Procos is a European party goods leader. The Greek company has activities in 68 countries around the world, each providing local and international retail chains with a comprehensive range of party ideas, from paper plates, napkins, and cups, to table covers, and balloons.
As a one-man IT department in this growing, dynamic company, Michael Papacostantinou is grateful for any hours he can save off his IT administration time. Procos’ IT manager also wants to be certain the business is benefiting from high performance, robust information security, together with reliable and fast data protection. Above all—in the extremely difficult business climate Greece finds itself in—he wants to lower his costs: driving home innovative
ideas that lower his capital and operational expenditure, and support Procos’ business growth.
None of that was easy prior to introducing Symantec. Take data protection for example. Reliance on an Acronis backup tool led to the backup window sometimes taking a day and a half to execute. The difficult to navigate GUI made it hard for him to protect his virtual machines (running Hyper-V). And as the demand for storage grew, so did the costs: more and more storage hardware was called for.
“The majority of our business is conducted via email, so it is essential that the Exchange and ERP platforms are available around the clock,” says Papacostantinou. “If a member of staff needed to recover a file or an email, we also didn’t want to spend hours recovering the entire tape; we wanted it instantly. For such a company, you can’t imagine how valuable technologies like granular restore and deduplication are in terms of saving time, money, and
Information security was equally challenging. Here, Procos relied on a CA tool which was not immune to permitting virus outbreaks in the company. Although no service outages occurred, Papacostantinou was not confident that company was protected to the extent it needed to be—a major malware outbreak could have occurred at any time. Moreover, spam was taking over his life: up to eight hours every week was devoted simply to administering the spam email coming into the company (as a party goods supplier, Papacostantinou believes the company is particularly susceptible to spam email) and to combating viruses.
Performance was impacted by the CA solution too: staff would normally wait up to two minutes in the morning for the PC antivirus tool to complete its scan.
Working closely with its Greek systems integration partner and Symantec specialist BOSS Informatics, Procos deployed Symantec Backup Exec™ 2012 and Symantec™ Protection Suite. Backup Exec answered the company’s call for integrated, best-in-class data protection, combining centralized management, seamless support for the Hyper-V virtual server environment, and deduplication in one, easy to use solution.
“One of the things I like best about Backup Exec 2012 is the console,” says Papacostantinou. “It’s as easy to use as an application like Amazon. Intelligent, intuitive, and very quick to administer to backup routines.” Powered by Symantec Insight, Protection Suite is revolutionizing the company’s information security. It offers Procos a one-stop approach to antivirus protection, antispyware, antispam, and the ability to rapidly recover individual
files, emails, and folders in minutes. The solution also has the flexibility to extend Procos’ security into new avenues, such as network access control, intrusion prevention, and application and device control.
The Protection Suite deployment specifically comprises an integrated blend of Symantec Endpoint Protection and Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange. According to Papacostantinou, one of the key advantages has been to reduce the volume of spam, with implications for the company’s Exchange availability. “The 60 percent reduction of email spam has lowered the volume of Exchange storage and contributed to almost 100 percent uptime of the email environment. We also benefit from stronger security, with new and emerging threats being kept at bay away from end-users’ machines.” TRANSFORMING HOW IT IS MANAGED AND SAVING MONEY
The value of the integrated Symantec solution is brought into sharp focus by the metrics Papacostantinou has to hand:
• Deduplication has lowered the amount of data storage required by 40 percent, saving the equivalent of €5,000 annually—crucial for a small firm like Procos.
• Automated scanning goes unnoticed by end users—no performance impact on endpoint or VM servers.
• Centralized data protection has lowered administration costs by 20 percent.
• The volume of spam dropped by 60 percent in the first week of Protection Suite going live.
• The number of virus/malware incidents has dropped by at least 70 percent following the switch from CA to Symantec.
• The company’s Exchange server is now experiencing close to 100 percent uptime (owing to the elimination of virus threats and less spam).
• The introduction of granular recovery of Exchange, SQL, Active Directory, and the Hyper-V R2 virtual environment means files can be restored 40 percent faster than before.
“Symantec takes the headache and worry out of my information security and data protection. This integrated solution gives me—the sole member of the IT team—the confidence that the data is secure and that the company is gaining full value from the most efficient backup and security solution anywhere on the market.”
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“One of the things I like best about Backup Exec 2012
is the console. It’s as easy to use as an application
like Amazon. Intelligent, intuitive, and very quick to
administer to backup routines.”

Michael Papacostantinou
IT Manager, Procos S.A.