With 15 years of experience in the IT field and a small staff of 10, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Jamison West Consulting Services (JWCS) offers a range of technical set-up and support services to more than 70 businesses in the Seattle area. JWCS relies on efficient task management to provide premier IT management services to its clients. Despite a driven, proactive approach, JWCS experienced daily slowdowns due to the inefficiency of its productivity software. The company sought a way to streamline computing tasks, improve the speed of frequently used applications, and simplify communication with clients. With the Microsoft Office 2010 suites, JWCS has seen a marked improvement in computing speed and efficiency. Employees have been able to streamline presentations to clients, simplify access to e-mail and voice mail, and facilitate internal accounting and record keeping.Situation
Founded in 1995, Jamison West Consulting Services (JWCS) is a fast-paced, efficient company that prides itself on delivering the highest caliber of proactive IT planning and support.
||Without a doubt, Office 2010 has changed the way we do business. We’re boosting efficiency and productivity and saving time. Simply put, it’s opening up new opportunities for growth.
Founder and CEO, JWCS
Comprised of only 10 employees, the company offers a variety of services related to disaster prevention, backup systems, and network set up. JWCS provides comprehensive planning and computer support to roughly 70 small and mid-sized businesses in Seattle and the surrounding areas. With a focus on IT services, keeping its own systems up to speed is crucial to JWCS's business.
Despite its driven, proactive approach, JWCS experienced daily slowdowns due to the inefficiency of its productivity software. Employees spent a lot of time communicating with clients and prospects, so JWCS sought an organized and efficient system for sorting e-mail and voice mail. At the same time, the company wanted to increase the overall speed of its computer applications to simplify data access and connectivity.Solution
To discover how it could improve the efficiency of internal collaboration and client communications, JWCS joined an early adopter program for Microsoft Office 2010. In November 2009, JWCS began taking advantage of capabilities in Microsoft Excel 2010, OneNote 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
With the Microsoft Office 2010 suites, JWCS has been able to solve many of its computing challenges. Flexible and intuitive features of Office 2010—including Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook—have significantly improved the end user experience by streamlining frequent tasks and boosting responsiveness.
“Without a doubt, Office 2010 has changed the way we do business," says Jamison West, Founder and CEO of JWCS. "We’re boosting efficiency and productivity and saving time. Simply put, it’s opening up new opportunities for growth."Improving Internal Collaboration
With Office 2010 applications such as the Microsoft OneNote 2010 note-taking program and the Excel 2010 spreadsheet software, JWCS employees report that interoffice communication is easier and collaboration is quicker.
“Proposals used to take a full day of work because we had to merge and manage documents carefully to ensure that we included data from each user,“ says West. “Co-authoring with Microsoft OneNote and SharePoint cuts the process in half.”* These features facilitate document sharing and editing between multiple users and help streamline collaboration.
JWCS employees have also raved about the new functionality in Excel 2010, such as the Sparklines and Slicer features, which they can use to process company records more easily. Employees now seamlessly track time, rates, and other payroll information in a more intuitive spreadsheet format instead of the complicated dashboards and PivotTable views they used to use. And the new software makes it simple for employees and contractors to view only the information they need to accomplish daily tasks.
||Proposals used to take a full day of work because we had to merge and manage documents carefully to ensure that we included data from each user. Co-authoring with Microsoft OneNote and SharePoint cuts the process in half.
Founder and CEO, JWCS
“Slicer has made PivotTables more user-friendly,” notes West. “Now we can just present engineers with a dashboard that has a simple menu where they click on their name to retrieve the data they need."
Enhancements to Excel have also allowed West to access spreadsheet data in new ways, dramatically simplifying tracking and use of information. "We’re flat out getting better data, and we can understand it on a whole new level,” says West. “Sparklines and Slicer give us an in-house tool to analyze client and project profitability, saving hours each week.”Heightened Client Communications
In addition to fostering a more efficient exchange of ideas internally, Office 2010 has dramatically improved employees’ ability to keep in touch with clients. For example, the Microsoft Outlook 2010 messaging and collaboration client introduces a feature called Quick Steps, which expedites the routine filing and processing of e-mail messages and saves JWCS staff a lot of time.
“With the new Outlook, it takes less than half the time to work through e-mail," says West. "I've got it down to 6 or 7 Quick Steps that I use for about 80 percent of the e-mail I get. The new Outlook features are what's really exciting people."
Another feature employees have enjoyed is Conversation View, which groups e-mail threads for quick and easy reference. “With Outlook 2010 and Exchange Server 2010, I don’t need to go back in time,” says Silas Smith, IT Technician at JWCS. “Conversation View makes it easy for me to see the last message on any given subject, so I can respond to clients faster."Easy-to-Teach Technology
A large part of JWCS's business focuses on training and implementing technology solutions with their clients, many of whom do not have a lot of technical knowledge. Office 2010 has made it possible to get clients up to speed more quickly by facilitating remote presentations and making it easier to connect with other businesses.
The Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 presentation graphics program, in particular, has been very useful in client communications. With one click, JWCS employees and their clients find it easy to open and run a PowerPoint presentation containing audio and video components.
“I think there are a lot more ways we could interact with our clients using the PowerPoint Broadcast Slide Show,” says West. “It's a reasonably priced tool that is also very simple, so they can just click on a link without thinking too much.”
West adds, "Using video in PowerPoint was very effective. It really created the ‘wow’ factor during our open house demos."
What's more, the host of benefits offered by Office 2010 can be easily marketed to JWCS' clients for their own use. “This system sells itself, and our customers are increasingly asking us to deploy it for them,” notes West. “Streamlining our clients across a single set of applications makes our jobs easier and our clients happier.” A true win-win situation all around.
Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010 gives your people powerful, timesaving tools to do their best work from more places. With new capabilities and insightful updates to Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, Office 2010 offers the complete package—with familiar, intuitive tools. Now you can express ideas, solve problems, connect with people, and create amazing results—in the office, at home, or on the go.
For more information about Microsoft Office, go to:For More Information
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For more information about JWCS products and services, visit the Web site at: * Co-authoring capabilities require either Microsoft SharePoint Foundation or a free Windows Live account.