Customer Stories

Email security upgrade supports wider IT strategic objectives at Waikato DHB

Waikato DHB

Waikato District Health Board (Waikato DHB) implemented the SMX cloud email security service as part of moves to increase email security while reducing longer term cost of ownership.

Waikato DHB’s 6,000 plus staff deliver a complex web of services to a population base of 373,000. The DHB operates from multiple locations throughout the Waikato region and has an annual budget of more than $1.1 billion.

Waikato DHB has a tertiary hospital  in Hamilton, a secondary hospital in Thames, three rural hospitals in Taumarunui, Tokoroa and Te Kuiti and continuining care facilities in Morrinsville and Te Awamutu. 

Waikato DHB operations manager for information services, Debbie Manktelow, heads a team of 60 staff serving around 4,500 desktops throughout the organisation. Her priorities in switching to the SMX cloud service were heavily influenced by the cost in staff time to manage the delivery of clean, secure email, as well being aligned to wider moves to maximise the efficiency of support services, including IT. 

Waikato DHB, she says, is particularly aligned to efficiency improvements across the Midland region by collaborating with the Lakes, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Tairawhiti district health boards.

As part of this continuous improvement and standardisation process, all supplier contracts are subject to regular review. This includes email services.

“Our contract for the incumbent appliance-based email filtering system was coming up for renewal in March this year,” she says. “The management overhead, ongoing licence and hardware costs of this appliance-based approach prompted our decision to go out to tender.

“In addition to the incumbent supplier, we included two cloud-based, outsourced email security providers in the tender. SMX was our preferred choice for a number of reasons.

“We made our decision on a weighted range of factors. We first looked at the quality of the product and the quality of support. SMX is well proven with good customer references from large government sector organisations. SMX also has very good local support compared to competitors. We need reliable email 24x7, so quality local support is absolutely critical to us.

“We also looked at what other health sector organisations are using, particularly in the Midland area, and what the Ministry of Health is doing in the email security area – particularly with SEEMail. We wanted to be well aligned with the organisations that we work with on a day-to-day basis. SMX scored highly across all these areas.

“It was also important to us that our mail was highly secure. For that reason we did not consider any products which might require email to be routed or stored outside of New Zealand. 

“Finally, we appreciated the more sophisticated management features of SMX. Looking ahead we want the ability to safeguard patient information from improper use. SMX’s SmartRules® DLP gives excellent flexibility in creating rules to manage what we allow through our mail gateway, as well as the information flowing out. This ability to easily create reports, write rules, and generally tune the email environment to fit the changing needs of the organisation is very important to us going forward.

“We implemented SMX in mid-February 2014. The changeover went very smoothly and we are very happy with both the product and the service. It’s working extremely well. SMX is a good company with a good product backed by good service,” Manktelow says.

SMX chief executive Ian McDonald says the Waikato DHB evaluation criteria reflect the priorities of government sector organisations looking to use cloud-based IT services. These priorities are driving strong growth for SMX.

“Cost of ownership is a particularly strong driver,” McDonald says. “A recent Frost & Sullivan analysis of the global web and email content security market highlighted that the human resources costs to implement email content security can be as much as four times the cost of the user licence. The greater and more granular the security demands, the greater the human resource expense to implement.

“Waikato DHB’s decision to go with SMX reflects our ability to provide a highly cost-effective means of not just implementing and managing email scrubbing, but also providing a robust and cost effective platform for phased implementation of increasingly sophisticated inbound and outbound email security. This includes highly effective data loss prevention,” McDonald says.

“Part of the major Government move to the cloud is a renewed focus on replacing legacy anti-spam and antivirus software with more modern and cost effective cloud-based email security solutions. SMX is leading that transition. We are now the number one supplier of cloud email filtering services to New Zealand public sector organisations.”

Around 60 Government departments, SOEs, Crown Research Institutes and over 50 per cent of local government, health and education organisations have moved email filtering to the cloud with SMX. The rapidly growing list of customers includes the Department of Conservation; Statistics New Zealand; Industrial Research; Scion; Waikato DHB; Bay of Plenty DHB; Tauranga District Council and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology.

Westlake Boys High School

"SMX said they would reduce our spam and give us a new layer of redundancy and disaster recovery – and they did. The reduction in spam was immediately noticeable."
Alex Reed, Associate Headmaster, Westlake Boys High School