To support global expansion and security needs, MultiLing wanted to replace its mix of proprietary and open-source communications tools with a more reliable and scalable solution.
Instead of using a new on-premises system or public service, MultiLing worked with NTT DATA to deliver a customised hybrid-cloud solution hosted by a ZeroLag.
“Hands down, our employees are significantly more efficient today with our hosted solution from NTT DATA, which means we’re able to provide better services to our customers”.
MultiLing is the innovative leader in IP translation and related support services for foreign patent filings by Global 500 legal teams. To exchange confidential documents safely, employees need continuous access to protected email services. They also depend on other communication tools such as instant messaging (IM), video conferencing and shared calendars to collaborate with clients as well as staff in seven global offices.
Until recently, MultiLing used a mix of proprietary and open-source technologies for email and IM. A limited number of people also had access to a paid-service tool for video conferencing. Although the infrastructure met the company’s needs for years, reliability and performance issues were increasing as the company and its data grew. To ensure that employees had the tools they needed to stay effective, MultiLing decided to implement a unified messaging solution based on Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft Lync. By doing so, the company could provide quicker and more reliable email services – and give employees a single point of access for all digital communications.
Brian Chaney, director of information systems at MultiLing, says, “We needed a communications solution that would allow us to meet significant headcount and revenue growth projections on a global scale – and not bring the business to an abrupt halt because of infrastructure problems”.
IT employees compared the costs and risks of deploying the new solution on-site or in the cloud, and they chose the cloud. To meet strict security requirements and maintain some control over the infrastructure, however, MultiLing’s IT staff sought a vendor that could support a hybrid cloud. As a result, MultiLing could keep other systems on-site, and yet have its new unified communications solution running on a dedicated environment in a hosted private cloud.
“In multi-tenant, public-cloud architectures, you never know who else is sitting on your server and what they’re doing”, Chaney says. “And some providers don’t have to notify you if the government accesses your data. With the requirements we have for protecting clients’ information, we can’t and don’t want to risk any exposure”.
After evaluating NTT DATA and other potential hosting vendors, MultiLing chose Cloud Services by NTT DATA. With its consultative approach and its ability to broker services from a rich ecosystem of cloud partners, they matched MultiLing’s specific workloads with the most appropriate cloud solution. “NTT DATA was the foremost vendor that took the time to understand our needs”, Chaney says. “They provided a detailed solution for getting us from point A to point B including software, licences and the hardware that would be co-managed by its partner ZeroLag”.
IT staff maintained close communication with NTT DATA throughout the three-week transition. “We migrated from our proprietary email platform to our new hosted environment at ZeroLag without any downtime”, Chaney says. “The schedule was tailored to what we wanted to do, which was perfect for us”.
To facilitate the transition, a dedicated private cloud infrastructure was set up in cloud partner ZeroLag’s data centre. Engineers then deployed a new communications solution based on Microsoft Exchange Server, Lync and Active Directory. To facilitate high availability and disaster recovery, engineers configured services that automatically maintain replicated copies of each server, as well as backup copies of all data. After engineers had set up the new infrastructure, MultiLing’s IT employees migrated the company’s IMAP mailboxes to Exchange Server using online software.
Today, MultiLing has one seamless solution for email, calendaring, IM and video conferencing. “Hands down, our employees are significantly more efficient today with our hosted solution from NTT DATA, which means we’re able to provide better services to our customers”, Chaney says. “We can count on email being up and available 24x7. And we can instantly schedule or hold team meetings with the click of a button”.
Giving all employees access to video conferencing is also streamlining workflow. “When people have questions, face-to-face conversations are faster and clearer than going back and forth over email”, says Chaney. “So we’re using video conferencing to improve communication and collaboration with customers and each other”.
By choosing a hybrid-cloud solution from NTT DATA, IT employees are enjoying the hands-off simplicity of a software-as-a-service offering – and saving hours of work each week. In addition, they can still tailor the infrastructure to meet requirements.
“We had ZeroLag add a third-party tool to our environment that populates user groups in Lync”, Chaney says. “So now, we don’t have to add 200 contacts, one by one, to a new employee’s Lync account”. Another customisation makes it possible for employees to access Microsoft Outlook calendars and see meeting invites from inside conference rooms. “This isn’t native functionality for Lync or Exchange, but ZeroLag added it for us”, explains Chaney.
To help facilitate further global expansion, MultiLing is investigating additional best-in-breed cloud hosting options from the team. The company is also looking to differentiate its services by using SecureWorks for intrusion detection and prevention. “We already protect customers’ files and our digital communications”, Chaney says. “However, also having a dedicated team of external security professionals to monitor everything would be a big selling point for us because we’d be the first vendor in our space to offer that level of comprehensive security. And once again, they have been the only vendor that’s come back with a solution that incorporates all of the nitty-gritty details to accomplish our goals and vision, at a price tag that makes sense”.*
*This case study was originally written by Dell Services, which has become NTT DATA Services as of November 2016."