Case study

KPN Investment in innovation and competitiveness

Telecommunications
Benefits
  • Increased customer engagement and satisfaction
  • Faster to market with fresh innovations
  • Higher operational efficiency

KPN is the largest Dutch telecommunications and IT service provider. The company provides broadband internet, TV, wireless and wireline telephony services for residential and business consumers.

Telecommunications
Benefits
  • Increased customer engagement and satisfaction
  • Faster to market with fresh innovations
  • Higher operational efficiency
Challenge

Offering excellent and reliable email services to their customers is important to KPN, as it helps them increase customer loyalty, trust, and satisfaction. Email is not merely a means of communication for KPN. It is also a crucial part of the solutions they offer.

In recent years, the increased competition and rapid development in the email service space has made it more difficult to offer attractive email services. The digital transformation puts high demands on information security and privacy. Martijn Thie, architect at KPN, says:

As the largest ISP in the Netherlands, we believe in connecting people and enabling them to communicate with the world around them. We therefore aim to provide rich, secure email as a part of our portfolio. This became increasingly challenging as a result of the rapidly changing environment and increasingly sophisticated threats.

The mail transfer agent (MTA) that KPN had been using at the time required significant amounts of customisation and development to make it achieve what they wanted from it. As a result, keeping up with the competition from other email service providers became unfeasible and costly. As they were exploring options, the significance of the vendor choice became apparent. Martijn Thie says:

We were going to overhaul a very large platform, and therefore needed a partner we would rely on. One that was willing to engage.

Solution

KPN had been searching for an MTA that combined full flexibility with a rich set of capabilities and ready-made components. It should allow them to develop differentiated services, but which wouldn’t require them to write everything from scratch. In the end, it should save them development, maintenance, and support cost. In the Halon MTA, they found a solution that exactly fulfilled those requirements. With Halon’s domain-specific scripting language and comprehensive feature library, they can now go to market with new functionality in weeks rather than months. Martijn Thie says:

Implementing the whole Halon MTA environment didn’t take longer than implementation of a single small feature in the old system

The freed-up resources are being put to much better use, and they can invest more time in innovation and increased competitiveness. As a result, KPN's email platform is much richer today, matching the market's pace and rhythm, and staying competitive with other big players.

In Martijn Thie's words again:

In Halon we have found a great partner. They are not just delivering their software, but they’re really keen on working together. Halon is the most flexible, sophisticated and easy-to-manage MTA out there.