4-page Case Study
Posted: 7/10/2012
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NTUC Unity Healthcare Singapore Health Cooperative Uses the Cloud to Scale with Growth

Office 365 has really provided a great collaboration platform for us to improve our internal communications. It has also made us more productive and responsive, without significantly increasing costs.

Chong Nai Min, Director, Information Systems and Technology, NTUC Unity Healthcare

NTUC Unity Healthcare is a Singapore-based cooperative that manages 48 pharmacies and 13 dental clinics throughout the island. Its 500 employees were challenged by several legacy IT systems for document sharing and storage, with no single solution for effective communication or collaboration. The organization was using a file server for its documents, which could not be accessed remotely. Its email solution could not synchronize messages across multiple devices.

Microsoft Office 365, with its cloud-based collaboration and document-management solutions, gave NTUC Unity Healthcare a single, streamlined IT solution that was immediately familiar and intuitive, and enabled employees to access all their important documents securely and easily. Collaboration became virtually instantaneous, resulting in decisions being made faster, and projects staying on time and on budget.

Situation

NTUC Unity Healthcare was founded in August 1992 in response to concerns in Singapore over rising healthcare costs. Today, the cooperative operates 48 Unity pharmacies and 13 Denticare clinics throughout the island, with its goal to be a partner of choice in the community for every individual and family in caring for their health and wellness.

The organization's 500 employees were challenged by having to use legacy IT systems, including an unproductive email system that was unable to synchronize messages across multiple devices. Employees could not access time-sensitive information remotely, which was important when employees had to work over the weekends at home to meet task deadlines. Additionally, document-sharing and collaborating were done the old-fashioned way, using a file server.

"We had no remote access to any documents on the file server," says Chong Nai Min, Director, Information Systems and Technology at NTUC Unity Healthcare. "To access documents, employees had to come onsite or copy their files onto a thumb drive. And we couldn't share information properly; we sent large spreadsheets via email which made it difficult to search for after the fact." IT consisted of just four employees, who were spread too thin to help their colleagues with their continual communication and document-sharing issues.

NTUC Unity Healthcare wanted a new third-party IT solution, a single, responsive one that would provide fast, reliable document sharing and access to all employees, and a more efficient way for employees to communicate and collaborate with each other.

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* Now, instead of waiting a long time for an email response from my boss, I can just ping him using Lync Online and get an answer right away. It saves a lot of time. *

Chong Nai Min
Director, Information Systems and Technology
NTUC Unity Healthcare

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Solution

When NTUC Unity Healthcare decided it had to replace the aging third-party legacy systems and its outdated methods of sharing communications, it chose the unified, cloud-based, reliable Microsoft Office 365 to solve all these issues. Office 365 is an online service that unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication solutions.

In November 2010, the company began a two-month transition to Office 365, specifically Microsoft SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Lync Online. The cloud-based solution meant the company could eliminate its old and unproductive systems. "Everyone now uses SharePoint daily," says Chong. Using SharePoint, NTUC Unity Healthcare's employees now can find, share, and store company photos, documents, information about news and events, announcements, room calendars, and team sites. "Everyone was already familiar with Microsoft applications," says Chong, so the transition was smooth and ramp-up rapid.

Exchange and Lync Online have enabled employees to communicate much more quickly, reliably, and professionally with each other. "Now, instead of waiting a long time for an email response from my boss, I can just ping him using Lync Online and get an answer right away," says Chong. "It saves a lot of time."

Employees have embraced the new solution that has made so many of their daily tasks so much easier. "Office 365 has really provided a good collaboration platform for us to improve our internal communications," says Chong. "It has also made us more productive and responsive, without significantly increasing costs."

Benefits

With Office 365, NTUC Unity Healthcare improved its internal communications, collaboration and document sharing among its offices, the sharing of key information including calendaring, and save precious employee time with a single, cost-effective IT solution in the cloud.

Streamlined, Reliable Collaboration

SharePoint Online enables employees to collaborate easily on and co-author documents and projects, without worrying about duplication of effort or version control issues. Managers and employees can easily share their calendar availability as well as important news in a single, accessible place. Office 365 eliminated their previous file server limitations, and now gives employees access to job-critical data, when and where they need it.

Faster Internal Communication

Using Office 365 Exchange and Lync Online, NTUC Unity Healthcare employees can use email and IM services to connect much more quickly and reliably with each other than they could with their previous email solution. Decisions can now be made in real time and projects can move forward rapidly. The implementation of Lync Online will mean they have an easy way to contact each other immediately, with no delays.

Focused IT Resources

With the Microsoft 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, the small IT department at NTUC Unity Healthcare can focus on helping new pharmacies and clinics and offices get connected, and not on trying to troubleshoot system crashes or retrieve inaccessible documents. Because Office 365 is scalable and offers a single IT solution for calendaring, collaboration, and communication, the organization will see significant savings in employee time without increasing costs.

Using Office 365 to replace its unproductive file and email systems, NTUC Unity Healthcare can ensure that employees have access to important company information at all times. Employees can collaborate and communicate much more efficiently and professionally. NTUC Unity Healthcare can now focus on its mission: To empower people to care for their health and wellness, enabling them to live life to the full.

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:

www.office365.com

For more information about NTUC Unity Healthcare products and services, visit the website at:

www.unity.com.sg

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



Organization Size: 500 employees

Organization Profile

NTUC Unity Healthcare is the largest healthcare cooperative in Singapore, operating 48 pharmacies and 13 dental clinics throughout the island.


Business Situation

NTUC Unity Healthcare employees struggled with several unproductive IT solutions for storing and sharing documents, communicating among offices, and sharing important company information.


Solution

With Microsoft Office 365, employees have an intuitive, reliable way to store and share documents, communicate with each other quickly, and easily share large project files.


Benefits

  • Better information sharing
  • Improved communication
  • Familiar solution interface


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

Vertical Industries
  • Retail and Consumer Goods
  • Health

Country/Region
Singapore

Business Need
Business Productivity

Languages
English

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