M.R. Babar

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“Previously, customers needed to archive all their e-mail messages. The scenario has completely changed... We can support mailbox storage of up to 10 gigabytes with very little administrative effort.”

Ali Salman Naqvi, Assistant Manager—Enterprise IT Infrastructure Planning, Ufone

Ufone, a leading mobile phone service provider in Pakistan, wanted to offer greater mailbox capacity to employees and improved security and compliance, while also reducing costs. It upgraded its messaging system to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and is deploying Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 to provide a more reliable environment. Users now have mailboxes of 10 gigabytes compared to 2 gigabytes before—and there is much less risk of downtime.

Business Needs
With five major players, Pakistan telecommunications is an aggressive market that has witnessed exponential growth reaching a mobile density of 59.8 per cent in May 2010. With more than 19 million subscribers, Ufone is among the leading mobile services providers. A wholly owned subsidiary of Pakistan Telecommunications Company, it is now part owned by Emirates Telecommunications. Due to intense competition, the company has a reputation for introducing innovative products and services, while minimising operating costs.

Until recently, the desktop infrastructure ran previous versions of Windows and Microsoft Exchange Server software. It needed an overall refresh to retain high levels of customer satisfaction. Faisal Khaliq, Chief Information Officer, Ufone, says: “Maintaining a secure environment is a major challenge in Pakistan—we need to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.”

Ufone was keen to improve its security and compliance infrastructure to avoid any risk of sensitive information reaching unauthorised people, and create proper data audit trails. Ali Ahmad Sarwar, Senior Manager IT—Enterprise and Infrastructure, Ufone, says: “Making critical business decisions and reducing time to market for new services require real-time reporting and analysis of data. It’s only possible with a robust, highly available, state-of-the-art infrastructure. Users were also demanding increased mailbox sizes and new business applications.”

Ali Salman Naqvi, Assistant Manager—Enterprise IT Infrastructure Planning, Ufone, says: “The previous default limit was 2 gigabytes per mailbox, and increasing it would have required major investment in the expansion of the storage area network. In most cases, users lacked the capacity to access more than a year of their back files of e-mail messages due to the 2 gigabytes limit.”

Another priority for Ufone was to streamline the desktop deployment process by using standard operating system images and ensure automated deployment of software updates, boosting productivity and cutting the risk of downtime.

Solution
Ufone signed a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement with Enterprise Client Access License (ECAL) through Inbox Business Technologies, a direct large account reseller and systems integrator in Pakistan. With ECAL, the agreement covers key Microsoft products so upgrading was a cost-effective choice with no increased licensing implications. Ufone engaged Microsoft Services for envisioning, planning, and designing. Inbox became the implementation partner.

Working with the Microsoft account team, Ufone adopted the Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization model to build a comprehensive roadmap of new technologies. This included redesigning the Active Directory service on Windows Server 2008 R2, and upgrading to Exchange Server 2010 and Active Directory Rights Management Services. Further deployments involved Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, and migrating desktops to Windows 7 Enterprise.

The company improved security and compliance with BitLocker drive encryption. It replaced McAfee antivirus software with Microsoft Forefront Client Security to protect...
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