You Can’t Take it With You

A large insurance company needed to go on a diet. Over time, their Exchange Public Folder count had grown to over 400,000, and the Company’s “doctor” – in this case, Microsoft – said they needed to lose ¾ of them. Namely, as part of a migration to Exchange 2013 and Office 365, the insurance company found itself confronted with Microsoft’s limits on Public Folders in Office 365: each organization is restricted to 100,000 total, and each folder was also subject to a 50 GB size limit.

“The Company needed a way to collect Public Folder ownership information and survey those owners about how each Folder should be handled,” explained Patrick Conlon, STEALTHbits Director of Professional Services. “And since they were resource constrained, they needed not only our tool, but a resource to implement, customize, and run the workflow.”

With its window into both Exchange and Active Directory, STEALTHbits’ StealthAUDIT product can identify the owner of a folder (StealthAUDIT for Exchange), as well as the email address associated with that folder (StealthAUDIT for Active Directory). “Our standard product suite easily provided the tools and data to accomplish the task,” added Patrick. “Our Professional Services Team completed the picture by providing the expert resource to employ our tool and fill in the other project gaps.”

The STEALTHbits Professional Services Team first deployed StealthAUDIT to collect all Public Folder owners and other data, and matched those owners with contact information from their Active Directory accounts. That initial work enabled STEALTHbits to provide the Company with a list of empty Public Folders that they could make decisions on quickly and easily. The Team then built a web-based survey form that asked questions of the Public Folders owners to help determine how best to handle the Folder: “Can it be deleted?”, “Is it a part of any on-going legal proceedings?”, “Should it be archived?”.

Since a single individual may own tens, hundreds, or even thousands of folders, generating 400,000 email surveys and sending them at one time was clearly not feasible, so the Professional Services Team developed a clever algorithm designed to limit the number of surveys any one individual was asked to complete in a given timeframe. The custom-developed workflow also included rule-based reminders for surveys that were not responded to, as well as folders with multiple owners who, at times, provided contradictory responses to the survey questions. Some folders were also prioritized on the basis of size and other factors as well. Added Patrick, “The final workflow had a lot of moving parts.”

Ultimately, the insurance company asked the STEALTHbits Professional Services Team to not only maintain and support the system, but also manage the execution of the application and workflow on a daily basis. “There are days when we’re not sure who Scott – our engineer on the project – actually works for,” quipped Patrick. “But as long as we have a happy customer, that’s perfectly fine with us.”

In Brief:

  • Major US Insurance Company

  • Over 40,000 Employees

  • Exchange Public Folder count needed to be dramatically reduced to accommodate O365 and Exchange 2013 migration

  • Ownership identification crucial for defensible disposition


  • “The Company was resource- constrained, so they needed not only our tool, but a resource to implement, customize, and run the workflow.”

  • “The final workflow had a lot of moving parts.”

  • “There are days when we’re not sure who Scott – our senior engineer on the project – actually works for.”