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Essen Vision Deploys Symantec Cloud Services at DHFL

By Shantheri Mallaya, ChannelWorld India on Aug 16, 2012
Executive Summary

A few years ago, some of DHFL sharp focus on growth was being diluted by operational issues. Like other companies that depend heavily on e-mail, DHFL, India’s second-largest private housing finance company, found that it was vulnerable to spam attacks. At about the same time, DHFL’s IT team found that its resources were over-burdened with approximately two man-hours a week being allocated to operational duties to deal with security issues, which led DHFL to go on a quest to streamline cost structures while maintaining service levels. After having evaluated several options, DHFL figured that moving to the cloud was the best way out; Here, Essen Vision emerged as a key local co-coordinator for the project right from the PoC to post-deployment support, though the solution was largely discussed with Symantec. Essen Vision worked with DHFL’s internal IT team to help them move smoothly to the cloud.

Case File

Key Parties:
Essen Vision Software, DHFL
Location:
Mumbai
Implementation Time:
Three months
Key Challenges:

Moving from an on-premise, third-party-managed e-mail service to Symantec’s cloud.

Key Technologies:

Secure messaging solution on the cloud.

Post Implementation ROI:

Safer, more secure access, no additional costs, savings on capex, reduction in TCO.

People Involved:

Ronny Ferrao, COO, Essen Vision Software; Satish Kotian, Head-IT, DHFL

Key Vendor:

Symantec

 

Ronny Ferrao, Essen Vision (L) and Satish Kotian, DHFL

 

 

Mumbai-based Essen Vision Software proves that it’s crucial to be around for a customer in need—the key to being a successful solution provider. Essen Vision demonstrated this by supporting one of its long time customers, Dewan Housing Finance, as it transitioned to Symantec’s cloud.

Spammed!

DHFL, India’s second-largest private housing finance company, has its finger on the pulse of the market with branch offices, service centers and regional processing offices spread across India. But, a few years ago, some of DHFL sharp focus on growth was being diluted by operational issues. Like other companies that depend heavily on e-mail, DHFL found that it was vulnerable to spam attacks. In 2010, the problem had become severe: The company was dealing with over six lakh e-mail messages a month, 20 percent of which was spam. On an average, employees received around eight to 10 spam messages a day. Soon, DHFL’s small IT team was inundated with calls from frustrated users as spam clogged the company’s e-mail bandwidth.

At about the same time, DHFL’s IT team found that its resources were over-burdened with approximately two man-hours a week being allocated to operational duties to deal with security issues. This proved to be an expensive activity for the company and put a drain on resources, which led DHFL to go on a quest to streamline cost structures while maintaining service levels. “It was time to seriously look at a stable and viable alternative,” says Satish Kotian, Head-IT, DHFL.

Zero Investment

DHFL was looking for a simple and scalable solution. After having evaluated several options, DHFL figured that moving to the cloud was the best way out; it was a solution that could potentially avoid them from incurring any additional costs.

DHFL found that Symantec.cloud services were convenient and easy to use and had the added benefit of having a reputed brand. When compared to its in-house solution, DHFL clearly saw the benefits tilt in favor of the cloud as manageability and the cost were important to them in the short and the long term. Also, as the number of users would increase, DHFL saw that there was room for negotiation in the cloud pricing models.

Importantly, it would eliminate a huge problem for them. “As of today, it has removed 99 percent of all spam off-site, even before it reaches our network,” says Kotian. “It has also reduced our administrative overheads as the latest anti-spam and anti-virus updates are managed by MessageLabs.”

Fashioned on a pay-per-use model, DHFL’s Symantec.cloud solution uses a multi-layered approach to deliver advanced protection combining traffic and connection management with three commercial virus scanning engines, a commercial spam detection engine, and its proprietary heuristic technology called Skeptic. But what Kotian really loved is how fast it was to implement. “The beauty of the solution is how little time it took to deploy, and how it effectively minimized risk to both external and internal mails,” he says.

With the Symantec.cloud Service Level Agreement (SLA) providing 100 percent anti-virus effectiveness against known and unknown e-mail viruses as well as 99 percent anti-spam effectiveness, the solution has also enabled DHFL to reallocate its limited internal resources to critical IT missions such as risk-management and regulatory compliance. “We also have direct access to the Symantec datacenter for all my SLA requirements, which means I do not have to worry about who will address my issues, if any,” says Kotian.

He is also confident that the cloud model will help DHFL manage its e-mail security at a lower TCO.

Relationship Manager

“We played the role of relationship manager. Our conversations with DHFL helped us understand DHFL’s pain-points in the e-mail system and what they needed,” says Ronny Ferrao, COO of Essen Vision.

The project, negotiations for which began in March 2010, culminated in May 2010 with the deployment. Essen Vision emerged as a key local co-coordinator for the project right from the PoC to post-deployment support, though the solution was largely discussed with Symantec. Essen Vision worked with DHFL’s internal IT team to help them move smoothly to the cloud.

For minor troubleshooting, Essen Vision’s assistance is at hand. DHFL, however, has to turn to Symantec in the event of major escalations. “We are fortunate that there have been no such eventualities till date. We also know that Symantec is very efficient and is just an e-mail away for any problem whatsoever,” says Kotian.

The SI partner, being the local co-coordinator, has a splendid relationship with the vendor and the customer, both of which are big advantages.  “Though we largely remained in the background, our presence was felt throughout the time the customer moved to the secure solution. There were creases in transactions such as billing across overseas datacenter locations that we facilitated with ease. We are easily accessible and also a support for troubleshooting,” says Ferrao.

Essen Vision, from its end, is looking at a continued relationship with DHFL. “We are old partners of DHFL and have a strong relationship with them. We are looking at other areas of co-operation. We see a lot of opportunity, and are in talks with DHFL for some other projects through Symantec,” says Ferrao. On his part DHFL’s Kotian says, “We have a roadmap for the cloud. If Symantec comes up with advancements for some of our other requirements, we will move those to the cloud in phases, since our confidence in them is immense."

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