Bolton Wanderers scores with hosted email

The Premiership football club has completed its migration to software-as-service (SaaS) email services, improving availability and security, while cutting administration time by 50 per cent.

Bolton Wanderers Football Club (FC) has migrated to a hosted email management services to improve communications, IT and security management.

The Premiership club wanted to improve its email systems and add increased continuity, archiving e-discovery and security to its management capabilities.

Email had become a crucial communication tool used between staff and players, including commercial negotiation and transactions with suppliers and sponsors, using security and filtering software at the email gateway.

Bolton Wanderers FC IT manager, Dave Atkinson said archiving compliance was also an issue: "There is a very real threat of fines and points can even be deducted from any Premiership club as a penalty for breaching the strict laws regarding new player signings," he said.

"I was looking for a solution with a comprehensive, easily accessible record of all contractual discussions that would stand up in court as evidence if necessary."

But the need to look for alternative email management systems became apparent when the number of 'false positives' - legitimate emails incorrectly categorised and quarantined as spam - became an administrative burden.

"My wish list included the requirement for a resilient system with no single points of failure and true integrity of data which could be relied upon should it ever be contested," said Atkinson.

Working with local systems integrator Network Defence, Bolton Wanderers' IT team dispensed with its on-site email hygiene gateway and connected its Microsoft Exchange Server to the Mimecast unified email management service.

Atkinson said: "The service enables the club to retain all emails in a highly secure system that is easy to access, with 10 year archiving. In the event of any planned or unplanned Microsoft Exchange Server downtime, our people continue to send and receive emails [with Microsoft Outlook] as normal through the Mimecast service and can even access and easily search their own historic archived email."

He added that the club has cut administration time by 50 per cent, while spam is being blocked at source. "Email traffic now moves quickly and viruses are virtually eliminated," he said. "The system automatically archives all emails and audit trails that can be accessed in an instant and used as evidence, should the business ever need it."

The marketing team use outbound email facilities, including club branding and customisable formats for different individuals, with their own signatures incorporated within the email. The Mimecast service has also overcome the problem of external email filters blocking any email containing images and 'false positives', allowing the club to feature merchandise and other images within their emails.

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