Products: Plus Pack
State of Delaware Restores Email Productivity Features To State Employees in Minutes Using Messageware Plus Pack
Delaware may have 48 other states ahead of it on the size chart (thank you Rhode Island). But even in this state, government is big business. Over 20,000 people are on the payroll, making The First State a Fortune 1,000-caliber employer. And as with any major body of workers, technology is essential to Delaware’s ongoing operational efficiency.
Douglas Lilly, Senior Telecommunications Technologist for Delaware’s Department of Technology and Information, is the person who oversees email and many other key tech services for Delaware’s governor, numerous senators and judges, and thousands of other co-workers. “Our department is responsible for anything that touches Microsoft Active Directory,” says Lilly. “Firewalls, routers, unified messaging, backup/restore, group policy, you name it.”
Some time back, Lilly’s department migrated the state’s central systems from the Banyan network operating system to a Windows-centric environment. Part of that transition included an agency-by-agency shift from a mixed bag of Banyan Intelligent Messaging email programs such as Beyond Mail, Shark Mail, and Blue Mail, to Microsoft Exchange.
Lilly states that Outlook Web Access (OWA), Microsoft’s easy-to-use web access email client, was an important benefit of the new system. “At the time, we were using the Banyan Internet Connect (BIC) setup,” said Lilly. “This allowed users to access their intelligent messaging platforms via the Internet; however, BIC wasn’t able to provide the redundant system we could achieve with OWA.”
Delaware’s transition to Exchange and OWA began smoothly. Before long, however, the “quiet roar” started. “People told us they missed spell check, user dictionaries, point and click recipient addressing, and some of the other email features they had in Outlook and Microsoft Office,” Lilly
noted. While Outlook Web Access met virtually all the state’s functional specifications, it was evident additional functionality would be necessary to upgrade OWA’s feature set.
While Outlook Web Access met virtually all the state’s functional specifications, it was evident additional functionality would be necessary to upgrade OWA’s feature set. “Our people depend on OWA. They look for the same kind of productivity from their email interface they enjoy with their word processing software,” said Richard Borrelli, another Senior Telecommunications Technologist in Lilly’s department. “We needed to add those capabilities.”
At a trade show earlier that year, Lilly had learned about Messageware and its OWA solutions. Once the need for additional OWA productivity tools became clear, he inquired about Messageware’s solution, Plus Pack for OWA.
“Plus Pack is a very straightforward, reasonably priced product that delivers many enhanced features to OWA. Accessing individual and global contact lists, for instance, is a snap,” he points out. We didn’t see any major hooks that would prevent Plus Pack from solving our need.”
Lilly also said the product was “super easy” to deploy. “The basic install only took a few minutes. We did a test with our pilot domain to check Plus Pack’s compatibility; that went fine, so we began extending it to users soon after,” he recalls.
Because the department was in the middle of its infrastructure change, Plus Pack was rolled out to those groups that had already received Exchange and OWA. “Delaware’s government encompasses nearly three dozen major agencies and scores of departments,” noted Borrelli. “We went back to the smaller agencies that had been switched over first, probably a couple of thousand people.”
– Douglas Lily Senior Telecommunications TechnologistPlus Pack is a very straightforward, reasonably priced product that delivers many enhanced features to OWA. Plus Pack makes OWA more efficient and more enjoyable to use.
With the addition of Messageware’s Plus Pack, state employees were given spell check, automatic signature addition, Outlook-style addressing-all the features they needed to turn Outlook Web Access into Outlook. But as Mark Rotman, president and CTO of Messageware points out, the advantages don’t stop there.
“Plus Pack adds a number of simple improvements to OWA, like automatic refreshes of the user’s inbox and instant notification when new email is received,” Rotman says. “They can even compress large file attachments with a single click.”
All of Delaware’s 20,000 state employees are now on the broadband-enabled Exchange system. “With the increase of broadband and DSL connections through our new system, remote email access is up considerably. We’ve gone from 150-200 users signed on at a time to 2,000 or more under OWA,” says Borrelli.
Messageware’s Plus Pack has played a valuable role in keeping workers satisfied with the new system, according to Lilly. “Without native spell check, some people will copy their email text into Microsoft Word, run a check, then paste the text back into their original message,” he states. “Users are used to seeing and doing things a certain way. Providing similarity between Outlook and OWA is a big plus.”
Founded in 1993, Messageware develops and markets solutions that secure, enhance, and customize Outlook Web App. A trusted Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Global Exchange ISV for over 15 years, our applications give com-panies of all sizes a greater return on Microsoft Exchange. Messageware products are used by over 2,500 enterprises and 4 million users worldwide, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, in every industry including banking, education, financial services, government, healthcare, and legal services.Download Book a demo