The title “Hydraulic Cylinders And Google Apps” is not misleading. The connection is elaborated below.
First of all we apologise to all our customers who must have had their mails bounce from our servers.
Mail from customers was bouncing off from servers. Apparently our hosting server couldn’t handle the amount of communication that IPH did.
Inefficient Email Setup
On a more closer look we realised that about 20% of the emails were needless transfer and forward from one account to another.
For e.g. we have a “accountsperson”@iphmain.onpressidium.com and another firstname.lastname@example.org . Mail from email@example.com will be forwarded to “accountsperson”@iphmain.onpressidium.com. Thus inflating the mailbox.
The same mail was also autoforwarded to other email boxes for reference and backup. So now we have three copies of the same email thus increasing it threefold.
~30% was pure SPAM. Everyone received SPAM which was just hogging our mail server resources and storage.
In one of our support chat sessions our current web host asked us to upgrade to a higher grade VPS.
VPS would mean more resources will be allocated to us but it would also mean we managing the mail servers on our own. IPH is in the business of manufacturing Hydraulic & Pneumatic Cylinders, not managing mail servers. We should concentrate on solving customer problems instead of managing hardware/software issues.
- It does not remove inefficiencies of our current system and;
- It does not solve our SPAM problem
Over the year IPH has transformed its operations to include more IT into our daily operations. This meant more emails, more transactions on internet, more creation of excel sheets, word documents etc etc. Complete transition from a legacy system to custom built ERP solution for our daily operations. We had to find a way to manage all this without too much load on our own servers. While the custom built application had to run in house we could easily transition email and excel sheets outside.
Clean inefficiencies in mail routing and Outsource all email and other related IT communication to a third party vendor. Let them do the heavy lifting so that we can concentrate on our customers.
Reliable communication is one of the primary mainstays of business because you want your business to be always available. If you cannot solve your communication problem there is really no way you will ever be able to server customers better.
Enter Google Apps
Google Apps had been used in our company for about two years now. The employees were conversant with the system and had already been working on it. We still had the odd attachment email but internally most of the items were simply shared through google docs.
They helped us integrate our communication better plus the all important load was taken from our shoulders. Google aso has a great AntiSPAM controls plus a huge mailbox. We could now chat & share internally. And we do all this with minimal mail server management saving us tons of effort.
Overall we faced two days of downtime. We have since then communicated to most of our customers regarding the problem and they have been more than sympathetic. Thank you for understanding.