St. Joseph Health System is a rapidly expanding multidisciplinary regional health system with over 30 facilities located across ten counties in the Brazos Valley region of central Texas. The majority of health services are delivered at St. Joseph’s main campus, St. Joseph Regional Health Center, in Bryan, Texas. This 310-bed facility is the only designated Level II Trauma Center and provides inpatient and outpatient care to oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery, neurology and orthopedic patients. \
With over 265 primary care and specialist physicians and an exponentially growing body of staff, St. Joseph Health System depends on Microsoft Exchange for secure, business email.
- St. Joseph Health System depends on Microsoft Exchange as a business-critical tool – with over 4,000 users and terabytes of data.
- Relies on Metalogix to automatically and transparently centralize, control and retain email, while achieving compliance.
- Solutions deployed: Archive Manager Exchange Edition
With PST files in the range of four terabytes and increasing every day, St. Joseph urgently needed to upgrade its email infrastructure. It also needed to implement an email retention policy that would streamline email data protection, eliminate strain on its IT support team, and, most importantly, support healthcare-specific litigation and compliance policies, including HIPAA.
Key to this strategy involved upgrading from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2007. However, St. Joseph’s legacy tape-based, manual email backup system also required intervention.
“Like many healthcare systems, we’re constantly battling litigation,” explained Wayne Norman, Email Systems Specialist at St. Joseph Regional Health Center. “The trickle-down impact on IT is that we have to find ways to comply with information governance policies,” explained Norman. “Daily tape-based backups simply weren’t cutting it for us and the amount of data we were dealing with. We were at the point where we had to walk around boxes and boxes of tapes. It just wasn’t sustainable.”
St. Joseph needed an alternative, and fast. “While we were using Exchange 5.5 the amount of data that we could backup was limited. Once we moved to Exchange 2007 we knew we that the backups were going to be frightful and would involve multiple tapes. So we had to find and install something in a hurry to avoid those tapes.”
Wayne Norman toyed with several email archiving solutions, without much success.
“One of the solutions we tried simply wasn’t robust enough. We got about a third of the way through importing four terabytes of data before we couldn’t import anymore. We had no choice but to give up on it.”
Other solutions proved costly or overwhelming. “We moved on to consider several popular email archiving solutions but quickly dismissed them. They would have eaten us alive financially and required a minimum of one full-time person to do nothing but manage the complexity of the software,” explained Norman.
It’s not just a time-saver it’s a jobsaver. Archive Manager keeps me out of trouble, but it also allows me to repair mistakes and fix end user problems in ways I never thought possible.
Even though our email data has grown significantly, by archiving Exchange I can keep everyone’s accounts small. Now I don’t need to go whining about needing more storage space, we never fill it up!
I used to spend an absolute minimum of two hours a day swapping out tapes, checking jobs and logs. Now I’m down to 5-10 minutes a day. It’s just so easy, I almost forget about it.
Having evaluated a number of email archiving solutions, in 2008 St. Joseph selected Metalogix Archive Manager Exchange Edition.
An award-winning toolset, Metalogix Archive Manager Exchange Edition supports limitless email retention and disposition at zero risks – and can be deployed on-premises, to Office 365 or in the cloud. It collects, uploads and archives data from PST files to protect them and make them easily available to users, even if they are working remotely. Because the solution offers a familiar Outlook or Outlook Web Access experience, it is transparent to users and doesn’t impact their productivity. Archive Manager Exchange Edition also offers complete email lifecycle management by capturing, routing, storing, restoring, migrating and deleting emails automatically, based on user policy, using a powerful Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) archive engine.
In the years since installing Metalogix Archive Manager, St. Joseph continues to experience a surge in email users. With its inherent scalability and ease-of- use, user adoption has been rapid. “We currently have 4,073 users,” explained Norman, “...in the coming days we’ll reach 4,100.”
In fact, one of Norman’s key decision-making criteria was that any backup solution had to be fully transparent to end users. “There’s only one of me and I only get to be an administrator a few minutes every day. Anything users could see through, mess up or get confused by had to go,” explained Norman. “That’s what impressed me so much about Archive Manager – we could make it look completely transparent. Our users don’t have to do a thing except double-click on their email and wait an extra second or two for the archived mail to come up.”
Using Archive Manager, eDiscovery and HIPAA compliance is also a breeze. Email searches now take minutes not hours and can be conducted by name, data range, and specific words, including attachments. Furthermore, customizable retention policies can be specifically configured to the group of users it is intended for, ensuring that Microsoft Exchange content is stored on compliant tiers of storage for the required time.
Metalogix Archive Manager has delivered a number of benefits:
- Compliance management – Exchange Manager received top marks from St Joseph for its compliance management features: “We simply weren’t getting this level of detail from any other program we tried, I’m enamored of this toolkit!” said Norman.
- Offloading Exchange and storage savings – Removing older email from Exchange means backups can be completed in half the time. “Oh boy, was that ever a boon! Even though our email data has grown significantly, by archiving Exchange I can keep everyone’s accounts small. Now I don’t need to go whining about needing more storage space, we never fill it up!” said Norman.
- On-demand email discovery and recovery – With Archive Manager’s “push- button” search and eDiscovery Norman can meet business-critical needs in an instant. “I can get on a phone call, go hunting and have a user’s deleted or lost data back in their mail box before the call is over – and that makes me look good.”
- “Set it and forget” – Archive Manager has proved to be a reliable and seamless solution for St. Joseph. “We haven’t touched the settings since we installed it in 2008, except for swapping users in and out, and even that’s proved to be uncomplicated. Like all healthcare facilities we have a huge amount of turnover. Staff come and go and I can turn them on and off with one-click.”
- Time savings – With tape backups a thing of the past, Archive Manager has reduced the backup process immeasurably. As Norman explains: “I used to spend an absolute minimum of two hours a day swapping out tapes, checking jobs and logs. Now I’m down to 5-10 minutes a day. It’s just so easy, I almost forget about it.”
- Support for one-off database migrations – St. Joseph also uses Archive Manager as a migration tool to support the healthcare institution’s differing archiving requirements. As Norman explains: “If I need to move a vice president’s or a physician’s email, I can save a huge amount of time by using Archive Manager to archive the entire account then move only a small portion of the database. Once the account is in place on the new database, I simply un-archive and re-present the user’s original email (for example, everything that’s younger than 30-days old), without them even knowing it was moved. Doing it this way takes only a few seconds, instead of the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to move the entire database within Exchange.”
- Administrative simplicity – Using the enterprise manager admin console, Norman can easily synchronize users with Active Directory, manage mailbox rights, set up retention policies, create email archive jobs and define granular properties.
- Transparent end user experience - With Archive Manager, end users don’t see a difference in their Outlook or Outlook Web Access experience. “Our end user experience hasn’t changed one whit. They don’t even realize that their email has been archived. That’s the beauty of the solution.”
Asked to sum up his experience with Archive Manager, Wayne Norman was emphatic: “It’s not just a time-saver it’s a job-saver. Archive Manager keeps me out of trouble, but it also allows me to repair mistakes and fix end user problems in ways I never thought possible. For example, a senior director came to me recently having accidentally deleted her entire inbox, using Archive Manager I was able to restore her entire inbox in moments, including up-to-the-minute emails from our Journal account.”