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WWF UK wants more cloud after successful storage project

WWF UK wants to increase its use of cloud services after a storage as a service project reaps multiple benefits

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World Wildlife Fund (WWF) UK is looking to expand its use of cloud-based services after its move to cloud-based email archiving delivered multiple benefits.

Around 12 months ago, the conservation group moved 5TB of archived email – dating back over five years – from its in-house hosted system to Enterprise Vault 247 (EV 247) software as a service  from UK IT services supplier Bluesource integrated with Symantec’s Enterprise Vault in the Microsoft Azure cloud. This is provided as a managed service by Bluesource.

WWF-UK ICT director David Southern said the company had to move from its in-house email archiving system when storage was growing exponentially, as it was “heading for trouble” unless the system was replaced. Data volumes had grown by 20% and were expected to continue growing by up to 10% per year – archiving was already utilising 35% of a recently refreshed storage area network (SAN) infrastructure.

He said the company had a choice between making a significant investment in its current SAN or looking for an external service. The company chose the latter to avoid its small IT team being tied up in a project. 

“We have to be agile because we are juggling many projects at any one point, as well as keeping the lights on,” said Southern.

WWF-UK selected Bluesource as a managed service provider, which it had previously worked with on a project to go from a group-wide email to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

“The next logical step was to move the email archive to a managed service from Bluesource,” said Southern.

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The project brought three major benefits to WWF-UK. It now has predictable costs because it pays a set fee, it does not have to plan for exponential growth as it is on-demand, and it has improved the user experience as EV 247 works well on mobile devices, said Southern.

WWF-UK also has procurement, human resources and finance systems in the cloud. The success off the email archiving project has given the organisation a taste for more, with it investigating how it can migrate unified communications to a cloud-based service.

WWF-UK has around 250 staff, with most based at its Woking headquarters. The company also has premises in Edinburgh and Cardiff, as well as many others working for the conservation group worldwide.

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