PPF a.s. communicates through thousands of e-mails, which are relevant in business cases and finance-capital activities. By archiving and securing these e-mail messages, PPF a.s. has obtained complex and efficient management of its e-mail communication including attachments. Implementation of fulltext knowledge based search tool (including diacritics support) provided fast and transparent availability of both internal and external communication, in particular with respect to the clients. This has positively reflected in the services provided by PPF a.s.
PPF international group successfully manages assets with the value just below CZK 250 billion. It consists of financial institutions (Česká pojišťovna, Penzijní fond ČP, Home Credit, eBanka, etc.) and specialized companies providing complete service in the area of asset management.
PPF’s plans are based on the long-term vision and strategy of equity development through new, or support of existing investments. PPF develops its activities in the Central and Eastern Europe, in China, and Vietnam. PPF has become a respected financial group based on professionalism, stability, responsibility, flexibility, and credibility.
PPF’s mail server administers complete electronic communication of the company users, including complete history which is needed for future verification. All e-mails are left on the server, no messages are moved to user stations.
PPF a.s. has decided to reduce the capacity demands of MS Exchange server and also the demands of enterprise applications. Extreme loading by a large database prolonged the response time of the server – batch actions and administrative interventions took unreasonably long, thus endangering continuity of the PPF’s e-mail system operation.
It was necessary to ensure both automatic and ad-hoc archiving of older e-mails. So far, the maximum age of an e-mail message has been 6 months. Then it was necessary to delete the message or to create a PST file. The company wanted to maintain the possibility of simple and secure user access into the archive from MS Outlook and to enable knowledge based searching in the e-mails. At the beginning of the project, the system comprised 385 mailboxes, hundreds of thousands of e-mails, featured limit mailbox level around 87 MB, and the average message size was 77 kB.
The goal of the project was to reduce the Exchange database size. Archiving therefore applied to all items – attachments as well as message bodies. The archiving was required to take place automatically depending on the message age.
The key area of the solution was the requirement on knowledge based search in all messages including the archived ones and their attachments.
IXTENT s.r.o. was chosen as the complex solution supplier. For the e-mails archiving project, it proposed ECM suite products manufactured by Open Text corporation – Livelink ECM for Email Archiving MS Exchange. The knowledge base was proposed to be carried out with Convera RetrievalWare Fulltext Search Engine supplied by Convera, UK.
The new system was based on the archive server platform combined with fulltext server and optical archive. The size of the MS Exchange database decreased considerably despite the triple operating time, and despite of the number of e-mails stored in the MS Exchange database.
The archiving was based on archiving e-mail messages with their attachments. It was also possible to archive attachments only. This archiving took place automatically including input/output securing. In addition to this attitude, broad possibilities of the archiving strategy setup have been provided together with the possibility of automatic and/or interactive/manual archiving, or the possibility of automatic archiving setup through the administration environment based on the Microsoft Management Console platform. PPF a.s. also requested the functionality for off-line access to the archived items and a tool for PST files archiving.
A professional search tool Convera RetrievalWare has been implemented for both knowledge based and fulltext search. This tool enables easy retrieval of the required information from e-mails and attachments directly from the Exchange client environment.
PPF a.s. indicated some satisfactory facts after the solution implementation: Speed of MS Exchange has been restored, the backup time has been reduced. Loading of MS Exchange servers decreased thanks to the capacity relief. Maximum age of e-mail messages stored on the Exchange server was extended to unlimited period of time. Despite of this fact, the system did not show any excessive loading. Implementation of the Knowledge Management tool from Convera Retrieval Ware and indexing of all archived e-mail messages enabled easy full-text search in all archived e-mail messages and attachments.
Fulltext search engine enables searching both with and without Czech diacritics. All characters with diacritics can be converted to those without diacritics – this provides better fulltext search results.
PPF a.s. has gained control over its e-mail server content, prevented data loss, and enabled PST files processing so that the data is not stored on local disks of individual users.
PPF a.s. uses a scalable solution without any limits as to the number of users or size of individual inboxes. This solution complies with legislative requirements, as well as with relevant international regulations SEC 17a-4, NASD Rules 3010/3110, NYSE Rule 440, Sarbanes-Oxley.
Off-line or OWA access is available for work outside the network (mobile users).
The entire system is open and it supports the latest client versions – MS Exchange 2003. Stability of archived items is guaranteed by a quality repository with the Single Instance Archiving (SIA) functionality.
Project PPF a.s. – Implementation of E-Mail Archiving and Knowledge Search was completed within two months.