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Posted: 6/7/2012
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Atominx Design Studio Outgrows Google, Enhances Collaboration with Switch to Office 365

When Myles Kaye founded Atominx in 2009, he chose the Google Mail cloud-based messaging service to support his company’s email communication. But as Atominx grew and Kaye hired more employees, Google could not keep pace with the company’s collaboration and business needs, and Atominx had to piece together several browser-based solutions. The company needed to develop a single communication domain and build a centralized collaboration environment that would be simple to deploy, manage, and use. In December 2011, Atominx adopted subscriptions to the Microsoft Office 365 messaging and collaboration service for all its employees. Now Atominx employees work together more effectively, and the company is positioned more competitively with an enhanced business focus.

Situation
When he was still a student, Myles Kaye was earning money building websites, and in 2009, he founded Atominx, a one-man web design shop based in Manchester, United Kingdom. His business began to grow almost immediately, and within just a couple years, Kaye was the director of a 10-person studio offering a broad range of design services for websites, mobile applications, and graphic media.

When Kaye started Atominx, he adopted the basic Google Mail cloud-based messaging service to support email communication. But as Atominx hired more people, developed new offerings, and served more customers, Google did not keep pace with the company’s collaboration needs and business goals.

“At first, Google Apps was easy, and it was free,” says Kaye. “But once we had four employees and six freelance designers trying to collaborate with just the very basic email and chat tools in Google Mail, it began to feel restrictive.”

Atominx employees and most of its freelance designers were using Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 productivity software, but they could not use the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client because it was difficult to interoperate with Google Mail. “Google had a way to interoperate Google Mail with Outlook, but it was complicated and difficult to set up,” says Kaye. “And when you’re done, you have the email folders, but still no calendar or contacts.”

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* Google couldn’t support our growth, but Microsoft Office 365 helps us give customers the right impression—that we are business professionals, equipped and ready to meet their needs.
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Myles Kaye
Director, Atominx
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With Google Mail, it was sometimes difficult to send or open meeting invitations and attachments. If recipients didn’t download attachments before they opened them, the files would open in a Google interface, often creating miscommunication or delay. To provide other collaboration capabilities, Atominx pieced together several solutions, such as Windows Live Messenger and the Dropbox document-sharing web service. Kaye worried about the impression Atominx might be creating with customers when it communicated from a disparate mix of free solutions.

“We worked from too many IDs in too many different places,” says Kaye. “I realized that we were outgrowing Google and that we also needed to develop a single communication domain and a more professional identity.”

Although Atominx had grown rapidly, it was still a small company, and Kaye served as his own IT team, spending several hours a week helping employees and freelancers troubleshoot Google and other solutions. Kaye did not want to give up the infrastructure savings and low IT management offered by cloud technology—computing resources delivered as services over the Internet—but he needed a more advanced messaging and collaboration environment. He wanted a centralized environment that would be simple to deploy, manage, and use, and he wanted to avoid high infrastructure costs.

“I wanted to consolidate all our collaboration and productivity tools in a centralized environment,” says Kaye, “and I wanted everything to work without taking up all my time.”

Solution
While evaluating several on-premises and cloud-based solutions, Kaye discovered Microsoft Office 365, a subscription-based offering from Microsoft cloud services, which includes Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Lync Online, and Microsoft Office Web Apps. As a trial, Kaye began using Office 365 himself in October 2011.

“We were already using Microsoft Office 2010, so we had a lot of trust with Microsoft, and Office 365 offered all the features we needed,” says Kaye. “As soon as I started to use Office 365, I could tell it was a solid, complete solution. Everything worked so easily together, on my PC and my mobile devices.”

In December 2011, Atominx adopted Office 365 subscriptions for all its employees and designers. “The Google setup was complex, with many pages, but it was easy to follow the simple, step-by-step Office 365 setup process,” says Kaye.

With Exchange Online, Atominx employees and designers send and receive email messages from a single, Atominx domain, and they can use all the functionality in Microsoft Outlook to manage their email, calendar, contacts, and tasks. Atominx employees already used Microsoft Office 2010 on their PCs, but company freelancers can use Microsoft Office Web Apps to access browser based versions of Office programs. “By using Office 365, we are working with a common set of tools, so we can all send, open, and work together on documents, presentations, or spreadsheets,” says Kaye.

To help streamline both collaboration and routine business administration, Kaye is using SharePoint Online to set up portals for sharing documents and libraries for vacation forms and other HR documents. Employees and designers use Lync Online to connect with each other to share expertise and resources instantly. “If I want to reach somebody, I can check their presence on Lync Online,” says Kaye. “If they are available, I can send them an instant message and get what I need right now. If they're not, at least I can send them an email message and then move on to something more productive.”

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* I realized that we were outgrowing Google and that we also needed to develop a single communication domain and a more professional identity.
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Myles Kaye
Director, Atominx
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Kaye uses the Office 365 administration console to manage accounts, add mailboxes, and assign permissions and passwords for users quickly and easily. “Managing Google was very cumbersome, with multiple windows and screens within screens,” says Kaye. “Now, when I get an automated alert, I go to the appealing, intuitive, and easy-to-use Office 365 administration console to deal with it, usually in just a few clicks.”

Benefits
When Atominx switched from Google and began using Office 365 to support its messaging and collaboration environment, its employees could work together more effectively and better serve customers. The company has positioned itself more professionally. It has streamlined IT management and enhanced its business focus.

“I could have paid to add more features to Google, but then we could have outgrown the service again,” says Kaye. “With Microsoft, we got all the features we wanted—and more—in a completely integrated service from a provider we trust. It was an easy decision to make the change to Office 365.”

More Effective Collaboration
By using Office 365, Atominx employees and designers can work together—and with customers—more effectively than ever before. They can easily and correctly send and open attachments, organize meetings, and manage their calendars. They can share documents and presentations in SharePoint sites, or instantly using Lync Online.

“It's just so easy to communicate and share information using Office 365,” says Kaye. “With Google we struggled to share documents by email. Now, when I send an instant message asking somebody for a file, they just drag it to their Lync Online window and I have it instantly.”

When project teams work together efficiently, they can streamline review cycles and complete projects faster. “Designers and sales reps can use Office 365 to get approvals instantly, instead of waiting up to a day for an email response,” says Kaye.

Professional, Competitive Identity
By communicating and collaborating from a central domain, Atominx can minimize email issues and project a single professional business identity, which positions the company more competitively. For example, instead of asking customers to register for third-party web services such as Dropbox, the company can use SharePoint Online to share large files in an Atominx extranet.

“Collaborating with customers from a single domain is essential for our competitive branding,” says Kaye. “Google couldn’t support our growth, but Microsoft Office 365 helps us give customers the right impression—that we are business professionals, equipped and ready to meet their needs.”

Streamlined Environment, Enhanced Business Focus
By consolidating its messaging and collaboration environment with Office 365, Atominx has enhanced its business effectiveness and reduced its IT management burden. Kaye can set up a new Office 365 user in just minutes or configure smartphones and tablet PCs to run Office 365 by simply clicking an icon and entering a user name and password. And because Atominx employees and designers are familiar with the Microsoft tools and user interfaces in Office 365, they do not have to rely on Kaye to help them learn to operate the solutions.

”I started using Google because I wanted an easy ride, but I wound up spending five to ten hours a week helping my team change user settings or download attachments,” says Kaye. “Using Office 365, I spend less than an hour a week on maintenance and troubleshooting. It has freed up my time so I can focus on building my business.”

Microsoft Online Services
Microsoft Online Services are business-class communication and collaboration solutions delivered as a subscription service and hosted by Microsoft. With these offerings, customers can cost-effectively access the most up-to-date technologies and immediately benefit from streamlined communications, simplified management, and business-class reliability and security features.

For more information, visit:
www.microsoft.com/online

For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:
www.microsoft.com

For more information about Atominx products and services, visit the website at:
www.atominx.com

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 10 employees

Organization Profile

Founded in 2009 and based in Manchester, United Kingdom, Atominx offers a broad range of design services for websites, mobile applications, and graphic media.


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

Vertical Industries
Professional Services

Country/Region
United Kingdom

Languages
English

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