PUBLICATION:  ITWEB
DATE:  18 MAY 2010
 
Integr8 engineers complex MS Active Directory, Exchange co-existence for Gold Fields
 
Mining multinational, Gold Fields (JSE, NYSE, NASDAQ Dubai: GFI) turned to Integr8 to move 7 000 users across the globe onto a consolidated Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange environment in one of the most complex co-existence deployments undertaken by a South African company.

Prior to working with the Integr8 Professional Services division, Gold Fields was looking for a way to migrate its international operations onto a consolidated system. The company was running Microsoft Exchange 2000, 2003 and 2007 and wanted to migrate to Exchange 2010 in order to make use of the many enhanced collaboration services.

Moreover, Gold Fields management was keen to reduce costs through a common infrastructure. High availability and integrated archive facilities available on Exchange 2010 would also ensure that Gold Fields was on top of compliance issues – a non-negotiable for a company dealing with multiple stock exchange listing requirements.

“The key challenge was the host of legacy systems that we had to work with. First we had to set up a parallel environment and migrate all resources onto that, all the while making sure that users could access only their authorised systems. This was achieved using multiple Microsoft applications and Integr8’s back-end automation, allowing us to run a small but effective team and deliver cost efficiently,” explains Robert Sussman, joint CEO at the Integr8 Group.

Gold Fields operates nine mines in South Africa, Peru, Ghana, and Australia and runs 200 servers and 280 third-party business applications. Management at the company was looking for an ICT solution that would allow it to simplify operations, improve cost management and ensure consistent global connectivity and information availability.

Sussman says his team’s experience working with Microsoft products and delivery models such as the Microsoft Solutions Framework was a key factor to the success of the project. He also says that taking a long-term view of the client’s needs meant a sensible delivery.
 
“The project that we are currently busy with is just a single component of the solutions that will be implemented to meet Gold Field’s objectives. We have devised a three-year ICT roadmap that forms part of a global solution.

“We are also not only focusing on the technical aspects but have put in place an operational structure to support these technologies. We believe that a workable solution is a combination of people, process and technology,” Sussman states.

With this in mind, Integr8 ensured that all Gold Field users underwent training before they were migrated to the new environment. The migration also allowed the Integr8 team to re-look the Gold Field e-mail policies and permission systems, ensuring compliance.

“Integr8 understands the business challenges we faced and developed a workable solution. The anticipated ROI is well on the way to being realised, and it is clear that Integr8 has a good understanding of the Gold Fields organisation. Integr8 has demonstrated their ability to deploy the co-existence, required for consolidation over a period of time, while ensuring minimal impact to the business,” explains Corrie van Niekerk – Group IT Operation Manager at Gold Fields.