Successful migration to Microsoft Exchange

Getting a bank to give you a financial credit at good conditions is not always that easy. This is why the Société Wallonne du Crédit Social (SWCS) offers the Walloons attractive loans to buy, build, renovate their homes or to improve its energy performance.

SWCS also proposes the social loan called “Habitat for all” and the “0% loan Ecopack”.


  • Replacing an obsolete Lotus Notes messaging environment
  • Flawless migration of more than 100 users without interruption or loss of data


  • New messaging environment Microsoft Exchange and integration with the existing environment
  • Conception of migration procedures, migration in batches, training and coaching of users and the technical team
  • Improved and secure access allowing better communication with partners

Organization size

159 employees

Organization profile

SWCS is a body of public interest which proposes:

  • Social mortgage loans, to buy and/or renovate housing in Wallonia,
  • Loans at 0% Ecopack, to improve the energy performance of housing in Wallonia.

Software and services

  • Exchange 2013
  • Dell Notes Migrator for Exchange
  • Training

Vertical Industries

Public / Finance



The right technology and the right partner

To be close to those who are in need of their services, the SWCS has 22 information desks all over the Walloon territory. To ensure optimal communication between the information desks and the central administration based in Charleroi, a performing and secure messaging platform is essential.

The only problem was that the e-mail platform, based on Lotus Notes, had become obsolete. As the SWCS IT department had made the strategic choice for the infrastructure and IT systems of Microsoft, the next logical step was to migrate to the professional messaging platform Microsoft Exchange.

“Even if the technology was an obvious choice, we still had to find the right partner to deploy the solution onto our systems, including mobile devices, of all our users,” explains Christian Kersmakers, Director of the IT department at SWCS.

“We published a very precise tender and compared the proposals of different service providers. It shows that Gfi is way ahead of its competitors: their proposal is clear, complete and of high quality. Even more, Gfi is experienced in migration projects, knows the Microsoft environment and proposed us experts with an adequate profile.”

Christian Kersmakers

Director of the IT department, SWCS

A global solution for a smooth migration

In total, about one hundred persons at the SWCS would receive a new e-mail environment. The timing of the business case was tight: preparations needed to be made in June, the migration in September and finalization of the project in November. All this with as few inconveniences for the users as possible. E-mail and agenda were applications that no user could do without so no interruption was allowed at all.

Gfi provided a global solution, starting with the all of the environments, conceiving the migration procedures, training the users, integration mobile peripherals, up to migrating the messaging platform.

Virtual servers were installed in a redundant way to ensure back-up and archiving of e-mail related data. Then, tests were performed to prepare the migration of the work stations. The migration itself has been carried out in batches, in the evening or at night, to avoid any interruption of service.

Integration and adoption

The new messaging platform is perfectly integrated into the Microsoft environment of the Société Wallone de Crédit Social. The SharePoint platform allows an easy synchronization with calendars, employee smartphones and tablets running on Windows and even the technical development of internal projects is done through Microsoft .Net. “As in every project that implies adopting new technology, training and guiding the users were determining,” continues Christian Kersmakers. “With the help of Gfi, we were able to thoroughly prepare our colleagues and partners and inform them of every step of the migration. The fact that the solution is very user-friendly made the task easy on us all.”

In the end, thanks to this migration, the SWCS is able to offer its users a better experience, information is easier to share, improved and secure access with mobile devices and a better communication between the partners.

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