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Life-saving AREU Chooses Zimbra for its
"simple and intuitive collaboration services platform"

An open source email and collaboration platform to coordinate the different emergency services branches throughout Lombardy

Il cliente

AREU is the Emergency Regional Department for the Lombardy Region of Italy. They are responsible for Sanitary Emergency Services (known as 118), which includes transporting life-saving organs and blood within Lombardy.

AREU also organizes and manages the services provided by the European Emergency Number (EEN 112) in the Lombardy region.

AREU has different offices throughout the provinces of Lombardy. They collaborate with directly employed staff members as well as people working for other regional health-care facilities, which totals between 600-700 people.  

Obiettivi chiave

Provide an open source email and collaboration platform to coordinate the different emergency services branches throughout Lombardy. AREU's goal is to coordinate the different, autonomous emergency structures in Lombardy while achieving the highest quality standards.

Throughout the years, AREU has modified and reorganized the coordination effort several times, each time attempting to simply the process while improving the sharing of sensitive information. Their most recent solution was a proprietary email platform.

However, this platform proved to be too expensive to extend to the entire AREU staff. Due to budget restrictions, email was only available to 20% of the staff. AREU faced two specific challenges:

1. AREU is a public administration company, and they are required to use open source tools.

2. Email is a necessary part of their business operations, and they needed mailboxes for their 600-700 widely dispersed staff members.

La soluzione

When AREU reviewed their email and collaboration options, Zimbra was "the most immediate and suitable collaboration mailbox solution." Implementing Zimbra means that:

  • Every staff member in the AREU organization will how have a mailbox.
  • Specific staff members can share sensitive information via the Zimbra Briefcase.
  • Other AREU services can be integrated into the email experience.

Now every staff member at AREU has his or her own mailbox. AREU has been surprised at how eagerly their users are adapting to Zimbra. "Our users' spontaneity in switching from our previous client- based email solution to Zimbra has been amazing thanks to Zimbra's rich features and ease of use," said NAME/TITLE.

Special Briefcase Function

AREU is also using the Zimbra Briefcase functionality. Their staff members can use Briefcase to exchange information, documents, and recordings in a safe, secure environment. Because health information is sensitive and is only to be shared with authorized personnel, AREU has enabled the Briefcase only for specific users. They also blocked the automatic forwarding feature, so private information cannot be shared accidentally with users outside their domains.

Zimlets = Extensibility

Zimbra's extensibility (via APIs and Zimlets) is an important part of AREU's email architecture. They are integrating their HelpDesk system and prescription charges software into the users' Zimbra email experience. Now, for example, staff members can share prescription information from the web through email without leaving the AREU business environment.


When asked about working with their local Zimbra partner to migrate to Zimbra, … said, "Our collaboration with the Zimbra partner has been essential, allowing us to transfer our email system without causing inefficiencies to users. We have built a stable and very flexible platform."