Former Canada Post exec reflects on how organization saved more than $4 million

Canada Post put the brakes on a costly migration process and instead turned to an add-on to Outlook that ended up saving the organization approximately $4 million, according to its former director of compliance.

“Moving to, it just fit nicely with Microsoft and attached itself to Outlook,” explains Ross Hebert. “Everyone in our company lives and breathes Microsoft. It made sense.”

He recalls the organization’s first steps to improve its information management system in 2013, when Canada Post began implementing Microsoft SharePoint. There was so much unstructured data across all these departments, and staff were storing information on various machines and external hard drives, making it extremely difficult for people to share information that overlapped with other departments, says Hebert. It was threatening the organization’s ability to fulfill routine functions. More than 8,000 total users, spanning human resources, marketing and finance departments, were plugged into the new system after a year.

“We wanted to change the process where folks would store information and documentation on shared drives,” says Hebert.

Like the SharePoint platform to which it attaches itself to, helps users share documents and collaborate from anywhere at anytime, and synchronizes documents across all platforms and devices. But it also came in handy when it came to uploading these files to SharePoint. Hebert says in 2015, rather than spending millions on a costly, large-scale migration of files on to SharePoint, Canada Post gave its staff the power to upload what they thought were the necessary files through It also prevented staff from having to remember a new password or learn how to use a new system – some basic training was all that was needed, says Hebert, and everyone new how to drag and drop files. IT didn’t have to manage it either.  It ultimately helped Canada Post save $4 million.

“When you look at the information that we had, it was probably around 10 terabytes, a significant portion of that information was stuff you were never going to use again,” he explains, adding at least 90 per cent of that material was archived information that would never see the light of day.

Rather than throwing tech at their unstructured data problem, Hebert says the careful selection of software that complemented the organization’s existing Microsoft ecosystem, is a strategy he was glad to see through to the end before he retired at the end of 2017.

“It was very impressive,” he says.

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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