by Rodney Gedda

SaaS e-mail service keeps Wesfarmers ticking

Mar 19, 2010
Cloud ComputingEnterprise ApplicationsManaged IT Services

Despite a significant investment in Exchange infrastructure, Wesfarmers corporate IT has subscribed to a SaaS e-mail service for business continuity reasons.

The Wesfarmers group is a very large conglomerate of companies that together employ some 200,000 people, but the corporate head office in Perth has about 250 staff, including all the senior executives.

Senior system administrator for Wesfarmers corporate James Katarski e-mail is our most critical service and the executives want no less than 100 per cent uptime.

Wesfarmers chose Dell’s MessageOne Email Management Service (EMS) as a backup e-mail system that can go live in the event of any problems with the on-premise systems.

“We don’t need a hot-live system for e-mail as we can swap over to EMS with one click,” Katarski said.

Dell acquired MessageOne in early 2008 and offers it as a secondary e-mail service for organisations looking for SaaS disaster recovery. The company remains open as to whether EM will be offered as a primary e-mail service.

Katarski said MessageOne integrates with Outlook clients.

Wesfarmers recently opened a corporate office in Melbourne to be closer to its business units in the Eastern states, and after user complaints about slow e-mail from the Perth headquarters it decided to deploy local Exchange servers.

Katarski said the amount if infrastructure needed in Melbourne to provide a similar level of service as the Perth office was quite high, which six Exchange servers required.

With so much infrastructure management required on-premise, Katarski said cloud options are becoming increasingly compelling, but hurdles still remain for full SaaS adoption.

“We are considering cloud-based e-mail, but we need to be conscious of where data is stored,” he said.

Kyle Bunting, product specialist at Dell’s systems integration workgroup in the US, said MessageOne was built as a cloud service from scratch on top of Linux and doesn’t use any Microsoft software.

In the future Dell may look at expanding MessageOne to be a primary e-mail system for enterprises, he said.