4-page Case Study
Posted: 5/11/2012
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Best Group Australian Branding and Signage Leader Communicates in the Cloud

After moving to Office 365, everything is consistent, and we've never had any down time. We used to constantly have to say, 'Oh, our email's down' to our clients, but that has absolutely stopped.

Megan Jones, Administration Manager, Best Group

Best Group, a 15-person branding, project management, and signage company with large corporate clients, needed a responsive communications solution that would enable its workers to collaborate easily, and give the company the ability to communicate reliably and professionally.

The implementation of Microsoft Office 365, including Microsoft Exchange Online, resulted in the savings of at least 2.5 hours per week per employee in the faster delivery, downloading, and sending of emails. Because Best Group would be able to move all email to the cloud, other company assets could be stored on its servers. And with virtually no down time, the company can be fast, responsive, and professional on every project.


Best Group, based in South Yarra, Melbourne, and Geelong Australia, helps major brands throughout the country develop and execute high-impact signage and collateral for outdoor and indoor uses, events, and more. Best Group handles the launch of national media campaigns and branding of important buildings for financial institutions, governmental agencies, real estate agents, and retail companies, all on a larger-than-life scale.

* Our number one benefit with Office 365 is our overall communication reliability and integrity. *

Megan Jones
Administration Manager
Best Group

Yet the company employs just 15 people, who may be working on as many as 60 client projects, with about 12 on a pressing deadline at any one time. Having slow, unreliable email put projects in danger of not meeting their deadlines and resulted in employees' spending several frustrating hours a week waiting to access email from an overloaded server. If internet service was down for any reason, all email access would stop. Unreliable email also compromised the company's ability to be nimble and responsive to its clients.

In addition, the company needed to free its server space for the large graphic files that it uses to create its collateral. It wanted to move its entire email solution, and eventually its project management files, to the cloud, to be able to use its server space for these graphic files. And it wanted to be able to collaborate across its two offices seamlessly, and to be as responsive and effective in its communications as its clients expected.


In July 2011, Tim Clifton, Technical Services Manager of Microsoft Partner Barwon Computer Solutions, suggested the company make the move to Microsoft Office 365. This online service unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication solutions.

Best Group moved all its internal and external email communications to Exchange Online and Office 365. Clifton and Megan Jones, Administration Manager for Best Group, oversaw the deployment. "It was very straightforward and very easy to migrate," says Clifton. "The Office 365 documentation and tools were easy to follow."

Employees saw immediate improvement in email transactions. Each employee saved as much as 2.5 hours per week with the improved speed, reliability, and ease of accessing email alone. Communication between the two offices became seamless, easing frustrations of employees working remotely. "We can now access our emails anywhere from a computer or mobile device, whether or not we are connected to the Internet," says Jones.

In addition, clients could expect, and receive, immediate responses at every phase of critical projects. "After moving to Office 365, everything is consistent, and we've never had any down time," Jones says. "We used to constantly have to say, 'Oh, our email's down' to our clients, but that has absolutely stopped."

* It was very straightforward and very easy to migrate.  The Office 365 documentation and tools were easy to follow. *

Tim Clifton
Technical Services Manager
Barwon Computer Solutions

Moving Best Group's email to the Office 365 cloud also freed precious server space for the large graphic files the company needs to produce its branding collateral. "The cloud was the only solution that was scalable," Jones says.

Best Group has been so pleased with how easy the Office 365 Exchange Online solution has been to implement that it has decided to use Microsoft SharePoint Online, another product in Office 365. "We will be able to save even more server space by moving all our office information and project management documentation to SharePoint Online," Jones says.


With Office 365, Best Group will improve the speed and reliability of its email communications, improve collaboration, and better utilize other resources like server space by moving email to the cloud.

Faster, More Reliable Communication

Using the Office 365 Exchange cloud-based email solution, Best Group can expect to save each employee as much as 2.5 hours a week, or 1,950 hours companywide annually. The ease of sending and accessing emails means no frustrating delays between offices, and professional, timely interactions with clients.

Easier Collaboration

Because Best Group's employees might be in one of two offices, or working on site at an event, easy, cloud-based communications are critical to keeping projects on time and on budget. And because of the company's positive experience with the email solution, it is proceeding with the SharePoint Online solution, which will host all its office and project-management documentation in the cloud, resulting in even better and more ways to collaborate easily.

Better Use of Existing Resources

Because Best Group needs to use its in-house server space for large graphic files used to create its signage and other event collateral, moving email and other files to the cloud helps the company use its resources efficiently and strategically.

Using Office 365 for its email and other communication and collaboration needs, Best Group can focus on what it does best: creating high-impact signage and collateral for events and landmarks seen by thousands of people. Its small team can work quickly and efficiently, and respond immediately to clients. "Our number one benefit with Office 365 is our overall communication reliability and integrity," says Jones. And a side benefit? Because employees are no longer frustrated by long email delays, "there's no more whinging in the office."

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 Barwon Computer Solutions products and services, visit the website at:


For more information about Best Group products and services, visit the website at:


This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 15 employees

Organization Profile

Best Group is a small Australian branding and signage company that creates high-impact event and other collateral for government, retail, and other national organizations.

Business Situation

Best Group employees struggled with an unreliable email solution that was slow and often broken--putting projects and client relationships at risk.


With Microsoft Office 365, Best Group has moved its email to the cloud, and communication and collaboration have become streamlined, reliable, and professional.


  • 1,950 hours saved annually
  • Better communication
  • Optimized resources

Software and Services
  • Exchange Online
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • SharePoint Online

Vertical Industries
Professional Services


Business Need
Business Productivity

IT Issue
  • Hosted Messaging and Collaboration
  • High Availability


Barwon Computer Solutions