4-page Case Study
Posted: 4/10/2012
211
Rate This Evidence:

Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV Furniture Retailer Leverages Office 365 for Phenomenal Growth and Cost Savings

Now, we can work wherever we are. We can access our emails, data, contacts, and calendars, which helps us do business. But most importantly, Office 365 has helped us work smarter with our documents.

Wim Bos, Co-Owner, Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV

Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV is growing rapidly, and brothers Wim and Hans Bos are racing to keep up with their company’s ever-expanding IT needs. Each time they add a new employee to their team, they must also add software licenses, email accounts, file sharing access, and more. At the same time, they need to keep an eye on communication between their two showrooms and logistics center—all while keeping an eye on costs.

Microsoft Office 365 delivers a cloud-based solution that not only addresses Van der Vliet’s needs, but is also affordable. Centralized file sharing gives employees access to critical documents from anywhere. Employees can access email, documents, contacts, and calendars from their mobile phones, and with web-based versions of Microsoft Office applications and a cloud-based conferencing tool, Van der Vliet expects to save money on software licenses and travel costs. The results will reduce overhead expenses by at least $3,000 per month.

Situation

Wim and Hans Bos are a young, tech-savvy, and ambitious pair of brothers. They race cars in their free time. And they sell chic, gorgeous furniture and kitchens at affordable prices in their native Netherlands.

*
* It’s important to us that our IT solutions are flexible enough to adapt to our needs. We are growing, and Office 365 can grow with us. *

Wim Bos
Co-Owner
Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV

*
The Bos brothers are co-owners of Van der Vliet, a company they purchased in 2009. Since then, they’ve grown the business from one store in Breda and a handful of workers to a brand-new showroom in Arkel and 18 employees. Promoting what the brothers describe as “living fashion,” Van der Vliet promises the best quality at the best prices.

In addition to its two stores, Van der Vliet also operates a logistics center for warehousing its furniture. In order to share large files, such as design documents, between three locations, employees had to physically deliver them. “We were forced to share large files by postal mail, or drop them off in person,” says Wim Bos.

When working remotely, access was highly unstable using the company’s VPN, which frequently dropped connections and left employees without the documents and data they needed. “This was especially problematic for our sales force, which is always on the road meeting with customers,” Bos says.

And as the company continued to grow and add employees, the Bos brothers became frustrated with the costs of adding software licenses and email accounts, plus the IT needed to maintain these systems. They needed a simpler, more efficient solution for file sharing and collaboration—one that wouldn’t break the bank for a company that strives for cost-efficiency.

Solution

The brothers turned to their trusted IT provider, Tredion, a Microsoft Gold Certified and Online Accelerate Partner. Tredion serves about 25 customers deployed with Microsoft Office 365—an online service which unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication solutions—and Tredion owner Jan van Wijgerden knew it would be a good solution for Van der Vliet.

“The Bos brothers are young entrepreneurs and really focused on building a good IT infrastructure, so they can grow in the future. That’s why they chose Office 365,” says Wijgerden.

Office 365 includes Microsoft SharePoint Online, which provides centralized file sharing and allows users to manage content and collaborate virtually. The company can organize documents into folders for each team—for example, the sales department has its own library. The administrator can also set access levels for each employee. Version control and co-authoring features, which enable simultaneous document editing between users, will help employees track and manage documents more efficiently.

*
* The biggest delight was that we’ve reduced the cost of our infrastructure. We don’t need to pay for maintenance using the cloud.  *

Wim Bos
Co-Owner
Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV

*
And because Office 365 is accessible anywhere there’s an Internet connection, including on smart phones and other mobile devices, employees are never far from the resources they need. “Now, we can work wherever we are,” says Bos. "We can access our emails, data, contacts, and calendars, which helps us do business. But most importantly, Office 365 has helped us work smarter with our documents.”

Perhaps most importantly, Office 365 was a money-saving solution. Van der Vliet had considered using Google Apps for online collaboration, but the quality of popular Web Apps included in Office 365—including cloud-based access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote—tipped the scales. Looking forward, Van der Vliet plans to use the Lync Online web conferencing tools, included as part of Office 365. The result will save money on travel throughout Europe and meeting with suppliers in Asia.

Benefits

Because Office 365 is easy to implement and highly scalable, Van der Vliet simply purchases a new subscription for each employee the company adds. New workers can access, share, and collaborate with others on critical documents—all at a low and predictable monthly cost.

Seamless, Centralized File Sharing

Previously, Van der Vliet employees stored files on their local hard drives. Now, with SharePoint Online, everyone has immediate access to the files they need. “When we started working with Van der Vliet, employees would send hard copies from one location to another. With Office 365, they’ve got a nice structure for document processing, and all the data is centralized,” says Wijgerden.

Mobile Access to Data

About 10–25% of Van der Vliet’s employees work remotely, primarily the sales teams. Office 365 makes it easy for these on-the-go employees to accomplish tasks using their Windows 7 Phones and iPhones. “The integration between SharePoint and Office 365 on our Windows Phones is excellent,” says Wim Bos.

Lower IT Costs

As Van der Vliet grows, the company can add Office 365 seats as quickly as it adds employees, translating into $500 to $1,000 savings per month in IT costs, including software licenses and IT support. “The biggest delight was that we’ve reduced the cost of our infrastructure. We don’t need to pay for maintenance using the cloud,” Bos says.

The company is also planning to transition to Lync Online to host web-based conferencing rather than relying on physical travel to centralized meeting locations. With this solution, it estimates saving $2,500 to $5,000 per month.

The Bos brothers believe Office 365 will help them support future growth. “It’s important to us that our IT solutions are flexible enough to adapt to our needs. We are growing, and Office 365 can grow with us,” says Bos.

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 Tredion products and services, visit the website at:

www.tredion.nl

For more information about Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV products and services, visit the website at:

http://vdvliet.nl/

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



Organization Size: 25 employees

Organization Profile

Van der Vliet Home Interiors BV promises the best quality furniture and kitchens at low prices. With two showrooms featuring fashionable living, this company is keeping pace with rapid growth.


Business Situation

This growing retailer needed a centralized system for sharing files between multiple locations and an easy, cost-effective way to provide new employees with email and software.


Solution

Microsoft Office 365 gave Van der Vliet employees centralized file sharing that could also be accessed remotely. Web Apps save the company from purchasing software licenses for each new employee.


Benefits

  • $500 monthly savings on IT
  • $2,500 travel savings monthly
  • Centralized file sharing


Software and Services
  • Lync Online
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • SharePoint Online
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps

Vertical Industries
Retail and Consumer Goods

Country/Region
Netherlands

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Cost Containment

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Tredion Automatisering BV

RSS