4-page Case Study - Posted 3/28/2012
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Canadian Staffing Firm Gains Scalability, Reclaims $23,000 Annually with the Cloud
"Office 365 is hands-down the best product for any company looking to grow."
Randy Clemens, Managing Director, Redwood Global, Inc .
For Canada’s fastest-growing IT and financial services staffing firm, turning to the cloud was a natural step forward. Based in Toronto with resources dispersed across North America, Redwood Global looked no further than Microsoft
Office 365 in its quest to maintain an impeccable service record while cost-effectively expanding operations.
Today, the company uses Office 365 to communicate more effectively with prospective staffing resources, deliver the right candidates to clients in less time, and pave the way for continued growth.
Redwood Global’s uncompromising commitment to quality extends to both its clients and its internal operations. As one of Canada’s fastest 50 growing companies according to the PROFIT HOT 50, the tech and financial staffing organization sets the bar high
for talent, and demands technology that can keep pace with its relentless pursuit of progress.
||When I found Office 365, it became a crystal-clear no-brainer that we had to go this route.
| Randy Clemens
Redwood Global, Inc.
The company’s home base in Toronto is made up of 30 full-time employees, and an additional 180 in contract staff that work remotely at client sites located across North America—from Toronto, Ontario to Dallas, Texas. Redwood routinely updated its systems and
software, but found that on-premises solutions weren’t scalable and reliable enough to provide impeccable support to its staff—and ultimately its clients.
“We wanted to focus on what we excelled at, which is delivering the best talent and resources to leading organizations in 48 hours or less,” says Randy Clemens, Managing Director of the firm. “We don’t want to waste time managing our internal infrastructure.”
Clemens refers specifically to managing voice hardware and PBX systems across locations, which he deemed insufficiently scalable for the quickly-expanding company. But he also recalls a major service interruption where a virus outbreak caused significant
“We lost email for about a day, and that created major problems—emails were bouncing back to clients,” he says. “While we provide IT support to our clients, we don’t have on-site IT staff. So if a client gets a bounce back, they might think ‘Why should I
rely on you?’ That can’t happen.”
Clemens considered outsourcing Microsoft Exchange to a third-party company, but then he discovered Office 365 and knew he’d found his solution. Microsoft Office 365 is an online service which unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring,
collaboration, and communication solutions. As Clemens puts it, “When I found Office 365, it became a crystal-clear no-brainer that we had to go this route.”
Clemens turned his eye toward the cloud once he realized Office 365 could provide Redwood with the capabilities it had been seeking. The company’s promise—as evidenced on its website—is to source and deliver qualified personnel to clients in 48 hours or
less. Moving to the cloud aligned perfectly with this time-is-of-the-essence principle, according to Clemens.
“We want to deliver resources to clients within 48 hours, so we need real-time, online access to the best candidates,” he says.
Microsoft Lync Online, the web-based conferencing and instant messaging tool that comes with Office 365, provided the first evidence that this solution would support Redwood’s vision.
“We’re using Lync Online right now to exchange internal messages with our on-site and remote employees,” Clemens points out. “And we’ll extend this usage to interview new candidates via video conferencing which means potential staff resources can be screened
right away rather than waiting for them to interview with us at our Toronto office.”
||I can pay a fixed monthly cost to have what I believe is the most reliable email system out there, with the added benefits of Lync Online for significantly improved communication.
| Randy Clemens
Redwood Global, Inc.
The company will also be able to transition away from traditional voice hardware to Lync Online, translating into reduced equipment management time and increased scalability.
“We are looking at expanding to more physical locations, and that’s where Lync Online is most appealing,” Clemens notes. “Our system will be in the cloud, so we won’t have to set up or manage voice hardware.”
Office 365 is also equipped with Microsoft Exchange Online, an email service that piques Clemens’ enthusiasm. “I can pay a fixed monthly cost to have what I believe is the most reliable email system out there, with the added benefits of Lync Online for significantly
improved communication,” he says. “In short, we are loving Office 365.”
According to Clemens, “Office 365 is all you need. My only regret is not getting my hands on this product sooner.”
Better service, more opportunities
With Lync Online, Redwood staff will be able to conduct real-time screening—and provide its clients with the right resources in less time.
“A client might secure another resource while we wait for in-person interviews,” Clemens mentions. “But with Lync Online we can interview candidates online, send the right matches to our clients, and ultimately capture more revenue.”
By transitioning to Lync Online, the company will be able to simplify expansion—and potentially save $15,000 annually by eliminating its on-premises voice solution.
“We’re really excited to transition to Lync Online for web-based conferencing. And because it’s so much easier to use than the on-premises systems—with zero maintenance—Lync Online will absolutely help us expand.”
Reliable email at a fraction of the cost
Backed by enterprise-class antimalware protection and a 99% uptime guarantee, Exchange Online reduces the risk of missed emails. “Even if a hydro line goes down or a local electrical circuit explodes, our email will be there,” Clemens remarks. “Other providers
might offer just email for $20 per month, but they can’t give you the 99% uptime guarantee, virus protection, or all of the other services Microsoft provides with Office 365.”
Clemens also highlights the cost-saving benefits. “With Office 365, you don’t need to hire a $100-per-hour IT professional to fix problems, or worry about updating on-premises servers,” he explains. “I expect we’ll save at least $8,000 a year by slashing
these maintenance and repair expenses.”
Overall, Clemens believes Office 365 is the catalyst to better business results. “Office 365 is hands-down the best product for any company looking to grow.”
Microsoft Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 brings together cloud versions of our most trusted communications and collaboration products—Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online—with the latest version of our Office desktop suite and companion web applications
for businesses of all sizes.
Office 365 helps save time and money, and it frees up valued resources. Simple to use and easy to administer, it is financially backed by a service level agreement guaranteeing 99 percent reliability. Office 365 features robust security, IT-level phone support,
geo-redundancy, disaster recovery, and the business-class privacy controls and standards that you expect from a world-class service provider.
For more information about Microsoft Office 365, go to:
For more information about Redwood Global products and services, call or visit the website at:
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.