to the latest version of Netmail Archive
  • Upgrade M+Guardian to the latest version of Netmail Secure

Simpler and More Efficient Migration Methodology

Netmail then provided Portage Township Community Schools with a simpler and more efficient methodology for migrating between email platforms. Through the migration functionality built-in to Netmail Archive, the bulk of the school district’s messages were first moved into Netmail Archive instead of simply transferring the messages to the new Exchange system.

Using this methodology, the school district was able to collect and archive all new email messages prior to moving end users to Exchange. Users were then moved to the new email system where they had immediate access to all new and old messages. One of the additional benefits for the school district was the ability to use continue using Netmail Archive post-migration to manage email storage and respond to the occasional eDiscovery requests the school district receives. “At the moment, we use Netmail Archive so end users can access their legacy data, but we have had a few eDiscovery requests in the past. It’s reassuring to know that Netmail Archive is there in case you need it,” says the school district‘s Network Engineer, Russ Hilton.

Client Care and Support

Another key factor in helping address the ongoing email management challenges in the Portage Township Community Schools is the dedication and commitment of the Netmail Support Team. “I can honestly say that I have never have a problem when I call Netmail Support. I always get a Support Technician on the phone right away and the issue is resolved,” says Hilton.

The Bottom Line

Russ Hilton Network Engineer, Portage Township Community Schools