Reinhardt University loves Netmail

Challenge

Reinhardt University relies heavily on its email system to communicate with its student population, faculty, staff, and alumni, but as Reinhardt University's population grew, so did the need to send out more and more information like notifications and announcements from various university departments via email.

Solution

Based on previous experience with Netmail, Reinhardt University chose Netmail for their email migration to Office 365, and opted to take advantage of a new Assisted Migration Service so that the university's small but tech-savvy IT team could perform the majority of the email migration themselves.

Results

Netmail provided Reinhardt University with an Assisted Migration Service to help them move to Office 365 by capturing and pre-injecting email items into the cloud prior to the cutover date. Now essential departments like Financial Aid and the Office of University Advancement are equipped with a reliable email client for years to come.

Overview

Using a new Assisted Migration Service, Netmail helped Reinhardt University migrate to Office 365 to enable essential departments to better manage sending and tracking critical email notifications.

Background

Reinhardt University is a comprehensive liberal arts university located in Waleska, Georgia with a storied history. Founded in 1883 by two veterans of the American Civil War, Confederate army Captain, Augustus M. Reinhardt, and his brother-in-law, Lieutenant-Colonel John J. A. Sharp, the then Reinhardt Academy first opened its doors in 1884 in an old cabinet and wood shop located on the southern edge of town. Since then, in the school’s over 125-year history, Reinhardt University may have undergone many name changes, but has never wavered from its commitment to meet student needs one person at a time with the support of the university’s small and technically-savvy IT team.

Critical Requirements

  • Provide Assisted Migration Services to the university as they move from Novell GroupWise to Office 365.
  • Equip essential departments with a reliable email client to eliminate day-to-day IT-intervention.
  • Capture and pre-inject email items into the new email system prior to cutover.

Business Challenge

Like most educational institutions, Reinhardt University relies heavily on its email system to communicate with its student population, faculty, staff, and alumni. For over 18 years, Reinhardt depended on its Novell GroupWise system to handle its email needs, but as the university population grew, so did the need to send out more and more information via email. With revenue-generating departments like Financial Aid and the Office of University Advancement hampered by the email client they were relying on to send out notifications and announcements from their finance and other applications, including performing complex mail merges, the IT department at the university found itself constantly tasked with tweaking the functionality of its email system.

In early 2014, the university decided to move its infrastructure, file servers, and directory to Microsoft, and then shortly after that made the decision to migrate its email system to Office 365 so that the university community could take advantage of the advanced feature set in the Microsoft Outlook client. According to CIO David Doster, the single biggest driver for migrating to Microsoft Exchange was the need to have a reliable email client that brick and mortar departments like Financial Aid and the Office of University Advancement could depend on.

When the IT department began investigating tools to facilitate the migration, Doster recalls only finding one other product on the market from Dell before discovering Netmail. “We’d used Netmail in the past, and I knew that Netmail built solid products. When I realized that we’d be working with Netmail again, based on our previous experience with the company, I decided to choose Netmail for our email migration to Office 365.”

A hands-on type of guy, Doster decided to perform the majority of the migration himself, taking advantage of Netmail’s Assisted Migration Service. After receiving initial training and help from the Professional Services Team at Netmail, Doster began the process of capturing and pre-injecting email items—a process he was able to perform without interrupting day-to-day business at the university—before starting the email migration. Doster admits it was a lot of work which began before the start of the school year when no one was using email. Once faculty and staff were back in class, the process of migrating mail was much slower, which was the result of Office 365’s user throttling policy on how much data you can transfer at a time.

As far as the university’s overall satisfaction with the migration, Doster gives Netmail a 9/10, but admitted to needing a bit more hand holding from the Professional Services Team at times. “Considering how much work it is to migrate all that mail to Office 365, the Professional Services Team did a good job at automating some tasks and the pre-planning was good,” Doster recalls. “In particular, the Professional Services Team member who I worked with was committed to help me with best practices, advice and pitfalls to avoid, and wasn’t just reading off a screen to resolve any outstanding issues as other help desk organizations would.”

The Bottom Line

David Doster CIO, Reinhardt University