DHFL, India’s Leading Housing Finance Company Replaces a Legacy Email System

Success Stories

DHFL, India’s Leading Housing Finance Company Replaces a Legacy Email System

Client: Dewan Housing Finance Limited
Country: India
Industry: Finance
Services: Migration to Microsoft communication and collaboration cloud platform


DHFL (Dewan Housing Finance Limited) is one of the leading India’s housing loan provider. Based in India’s commercial capital Mumbai, DHFL strives continually to reach out to its customers through its extensive network of 349 offices spread across the length and breadth of the country.

DHFL turnover in 2015 had exceeded 1098.944 Million $ while its profit has outreached 109.729 Million $ (after Tax).

Customer’s legacy email solution was based on Lotus Domino running on IBM AIX platform. Eventually, it became obvious that productivity and maintenance issues result low efficiency and poor user experience:
•    A rare skill set was required to manage the mailing solution,
•    Large volume of data resulted low performance and troubles backuping ~6 TB of data,
•    End users were not comfortable with Lotus client over the period of time.

Over 5200 users to migrate were located at customer’s HQ in Mumbai and across 250+ branch locations across India.


In the first phase Softline project team has explored existing customer infrastructure onsite and developed target architecture as well as migration plan. Deployed in the next stage, cloud infrastructure coexisted with legacy on-premise solution until all users were migrated.

А dedicated training for customer’s admins was intended to develop а skill set required to perform new email system maintenance. Office 365 End Users Awareness workshop for users was to make sure that all users will start using new email system without delay.

After all preparations physical migration of users’ mailboxes from Lotus to Microsoft Exchange Online has been performed. Finally Lotus solution was removed from service. Before closing the project, the customer was provided with documentation covering every detail of the new infrastructure.

In this project the team had to resolve the following challenges.

Multiple Domino Domains. The customer had 5 different Domino domains for which we had to install and configure a minimum of 1 MNE and CMN server per domain. We had to configure the routing for each domain separately to O365. We also had to create and upload a unique address translation file containing email address of the users from all the 5 domains on the MNE server to avoid any email address mismatch after migration.

Uniqueness in email addresses while setting up forwarding. The current antispam device at client did not support email address translation because of which there was challenge in setting up forwarding after migrating mailboxes. We configured Domino as SMTP smart host to overcome this issue so that forwarding and internet address remains same and the uniqueness in email address is retained.

2000 Domino Groups. There were around 2000 groups in Domino. The client wanted us to migrate the groups before starting with mailbox migration as the requirement had come from the management. So we migrated the group’s first and schedule automatic syncing of group membership every night so that notes and O365 group membership are in sync.

Security policies. No remote access was allowed. We worked on site.

Dell Licenses keys were delayed due to BIF funding approval. We re-structure our tasks and started next phases earlier: Site survey, Documentation and Admin Trainings.

Minimum inconveniences to end users. We migrated the mailboxes after business hours and informing the users 2 days in advance about their mailbox migration.

Branches in remote locations. Sending our in house resources was a challenge considering the travel and accommodation would have added to project cost. Tied up with local vendors at very optimum cost and limiting it well below the planned budget.


100% of users mailboxes has been migrated to O365. All employees have learned using new email system at the dedicated workshop. The migration has brought multiple benefits to the customer from both technology and business point of view.
•    Reduction of hardware footprint. Cloud solution has eliminated the need to own and maintain servers and storage.
•    IT focusing on business support. Instead of maintaining hardware and software components of legacy solution.
•    Skill set to support is available internally. The new email solution can be serviced by customer’s in-house technical staff, although Office 365 doesn’t require intense maintenance.