EurosportBET offers an engaging online betting experience for sports fans. As a startup, the company wanted to provide email and collaboration tools for staff, while conserving IT resources to build its website. EurosportBET achieved this goal with Microsoft Online Services communication and collaboration services. With predictable costs for scalable IT services that are readily adopted by staff, EurosportBET is set to expand its market. Business Needs
EurosportBET is the commercial brand of SBS Betting. EurosportBET combines a passion for sport with the potential of the Internet to reach a large audience. With an emphasis on live events, EurosportBET offers betting on poker, horse racing, and a variety of sports including football and tennis. It has two remote-gambling licenses issued to SPS Betting by the Alderney Gambling (Control Commission in the United Kingdom) and by Arjel (French regulator). EurosportBET maintains IT infrastructures in Paris and Guernsey to support its websites as well its own infrastructure for employees based in Paris.
“Our adventure began in Paris in 2008 with 10 employees and the expectations of rapid growth,” says Pierre Puchois, Director of IT Production at EurosportBET. “As a startup, our priority was to quickly build a cost-effective IT infrastructure so we could focus on our main objective: build a website that would offer an entertaining, secure online gaming experience for our customers.”
EurosportBET IT staff did not want to devote time and resources to everyday IT services, such as messaging and collaboration technologies that are expected by today’s computer-savvy employees. “Companies need to focus on their essential objectives and keep their costs down,” says Puchois. “We have strong IT competencies; however, we prefer to dedicate them to building our website for online gambling. We didn’t want to use these resources to maintain our everyday productivity tools. That’s something we preferred to delegate.”
So in early 2009, EurosportBET began looking for an alternative to investing in an on-premises email and collaboration solution for its employees. Solution
EurosportBET evaluated the hosted email offering from Google Apps. Then Proxitec, a Microsoft Certified Partner, introduced the company to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, a collection of finished services from Microsoft Online Services. Through the offering, EurosportBET can take advantage of low per-user, per-month subscription-based access to Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Communications Online, and Microsoft Office Live Meeting over the Internet—without investing in software licenses or hardware support.
||Microsoft Online Services appealed to us more than Google Apps because the Online Services interoperate with Microsoft Office, which improves usability for quick time-to-benefit.
Director of IT Production, EurosportBET
“Microsoft Online Services appealed to us more than Google Apps because the Online Services interoperate with Microsoft Office, which improves usability for quick time-to-benefit,” says Puchois. “And because we get up-to-date technologies backed by a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee from Microsoft, we have confidence that business email and collaboration services would always be available. With a hosted solution, we benefit from a highly secure and available infrastructure without having to maintain it ourselves.”
In March 2009, EurosportBET subscribed to 80 seats of Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Communications Online. The company worked with Proxitec to enable access to Exchange Online for all employees. Then in June 2009, Proxitec designed an intranet based on SharePoint Online. Using the intranet, employees can build their own workspaces, share documents, and collaborate on marketing and customer support activities. Employees are also beginning to use Office Communications Online for instant messaging and presence awareness and Office Live Meeting for online video conferencing.
“Business Productivity Online Standard Suite provides an indisputable advantage for our customers and also for us,” says Rémy Charrin, Chief Executive Officer of Proxitec. “With Microsoft taking care of the hosting, security, and other technical aspects of the communication and collaboration solution, we are free to concentrate on EurosportBET’s other business-critical needs. Everybody wins in terms of time and cost.”Benefits
EurosportBET needed to focus on building and launching its sports gambling website, and the company used Microsoft Online Services to achieve that goal. “As a startup company, we wanted to get up and running as quickly as possible without wasting money,” says Puchois. “Microsoft Online Services were the perfect answer. With virtually no up-front costs, we could allocate more resources to building our website, significantly reducing the time that it took to start realizing revenue—a key benefit for any new company.”
By using Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, EurosportBET is increasing employee productivity with low IT overhead, improving company control over operational costs, and driving business agility.
Today, EurosportBET employees are enjoying a high level of productivity at low cost. Employees are using desktop and mobile email, shared calendars and contacts, instant messaging, shared online workspaces, and online video conferencing to keep the business running no matter where they are working. “Using the SharePoint Online environment, Proxitec implemented workflows such as for hiring new employees,” says Puchois. “We can easily check Microsoft Office Word 2007 documents in and out without worrying about versioning, and use Microsoft Office Excel 2007 spreadsheet software to view and edit data stored in lists on our intranet. And because everything is web-based, employees are productive at home, on the road, and in the office.”
Using the collection of finished services is also helping EurosportBET maintain control over costs as it grows. “Now we have predictive financial data,” says Puchois. “We know in advance how much the service will cost, and this gives us true budgetary oversight.”
Instead of sinking IT resources into an on-premises infrastructure with excess capacity, EurosportBET can grow its employee count and scale its essential IT services in tandem—a more cost-effective and agile approach to growing it business. “As soon as we need to bring on new employees, we can easily add more subscriptions, without having to worry about the usual deployment issues,” says Puchois. ”With the Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, EurosportBET is ready to meet the growth that we expect is imminent.”
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