Osborne Clarke opts for outsourced email

At one point three years ago, the demand on law firm Osborne Clarke’s email system was so great that, according to head of infrastructure and technology Nathan Hayes, “we were effectively suffering a denial of service attack”.

“We were receiving over a million emails a day and we couldn’t cope with it,” Hayes recalls. “Our email systems weren’t geared up to that amount of traffic.”

Hayes looked at what traditional email management solutions might be used to resolve these issues. “It was clear very early on that the time and ongoing cost required by such an [in-house] system would have been too great.”

He therefore looked to outsourced email management software providers, eventually selecting Mimecast.

“The deciding factor was Mimecast’s innovative approach to malware management. Rather than receiving an email directly, Mimecast puts it through various stages of approval to find out – for example – whether it has come from a known malware source.”

“We did trial another provider, but its system was designed to store every single email, so it was considerably more expensive,” Hayes explains.

His experience with Mimecast has made Hayes a SaaS convert. “Having seen how this can work and work well, I am very amenable to the idea of SaaS,” he says.

However, he adds, the issues around – for example – data protection are considerable. “You can’t simply accept the service levels, [the vendors offers]. And you don’t just worry about just systems failing, you’ve got to start worrying about companies failing too.” But that extra due diligence does little to dampen his enthusiasm for SaaS.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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