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IceWarp Interviews Patra Corporation, Describes Mail Hosting Success Story

August 04, 2014

IceWarp, a unified communications solutions provider, recently spoke with Patra Corporation, a managed services company that works with insurance agencies, about its switch from using a hosted Microsoft Exchange server to using an on-premise IceWarp messaging solution.

Described within IceWarp's official announcement, Patra initially explained its situation as one of growing expenses. The company was founded in 2005, and it had long used a hosted Microsoft Exchange email server to handle all of its accounts. Once that number of accounts grew into the thousands, though, Exchange began to cost more than the company wanted to pay.

Sean Kennedy, IT manager at Patra, frankly discussed the situation.

"Once we had about 1,200 accounts, hosted Exchange became very expensive." Kennedy told IceWarp. "We wanted an Exchange replacement."

"Zimbra is a Linux-based solution and we are a Windows shop," Kennedy continued while explaining the alternative Patra considered, "[and] SmarterMail didn't have all the features we needed."

One of the important features Kennedy described was the ability for the email server to integrate with Microsoft Outlook. Although Patra no longer wanted to use the Exchange server, many of its employees used Microsoft Outlook to handle the sending and receiving of their personal mail. They became used to those programs, and it would have been costly to force them to switch.

SmarterMail, though it runs on Windows, does not have an Outlook plugin, Kennedy confirmed.

IceWarp soon offered its own solution to Patra that included both an Outlook plugin and ActiveSync-based collaboration features. It also explained its migration procedure as straightforward and predictable.

Kennedy told IceWarp that its transition procedure was as simple as it was described. Admins backed up all user data, imported it into individuals' profiles, and used its Outlook Sync to push data to company servers. Kennedy remarked that he is also happy that Petra did not have to invest in new servers.

"The biggest thing was that we did not have to buy any new hardware, we used the existing machines," he said.

Perhaps the biggest advantage Kennedy noted was that the company has taken a sense of ownership over its new mail solution. No longer using a hosted server, he said admins were able to harness control of their own servers like they had not been able to before. Overall, he said Petra estimates savings of 75 percent over the span of a year by making the switch, and in three months, the IceWarp product had paid for itself.

Edited by Adam Brandt