We’re glad to announce that editor of ComputerWorld Hong Kong has written a case study for Hsin Chong Group and ICG in May Issue!
Hsin Chong Construction Group employees were frustrated by having to comply with a mail baox size quota. The company turned to Symantec and Symantec Partner – The I Consulting Group (ICG) for an archiving and eDiscovery solution.
Hisn Chong Construction Group reaps huge cost-savings and thousands of hours of staff productivity by simply upgrading its email storage and archiving system with Symantec
May, 2014 | ComputerWorld
Company: Hsin Chong Construction Group (Stock Code: 0404.HK)
Country: Hong Kong
Head Count: 2,000 People
Project: Archving Project
Implementation: June 2013 to September 2013
Duration: Four months
Solution: Symantec Enterprise Vault 10.0.4
Technology supplier: The I-Consulting Group (ICG) (www.i-cg.com)
• Up to 80,000 hours per year of employee producitivity is reclaimed by eliminating mailbox quota management
• 50% reduction in email storage requirements
• HK$400,000 (US$50,000) direct cost savings over the next rwo years from reduced purchase of email storage discs.
The construction boom in Hong Kong in recent years had an unintended consequence for the IT department of Hsin Chong Construction Group. With the influx of each new project, the volume of email jumped exponentially. The company’s IT staff had to face increasingly frustrated colleagues who were spending more time in offloading their messages into PST files to keep their mailboxes within the size quota. “Our mailbox quota was set at 600 megabytes and our users always had to offload their messages to PST files to stay within that limit. With the growth of the business, the number of emails also increased and users were offloading them more frequently into their PCs,” said Raymond Lee, Hsin Chong’s Head of IT. He added: “They had been complaining about the email storage quota for a long time and we had been looking for ways to resolve this problem.” Finding the right software for the job is essential because keeping storage growth and cost down has been a major challenge. Unlike other companies in other lines of business, Hsin Chong archives all messages concerning past and present projects. And each project produces massive amount of emails. “We work on 50 construction projects a year on average. You can just imagine the mountains of emails for every one of them,” Lee said.
“In addition, as a contingency in the event of a legal dispute, we store all messages from old projects.” And there is a lot of historical data under its belt. Established in 1939, the 75-year-old Hsin Chong is one of the major players in the industry. It has grown to a 2,000-people company with revenues totaling just over HK$9.1 billion in 2013. The company’s business now spans both Hong Kong and Macau. Some of its clients include HSBC, Housing Authority, MTR Corporation as well as Galaxy andthe Venetian hotel properties in Macau.
Time to act
According to Ricky Leung, the company’s IT manager, things came to a head early last year. “We found that our email storage issue had grown from bad to worse. We had to take action fast.” We had to take action faster by allocating big chunks of their time to email management. Furthermore, the demand for help desk support was growing as users called 10 times a week for assistance to create, search or repair PST files. As its search for an enhanced email storage and archiving solution reached its peak, Hsin Chong identified four key criteria that the new system has to meet. It must be able to: control email storage growth, reclaim employee productivity time, eliminate PST file and streamline eDiscovery to save IT staff time. It was then The I-Consulting Group (ICG) entered the picture when it was referred to Hsin Chong by a previous client. The client, a global construction management firm, tapped ICG to deploy the Symantec Enterprise Vault (EV) archiving and eDiscovery solutions in its organisation. They were in the process of upgrading their Exchange System from 2003 to 2010. Within the organization, people are expecting some changes. So if we take advantage of this window, it will be more acceptable to their users,” recalled Andy Lau, ICG chief executive.
Proof of Concept
Even before it was officially tapped for the project, ICG did a lot of research about Hsin Chong’s operations to help align the strategy and spent time to plan out the proof of concept. “ICG was very professional and helpful,” said Lee. “They listened and took the effort to understand our needs before they recommended Symantec Enterprise Vault.” When Hsin Chong conducted the Proof of Concept, Symantec Enterprise Vault was installed into the IT network to assess its quality, whether it integrated well with the existing environment and whether it fulfilled the business requirements. Evaluation took three months. During this period, Hsin Chong kept an eye out for other solutions that could fit the bill. Ultimately, it bought into the Symantec Enterprise Vault proof of concept.
Implementation was completed within four months with a kick off in June and a live run in September last year. It was simple and straightforward with a lean project team of six people from Hsin Chong and ICG. Lee attributed the hassle-free project execution to good planning. “We had to minimize the impact on our users. We timed the migration at lunch time and after-office hours. We notified users in advance about service suspension. We made sure to minimize the downtime.”
ICG works closely with construction industry leaders in creating extraordinary business values by applying IT innovations. ICG has organized numerous successful seminars and forums and brought together Construction industry IT leaders to share invaluable insights among IT and Business practitioners
Implementation Benefits from the get-go
Less than six months after project completion, Hsin Chong was already counting the benefits from its new Symantec EV software. “The ones that were noticeable at the very early stage were intangible benefits involving IT support,” said Leung. “When we receive a support call to search some archived emails from one to two years ago, it used to take us two to three days to locate them. We had to sift through data month by month across a specific period. One month of data is estimated to be 1 to 2 gigabytes. So it was quite a challenge. With the Enterprise Vault, we can find an archived email in two minutes,” Leung said. The company is now saving 10 days a month of IT staff time from this streamlined eDiscovery solutions. User complaints about email storage are down to zero. Since automatically move emails to the EV archive, they don’t have to watch out for their mailbox quota and they have stopped offloading messages to PST files. Up to 80,000 hours a year of lost productivity has been recovered. What’s more, Symantec EV’s seamless integration with Outlook allows users to see both archived and new messages on their email client. They are also now able to access archived emails online anytime, anywhere. Meanwhile, Hsin Chong finds that the volume of messages has been reduced by 50% because of the solution’s powerful deduplication and compression capability. “We calculated cost savings of HK$400,000 in the next two years as the new software delays the need to purchase new email servers. We do not have to buy as many of the expensive, tier-one fast drives as old messages are archived in lower-cost, high-capacity drives,” Leung said.
“Up to 80,000 hours a year of lost productivity has been recovered”
The company expects a return on investment in less than three years. But Andy Lau of ICG said that there is another metric to show ROI. “If you take the 80,000 hours per annum in recovered productivity time and each hour is estimated to cost HK$300 on average, do the math. It is a HK$24-million savings per year. Your ROI is a no brainer. It is savings immediately. You don’t even need three years.”