Large Financial – Microsoft Exchange Turnaround

Silver Tree Delivers an Enterprise Business Solution

 

Issue: A large financial enterprise ($15 Billion+ ) was experiencing daily outages and poor performance with Microsoft Exchange – a recent move from Lotus Notes. The business required a stable messaging system for the entire enterprise with approximately 20,000 users.

 

Silver Tree’s Approach:

 

Audit and Assess – Silver Tree was the 3rd (and last) vendor brought in to fix the firms MS Exchange outages.  Our audit process was more thorough and comprehensive than the previous auditors as we reviewed their findings, as well as the enterprise environment.  Our review incorporated the examination of technology, people, partners and process.  Silver Tree had a firm understanding of the entire environment: design, architecture, procedures and organizational structure/communication as it pertains to the business.

 

When conducting a cross-mapping of the findings, a glaring root cause was found not only in the previous audits, but also in the environment and organizational structure.  The root cause was undetected previously because it was only looked at from a technology perspective and not a holistic view of a business ecosystem that utilized technology.

 

 Silver Tree pinpointed a lack of governance, monitoring, reporting, and standardization. There were large architectural gaps between the planned design of the system and implementation. It was also found that the communication, accountability, and responsibility between business units was not clearly defined and bordered on sub par.

 

Silver Tree’s Solution Implementation

 

Build Correction:

The original solution architecture was vetted for any corrections, and then the solution in place was converged to match the appropriate configuration.  Changes to logistics were required based on metrics of load and performance that were gathered.  These changes provided for consistent predictable workloads on the system.

 

Implemented Monitoring & Reporting:

Without a proper monitoring and reporting solution, there is no way to understand what has, is and is possibly going to happen.  A proper monitoring and reporting solution was implemented and additional findings discovered were addressed.  After a period of time, it was clearly visible that the activities of the team operating the solution changed from re-active to pro-active.  Additional benefit? As the systems not only stabilized, but thrived, the team’s level of confidence and positive attitude was actually visible.

 

Established New Procedures and Processes:

This item crossed many boundaries between technology, partners and people.  In effort to mitigate the results of the risk of implementing too much change too soon, Silver Tree identified and developed a phased approach.  By prioritizing key processes , once in place, the effort to mature those processes and add additional governance began to take form and grow.  The standardization of procedures within the introduced or modified process was key in driving the maturity of the processes.  This maturity continues as the client now has more “Pro-active” and less “Reactive” activates to fill their day.

 

Organizational Roles and Responsibilities Clarified:

This allowed for a transparency of accountability as well as clear, agreed upon responsibilities.  Metrics for success were also defined.  By allowing success to be measurable, it became clear that the measure required for success had to be shared by all business units.  This changed how business units collaborated.  Before the changes, some business units were compartmentalized and behaved like islands, and in some cases even like separate companies.  After the improvements, it was clear that collaboration was required to drive success, and with responsibilities and accountability being clarified, there was no blind spots or holes for items to fall.  Excuses faded away, replaced by proactive collaboration.

 

Changed Technology and Communication Escalation Paths to Support Optimal System Monitoring:

With new processes came new activates and a need to implement changes that had to be properly vetted, introduced, and if needed, rolled back.  In an enterprise environment with distributed leadership, collaboration and buy off on such changes in a timely fashion was critical to success.

 

RESULTS

 

Organization went from daily outages to not a single outage for several months. The enterprise solution continues to be honed and expanded in a predictable manner, without the repeat of previous issues when such activities took place.
The ongoing foundation of processes and procedures created by Silver Tree continues to be developed and matured by the client as they have more pro-active activities to focus on than reactive.

Rowing in the Same Direction. The organizational commitment to a measurable goal across all business units continues to produce successful outcomes to the productivity and capability of the team since everyone is rowing in the same direction.
Based on the improvements, the client increased their level of success on deploying the same solution that they struggled with previously.  With the new-found ability to deploy this solution, Silver Tree’s strategic partner for this engagement has expanded their footprint globally.
 
Bottom Line? You can hire someone to build a technology solution, or hire Silver Tree to build an Enterprise Business solution.