4-page Case Study
Posted: 3/12/2012
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Capitalis International Pty Ltd Marketing consultancy uses Microsoft cloud tools to connect with clients

“Microsoft Office 365 gives us strong communication tools and the latest technology at an affordable price, and Microsoft Lync lets us connect with our clients easily and professionally.”

Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director, Capitalis International Pty Ltd

Capitalis International Pty Ltd provides marketing research, analytics and commercial intelligence services to a broad range of clients around Australia and overseas. The company is based in Perth, and smooth communication across large distances is an important part of its daily activities. However, the firm’s existing communication tools made it hard for its 15 staff to communicate with clients.

Conferencing equipment was too expensive and it would mean clients would have to set up complex software or make expensive calls to faraway teleconferencing systems. At the same time, the company was having trouble managing its in-house servers because it relied on an outside service provider to make changes and fix problems.

When it moved its head office, Capitalis took the opportunity to look at some of its IT systems. Cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 offered an easily manageable and always accessible suite of communication tools. It gave employees access to email, documents, contacts and calendars from virtually anywhere, and helped them connect with each other and with clients through reliable instant messaging, video calls and online meetings.

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* Microsoft Lync Online was the perfect solution for our communication needs – and when you combined it with Office 365’s hosted Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Exchange Online servers, the benefits just kept adding up. *

Stuart Gunstone,
Operations Director, Capitalis International Pty Ltd

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Business Needs

Capitalis International Pty Ltd specialises in helping clients use their company data to identify new marketing, customer support and revenue generation opportunities. Based in Perth, Australia, its 15 employees work with customers across the country and overseas.

Because many of Capitalis’s employees spend time onsite at clients’ locations, smooth communication with other clients and with colleagues is essential. In the past, the company mainly used teleconferencing services, but this caused problems as the number of calls increased.

“As we’ve grown the business, one of our biggest challenges has been setting up conference bridges with clients,” says Stuart Gunstone, Operations Director, Capitalis International Pty Ltd. “We managed in quite a piecemeal way before. As a result, we found our clients often had to dial in to calls at expensive phone rates. We couldn’t hold proper conference bridges or online meetings with some of the more basic options, so we started looking for something more professional and standardised.”

Communication wasn’t the only problem Capitalis faced: 18 months earlier, it had implemented in-house servers to provide email, communication services. The platform worked, but even minor outages became major problems as they meant mobile employees couldn’t work at all. Fixing problems was often time-consuming and expensive, because Capitalis had to call its IT partner even for simple tasks like adding, changing or removing user profiles.

When the company moved to new offices in Perth, Capitalis took the opportunity to reassess its IT infrastructure. Its goal was to improve communication with clients. But the firm quickly realised that a cloud delivery model could improve its business in many ways.

Solution

Capitalis considered a number of alternatives, but decided Microsoft Office 365 for professionals and small businesses offered it the best benefits and value for money.

Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service that includes Office desktop applications and hosted versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server and Lync Server.

“We trialled all sorts of products but found free online productivity tools didn’t meet our needs,” says Gunstone. “Microsoft Lync Online was the perfect solution for our communication needs – and when you combined it with Microsoft Office 365’s hosted Microsoft SharePoint Online and Microsoft Exchange Online servers, the benefits just kept adding up.”

When it came time to move premises, Capitalis shut down its in-house servers. Long-time business partner Business365 – a Microsoft Partner – migrated Capitalis’s employee data to the cloud-based Microsoft Office 365. The company continues to use its on-premise server as a file and print server and for running other applications.

Staff now use Microsoft Lync Online to manage their client communications. They can easily set up teleconferences, videoconferences and document-sharing sessions with multiple people.

Thanks to Business365, Capitalis got a complete application and helpdesk package called B­Sweet™, which provides 24-hour technical support for its employees.

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* We now have reliable and easy-to-use communication tools, which are helping employees work more efficiently, and helping us keep our clients happy. *

Stuart Gunstone,
Operations Director,
Capitalis International Pty Ltd

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Benefits

Lync Online may help Capitalis save money

Months down the track, Capitalis has already seen big benefits from adopting Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Lync Online.

Using Microsoft Lync for online conference calling, for example, has allowed the firm to stop using expensive external communications providers.

“We make around four international conference calls each week,” says Gunstone. “We expect Microsoft Lync Online to save us thousands of dollars compared to a conference call provider, which charges per minute, per person. Lync Online will also greatly improve the quality of our calls.”

Microsoft Office 365 allows staff to connect from virtually anywhere

Office 365 has become the employees’ main workspace. It gives them online tools – like instant messaging, video calls and online meetings – to easily communicate with colleagues and clients.

“Staff now have confidence that their communication technology is secure and reliable,” says Gunstone. “Microsoft Office 365 is helping us respond faster to client requests and improve customer service.”

Support where and when it's needed

Support from Business365 was an important part of the package, because Capitalis’s Perth location put it out of sync with business-hours-only technical support services located on the east coast, two time zones away. Staff also wanted to know that they could have their questions answered immediately, no matter where they were.

“With B-Sweet and Office 365, Capitalis staff now have the added assurance of 24/7 access to our experienced helpdesk team,” says Keavy Gorman, Director, Business365.

Easier to manage users and data

Instead of having to wait for a service technician to arrive onsite when something goes wrong, Capitalis’s new cloud-based infrastructure provides software that’s always up-to-date, data that’s always backed up and a hosted IT environment that's always available without direct intervention by Capitalis.

This is essential for a small business that has employees who rely on access to online tools while at client sites.

Even better for the team, Microsoft Office 365 makes it much easier to add, remove and change user accounts as business requirements change.

Cloud platform supports business growth

Capitalis pays a modest flat rate per user per month for Microsoft’s cloud services. The new system has also given Capitalis a chance to look at better ways to manage documents. Capitalis plans to use Microsoft SharePoint Server and the integration between Microsoft Office 365 components to improve its business processes.

“I can’t think of a case where Microsoft Lync Online and Microsoft Office 365 can’t do what we need, and it has been very economical,” says Gunstone. “We now have reliable and easy-to-use communication tools, which are helping employees work more efficiently, and helping us keep our clients happy.

“We’re only starting to explore all that we can do with Microsoft Office 365,” he adds.

Microsoft Product that was featured

Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription service that gives you access to your email, important documents, contacts and calendar from almost anywhere and any device.* It is reliable and flexible.

Microsoft has a variety of plans to meet the needs of your business. Each plan has a 99.9% uptime guarantee and includes the security and support you expect from Microsoft.

Small businesses and professionals can purchase Microsoft Office 365 through Telstra T-Suite.

To learn more about Microsoft Office 365, visit http://www.office365.com.au/.

* Access from mobile devices requires Wi-Fi capability or depends on carrier network availability.

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services call the sales and information line on 13 20 58 Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm AEST. To find a partner or solution, visit www.microsoft.com/australia/findapartner/

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 15 employees

Organization Profile
Based in Perth, Australia, Capitalis International Pty Ltd is a full-service marketing research company that offers a range of marketing research, analytics and commercial intelligence services. The company helps clients deliver sustainable revenue growth as efficiently and effectively as possible.         

Business Situation
Capitalis staff faced challenges staying in contact with clients across Australia and with colleagues. Existing communication tools were expensive, complicated and limited. An office move gave Capitalis the impetus to explore new options.

Solution
Cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 lets Capitalis staff and clients connect virtually anywhere. Microsoft Lync Online provides instant messaging, video calls and online meetings. Hosted Microsoft Exchange Online and Microsoft SharePoint Online servers enable flexible communication between staff and clients.

Benefits
  • Helped Capitalis save money on conference calls
  • Enabled staff to connect from virtually anywhere
  • Provided access to support where and when it's needed
  • Simplified management of users and data
  • Moved to a cloud platform to support business growth 

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

Vertical Industries
Outsourced Services

Country/Region
Australia

Business Need
  • Cloud & Server Platform
  • Unified Communications

IT Issue
  • Hosted Messaging and Collaboration
  • Cloud Services
  • Virtualization
  • Interoperability
  • High Availability
  • Private Cloud

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Business365

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