Middle East, 1 September 2009: With the help of FVC, the value added distributor in the Middle East and North Africa for Google Enterprise solutions, Jafza implemented Google Apps, which includes an email solution.

This ready-to-use email solution provided a secure, standard and compatible communication channel between Jafza and its customers. Leveraging Google’s cloud computing capabilities, the solution offered the right level of functionality and it could be implemented immediately, accommodating hundreds of new users without major IT infrastructure changes.

Jafza is a flagship operation of Economic Zones World (EZW), the global developer and operator of economic zones, technology, logistics and industrial parks under the Dubai World Group. Successful communication with its customers is a cornerstone of Jafza’s operations. Jafza sends out official announcements and transactional messages to its customers regularly. When working with audiences ranging from small businesses to large enterprises, Jafza needed a simple, robust and secure way of keeping communications consistent across the board, by providing a messaging system that was easy to use and compatible with customers of any kind.

According to Saji Mathew, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Corporate Information Technology at EZW, “a key challenge for our business was the use of personal email IDs by some customer employees for official communication”.

“While some Jafza customers have their own corporate e-mail solutions, others frequently operated with e-mail accounts from free messaging services such as Yahoo! or Hotmail,” explains Mathew. “In this scenario, if an individual were to leave their company, Jafza would find it difficult to continue its  communication channel with the same  company until a new contact e-mail ID is provided and updated in our systems. Moreover, history of past email communications would be lost at the customer end which becomes concerning to us and the customer.”

Jafza were looking for a reliable and easy-to-implement-and-use e-mail communication system for all its customers operating out of the zone.
Google Apps offered Jafza’s customers with e-mail addresses such as [customerid]@jafzamail.com which can be operated by any designated employee in the company. Should this designated contact leave the organization, the company could easily change the password (or request Jafza to reset the password) of the mailbox, and then designate another employee in their company to continue operating its communications with Jafza without any interruptions. Further, to maintain the integrity of the channel as a dedicated communication medium, the implementation team tweaked the configuration so that the system only allows two-way communication between its customers and Jafza, thereby cutting clutter.

Mathew said, “With the solution meeting our requirements, the deployment of Google Apps was quick and convenient, required very minimal training, and has already resulted in time and cost savings because of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. From an IT standpoint, it is important to note that the solution is available from any desktop or laptop with a standard Browser and connection to the Internet. From a practical and management perspective, it is reassuring that no installation or configuration change was required on end-user desktops and laptops, to deploy this solution. Instead of spending a lot of time building, configuring and managing new servers and then installing software on thousands of workstations, we simply redirected our domain for this customer communication (jafzamail.com) to Google, and the required mailboxes were ready for our customers to start using straight away.”

For spam filtering and content management needs, Jafza is using features from Postini, which come at no extra charge as part of Google Apps. This solution gives Jafza precise control over incoming email from the outside world. Mathew explained that an anti-spam feature such as Postini is critical for Jafza because of the number of customers the free zone area caters to and, in-turn the volume of mailboxes and email messages handled. Postini also allows Jafza to set up specific content filtering rules to manage unwanted emails travelling into this communication channel.

Google Apps has provided additional benefits, allowing users to set up rules, filters and labels to sort through email so that the most urgent messages come to the fore. Jafza also taps the advanced reporting on email traffic, spam filtering, and virus protection that Google provides, lending extra control and security. The Google Apps offers up to 25 GB of storage per mailbox, and a powerful search functionality to find messages as quickly as searching the web.

“We are happy with the Google Apps solution for Jafza and we are now considering the same solution for our other EZW businesses such as TechnoPark, Gazeley and Dubai Auto Zone.” concludes Mathew.

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