“Being able to share what’s on our desktops and talk about it in real time expands our horizons. We can cut travel time in half and save the company $50,000 annually—that’s a significant savings.”
Kristian Wachtell, Cardiologist, SKARF
Advancing knowledge around cardiovascular health is the driving mission of SKARF, a medical research and treatment center in Denmark. This work requires aggregating information and expertise from resources located around the globe, which is why the organization strives to find the most effective ways for its researchers to collaborate.
The organization wanted to make it easier for its dispersed network of contributors to work together and complete projects faster. The company opted to try Microsoft Office 365, which proved to not only help researchers collaborate better and complete projects 25% faster, but also enable the organization to reduce annual travel costs by $50,000. Situation
||With the 99.9% uptime guarantee and enterprise-grade backup capabilities of Office 365, our researchers can rely on document integrity wherever they are.
||Kristian Wachtell Cardiologist
“In order for research to be accurate and thorough, it’s important that a lot of stakeholders contribute to it,” explains Kristian Wachtell, Cardiologist at SKARF. “We need easy, fast ways to share knowledge and ideas across borders so we can improve productivity.”
While researchers had been able to exchange drafts and comments via email, it could quickly become cumbersome to manage and consolidate this information. As Wachtell notes “We might have 15 people collaborating on a project, which means we could have 15 files with different sets of comments. It’s time-consuming to create a new document and copy and paste all of that feedback into it.”
Business meetings were also challenging for SKARF’s leaders, who frequently travel to universities or other research centers to brief teams on the latest research. “It’s not unusual for me to travel 100 days out of the year. That adds up—in time and costs,” Wachtell notes.
Wachtell also wanted to explore better ways to keep his work protected—particularly when traveling: He comments, “When I’m out of the office, I don’t want to spend time logging into our server and backing up work. I needed a way to automate our backup and disaster recovery processes.”
Based on a recommendation from its IT support firm, ProActive, SKARF opted to try Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based solution that gives users simple, cost-effective ways to manage and collaborate on documents in real time, get in touch using instant messaging and video conferencing tools, and keep work protected with enterprise-grade reliability and disaster recovery capabilities. Solution
Wachtell turned to Office 365 specifically for its collaboration features, such as Microsoft SharePoint Online, which gives employees a fast and easy way to work together on important and complex files. Rather than emailing documents back and forth for feedback, users can use the co-authoring feature in Microsoft Word 2010 (hosted by SharePoint Online) to make edits simultaneously. “SharePoint Online is exactly what we need to quickly and easily share data and files,” says Wachtell. “We’re definitely more productive. We’re probably cutting down document creation time by 25%.”
The audio/video calling and web conferencing capabilities of Microsoft Lync Online have also made it possible for the organization to cut down significantly on travel expenses. As Wachtell puts it, “Being able to share what’s on our desktops and talk about it in real time expands our horizons. We can cut travel time in half and save the company $50,000 annually—that’s a significant savings.”
“With the 99.9% uptime guarantee and enterprise-grade backup capabilities of Office 365, our researchers can rely on document integrity wherever they are,” says Wachtell. About a year ago, Wachtell also lost data while working remotely. “Having a backup system in the cloud is an added benefit of Office 365, one that’s instrumental in significantly reducing our risk of data loss,” he explains.
As an added benefit, Office 365 provides users with regular updates so everyone is assured that they are using the most current version of all applications. “We no longer need to allocate funds to obtaining new licenses or upgrades. “That’s a massive cost savings—and helps drive consistency across the organization,” says Wachtell.Benefits
The capabilities of Office 365, including SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and continuous online backup, are enabling SKARF researchers to improve the way they work. “Now that we can work better together and complete projects faster, we’re able to take on new work,” Wachtell says.
||Office 365 helps us perform better, work more productively, and increase our workload capacity.
Being able to work simultaneously on documents using co-authoring has helped SKARF researchers to work more efficiently than ever before. “This kind of collaboration is vital to us. Office 365 helps us perform better, work more productively, and increase our workload capacity,” Wachtell remarks.
Cut $50,000 in Travel Costs
Wachtell explains that Lync Online has brought employees together in new ways—and cut travel expenses: “We tried another conferencing solution in the past, but it just didn’t work well for groups. With Lync Online we’re able to invite users by simply sending out a link, and we can share what’s on a user’s computer screen—something we couldn’t do before. This alone dramatically reduces the need for us to meet physically, and lowers the associated costs.”
More Reliability, More Freedom
The continuous online backup has given Wachtell and his colleagues more confidence in cloud-based solutions. “Office 365 is our initiation into the cloud, and I can’t imagine a better first impression,” says Wachtell. “With Office 365, you simply don’t need to worry about backup, and your data is always there when you need it.”
Wachtell also highlights the additional cost-savings and consistency gained through Office 365: “Having continuous updates included with Office 365 keeps everyone on the same page—and eliminates the financial burden of regularly purchasing new licenses,” he says. “In short, we get the bang without the buck,” Wachtell adds with a smile.
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