When you think of shopping centers, you may not immediately think of Regency Centers. But if you’ve ever been to an open-air shopping center anchored by a Whole Foods Market, Kroger, or Safeway, then you’ve likely visited a Regency Centers location. In fact, Regency’s shopping centers are nearly 90 percent anchored by the top grocers in the country. Regency Centers operates 322 shopping centers from 17 regional offices across the United States. The centers are typically anchored by a major tenant and have spaces for additional stores and restaurants.
It takes great communication and coordination to keep a national operation like this running smoothly. Regency employees manage the tenants, customers, facility maintenance as well as real estate acquisitions and dispositions. For them, email is an indispensable communications tool. It must be robust, functional and – as a publicly traded company – compliant with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations.
This is why in 2010 Regency turned to Intermedia’s Exchange Email. Intermedia’s enterprise-grade, cloud-hosted, compliant email solution was exactly what they needed to run the business. But as the businesses expanded, a requirement arose for further integration and customization.
Regency Centers is a publicly traded commercial real estate company that develops, owns and operates grocery-anchored retail centers throughout most major U.S. markets.
Industry: Commercial retail centers
Headquarters: Jacksonville, FL
Intermedia’s customer since: 2010
Regency needed to integrate custom archiving, unified messaging and email signature solutions. Specifically, they needed to seamlessly integrate Symantec LiveOffice Folder Sync, Cisco Unity Connection and eMailSignature software with Exchange Email. LiveOffice is a cloud archiving service for Exchange designed to satisfy the email archiving and document hold capability for legal and compliance purposes. Cisco Unity Connection integrates Regency’s IP phone system with Exchange for unified messaging. eMailSignature attaches customized corporate email signatures per directory group.
The problem was Regency did not want to give up Exchange Email and its benefits of high reliability, great support, ease of management, mobile access and compliance. But it needed a tailored platform that included additional, unique capabilities for meeting legal and business productivity and branding requirements.
Regency Centers wanted the reliability, support and ease of management of Exchange Email with the ability to customize and control capabilities within a dedicated environment. They decided to opt for the best of both worlds – an Intermedia private cloud. A private cloud is a dedicated platform for hosting a client’s applications. Unlike a public cloud, it is not shared. Clients can customize it any way they wish.
In Regency’s case, they chose to integrate Exchange Email with LiveOffice, Unity Connection and eMailSignature. This required agents to run on the Exchange server and a VPN tunnel connecting to the software applications running either in a third-party cloud (LiveOffice) or at Regency’s data center.
Another customization was allocating three terabytes of storage per user mailbox. This amount was high enough to avoid mailbox quotas or worrying about adding storage for the contract duration.
Provisioning the Intermedia private cloud was straightforward and fast, according to Dale Johnston, CIO for Regency Centers. “We had a dedicated project team that we met with. We did a round of testing. Once it was provisioned and tested, we set up for a weekend migration of all our email. There was no business downtime,” he said. Start to finish, the process took 30 days, including platform configuration, testing and the two-day mailbox migration.
With Intermedia's Private Cloud, we get the control and flexibility of a dedicated environment, that’s tailor-made to address our specific IT needs.Dale Johnston,
CIO, Regency Centers
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With the Exchange integrations in an Intermedia private cloud, Regency enjoys the full benefits of cloud hosting with the flexibility and enhanced productivity of selected specialized features.
For instance, unified messaging enables employees to provide better customer service. Now that voicemails appear in their Exchange inboxes, they receive them instantly and may listen at their convenience, even out of the office with mobile devices. It’s easy to forward voice mails without having to transcribe or lose details in translation. “We can be more timely and effective in reacting to it,” said Johnston.
The transition to private cloud also allowed the company to upgrade to Exchange 2010. This gave employees early access to the significantly enhanced Outlook Web Access console – another boost to productivity.
With Intermedia’s private cloud, Regency has the control and flexibility of a dedicated on-premises environment that’s backed by the power of the cloud. “With Private Cloud we get the control and flexibility of a dedicated environment, that’s tailor-made to address our specific IT needs,” Johnston stated.
I have colleagues who, like me, had Exchange servers and archiving solutions that were a nightmare to manage and use.
IT Director, CargoTrans, Inc