From its founding in 1921, the customer has grown into a major American property and casualty insurance company that prides itself on providing efficient, professional, and personalized service.  With 2000+ employees and 3400 independent agencies scattered across 33 states, efficiency in internal communication requires the presence awareness and real-time collaboration found only in an enterprise-class IM solution.

Then:  Internal Development

The customer’s quest to improve communication lead them to deploy Microsoft Live Communications Server in 2005.  But when administrators discovered they had no way to view previous conversations natively in LCS—and did not want to utilize their email system with Outlook’s conversation history folder—an internal development team was assembled to build an archive viewer.

When the customer subsequently upgraded to Microsoft Office Communications Server, the development team was reassembled to modify the original code to support OCS and to add functionality such as a web-based interface through which end users could access their archived chats.  180 man hours later, four insurmountable challenges put an end to the development project:

  • The encoding inside the LCSlog database for OCS was very different;
  • Query results could not be manipulated to display correctly;
  • Multi-party chats could not be displayed successfully; and
  • Security and confidentiality could be compromised simply by manipulating a chat’s URL string.

Thus began the customer’s search for a third-party OCS archive viewer.

Instant Archive Viewer for Microsoft OCS

The customer’s search lead them to the enterprise IM experts at Instant Technologies.Instant Archive Viewer provides role-based archive search and discovery for Microsoft OCS.

  • Internal usage policies are easily enforced;
  • Compliance audits and legal discovery requests are completely fulfilled; and
  • The information that would otherwise be locked in your OCS archives instead becomes a usable (and valuable) business asset.

Now:  External Procurement

“Microsoft OCS is a strategically vital communications medium,” says the customer’s Lead PC/LAN Consultant.  “We absolutely require the ability to access our archived chats, but after encountering technical complexities that consumed a lot more time and resources than we’d expected, we decided it was time to seek a third-party solution.”

The customer surveyed the market and found that Instant Archive Viewer from Instant Technologies offered the most compelling features at the best price.

“The .Net interface was a large selling point for us,” continues the Lead PC/LAN Consultant.  “The amount of time required to develop and support such an interface would far outweigh the price of the product.  And when you factor in the pre-built queries and support structure behind Instant Technologies, the decision to buy was easy.”

“We work very closely with our customers to define and build the features they need to optimize their IM infrastructures,” says Peyton McManus, President of Instant Technologies.  “This customer had some rather specific requirements stemming from their development efforts that we were able to incorporate for the benefit of all our customers.”

“In working with Instant Technologies, we obtained the best of both worlds,” concludes the Lead PC/LAN Consultant.  “We have a commercially-proven product that was tweaked to our requirements by an experienced team that specializes in enterprise IM solutions.  And while a few kinks must still be worked out, we’ve found Instant’s support and development staff to be accommodating to our many requests and needs.”