Featured Customer Showcase
Mon 25 Feb
Microsoft Office 365 has delivered lower IT and communications costs while facilitating improved client service for leading accountancy and business advisory firm Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon. The firm is an independent member of Baker Tilly, the eighth largest international accountancy firm in the world, and has more than 100 staff based in offices in Dublin, Birr and Belfast.
- Conducted cost benefit analysis and found Office 365 came out well ahead of competitive offerings in terms of ROI and easy implementation
- Co-existent migration – one office at a time could be moved over to Office 365
- Improved communications – staff have access to emails from anywhere 24/7
- Increased security and stability – no need to worry about data-security
- Deployed across multiple devices – smartphone, laptop, tablet
- Excellent user experience with no training required
IT manager Ciaran Brosnan, Baker Tilly first encountered a forerunner to Office 365 in a client firm two years ago and was interested in deploying the new solution as soon as it became available. "When our own mail system came towards the end of its life last year, we had three alternatives," he recalls. "We could get a newer version of the system we already had or we could go for one of the two cloud-based options which were on offer. The one that came out ahead was Office 365."
Office 365 came out on top in every area. "We're accountants and we do our cost-benefit analyses and return-on investment examinations on everything, and Office 365 was the one that came out on top. We then spoke to a Microsoft technical adviser about the migration model and this was very helpful to us because we were an early adopter."
This also allowed for the various features of the solution to be explored further. "We found that Office 365 met all of our requirements, and then some", says Brennan. "One very important selling point was the fact that it allows co-existent migration. This allowed me to migrate to it one department at a time. I was able to do one department first as a proof of concept and then progress the migration mailbox by mailbox."
Its principal benefit to Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon has been improved communications. "Email is a primary application for an organisation like ours. With Office 365 our staff can use their email 24/7 with absolutely no difficulty. There are lots of points of failure with in-house systems – servers, routers, external service providers and so on. You have none of these with the cloud and Office 365."
Another benefit for the company has been the security and stability offered. "We cannot afford any significant downtime or data loss," Brennan says. "Data recovery can be a complicated and expensive process but with Office 365 we don't have to worry about it."
The fact that Office 365 can be used across multiple devices, including smartphones, PCs and laptops, is also important. "We have three offices and 50 per cent of our staff are working offsite at any given time," he says. "Devices like the Nokia Lumia Windows phone mean that they can multitask while they are out on the road. It has certainly reduced costs for us and the flexibility it offers has obvious benefits. The long term value for money is much better."
The user experience has also been excellent. "There was no real training required and the whole migration has been seamless," says Brennan. "It also offers very good long term value for money. When the implementation is done once, that's it; it is constantly updated at no additional cost."
Brennan is very supportive of Office 365. "Our staff need to be able to work anytime and anywhere," he says. "With Microsoft Office 365, they can do that on a smartphone, a laptop, or a desktop."