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Case Study

Case Study

Case Study

Strata Corporation Web-Mail

Situation

SEVEN COUNCIL MEMBERS serve a Strata Corporation called StrataCorp. Ask any of these Council Member which application is most critical to the functioning of their council duties and there‚Äôs a good chance they will say “our email system.”

To work effectively as a team Council Members must communicate on a myriad of issues related to StrataCorp’s business. Similarly, Council Members work with contractors, realtors and other associates who do business with Strata Corp. In other words, a large amount of communication is conducted through email, a critical application for all members of council of StrataCorp, and a vital communication link that keeps everyone connected.

StrataCorp’s Council members use the email application on their personal computers where their emails are stored on a local hard drive, which may or may not be backed up. Should an Owner of StrataCorp, past or present, ever make a request to make available email information about Council’s communication, a problem exists.

A Section of the Strata Property Act clearly states that all correspondence (including emails) sent or received by the Strata Corporation and Council must be retained for at least 2 years and must be made available upon request.

Because Council Members come and go, searching for the relevant information on all the personal computers’ hard drives will result in a nightmare scenario.

Obviously, a solution to make life easier is required — a standardized email system.

Solution

Even though many options of email systems were available and were evaluated, the main selection criteria for StrataCorp were yearly costs, reliability and ease of use. To meet those requirements only one email system was chosen: cloud–based email or web–mail — email software hosted in a thirdparty data center and delivered as a service over the Internet.

When Council approved the use of a web–mail system, StrataCorp began the process of implementing in steps:

  1. Selected a domain name, i.e. www.stratacorp.com
  2. Registered the strata’s domain name
  3. Selected a web–email provider (Internet Service Provider)
  4. Setup email accounts for each council position
    1. president@stratacorp.com
    2. vicepresident@stratacorp.com
    3. secretary@stratacorp.com
    4. treasurer@stratacorp.com
  5. Advised Council Members to begin using Webmail

As all Council Members have a personal email address, it becomes easy to setup an auto forward to a mailbox of user’s choice that he or she accesses regularly. This ensures that users do not miss any updates and enables them to be actively involved.

The approximate cost breakdown for a web-mail system is as follows:

  1. Register a strata’s domain name – $10 per year.
  2. Register email plan (50 email boxes) — $6.00 per month — $72 per year Total cost per year — less than $100.

Results

StrataCorps Council Members realize the benefits of the new solution every day. Members can now access email at all times from any Internet browser — even while away. What used to be emails located on individual council member hard drives, is now a consolidated, easily accessible email system.

One of the biggest benefits realized is peace of mind — knowing that the system

  1. works,
  2. is unlikely to fail, and
  3. is regularly backed up.