Neopost joins MS roll-out

Neopost, which sells franking machines and mailroom products worldwide, has rolled out Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Server 2003 as...

Neopost, which sells franking machines and mailroom products worldwide, has rolled out Microsoft Exchange 2003 and Server 2003 as part of the sotware company's early adopter programme.

The new e-mail and server system will support 600 users in offices in eight countries. The deployment aims to ease mobile intergration and reduce client management time.

Dominic Thomas, Neopost's senior network analyst, said Exchange 2003 had the in-built technology to offer more secure mobile integration capabilities, and Server 2003 allowed the company to take advantage of Microsoft's Active Directory domain controller. Its old NT4 system could not use Active Directory.

"We were using Exchange 5.5 and we were experiencing some data synchronisation difficulties in the field when it came to remote working," Thomas said.

"Exchange 2003 addresses this issue and also offers a far better user experience when they connect to their Outlook mailbox using a web browser."

Thomas said Exchange 2003 and Server 2003 would also allow Neopost to replace paper-based manuals and faxed communications when supporting engineers in the field.

From next spring, the firm's 50-strong team of field workers will use Microsoft-powered Tablet PCs. "Instead of carrying manuals, engineers will log on in the morning via a home connection or wireless GPRS and automatically download updates and worksheets onto the Tablets," Thomas said.

Server 2003 was not only chosen because Exchange 2003 would not work with NT4, but because Server 2003 offered Active Directory and allowed the company to use all the functionality bundled with its server hardware, said Thomas.

Analyst firm Gartner has estimated that implementation and training could cost $100 (£58) per mailbox supported by Server 2003. But Thomas said costs for Neopost, which used integrator Eurodata Systems, were "nowhere near this figure".

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