4-page Case Study
Posted: 7/30/2012
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LandMark White Australian Valuation Company Improves Collaboration with Cloud-Based Service

We wanted a feature rich, professional, mobility enabled, cloud based solution. Office 365 achieves these targets and provides a seamless onsite to offsite migration pathway. These benefits far outweighed the Google alternative.

Paul Fitzpatrick, IT Director, LandMark White

LandMark White was using Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 at its numerous sites throughout Australia. The IT Director wanted to decommission the aging servers and move toward cloud technology to build a more robust IT solution for the valuation firm.

The company needed a solution that took pressure off of the IT staff, enabled greater access to email for its 200 employees, and simplified scheduling for meetings and conferences. LandMark White found its perfect IT solution in Microsoft Office 365.

Situation

Backing up data on LandMark White’s aging Microsoft Exchange Servers was difficult and unreliable. “Getting our email server to consistently complete a comprehensive backup is an ongoing challenge,” explains Paul Fitzpatrick, IT Director at LandMark White. “If we lose email or other data, it’s a time-consuming task to try to restore that information.” The company planned to replace its servers, but Fitzpatrick found the on-premises solution to be costly, and worried that deploying new servers would not save time for the busy IT staff.

Email is a critical function for the growing company, and employees were often unable to check business email from home if they lacked the proper equipment and applications. “If someone doesn’t have a Microsoft or Office-enabled laptop or smart phone, then they can’t stay connected,” says Fitzpatrick. “We need greater mobility for our employees so no one is out of the loop and clients get faster responses.”

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* Office 365 is a great communication and collaboration service from a world-class company. We don’t have to worry about IT administrative tasks anymore. It’s all taken care of by Microsoft. *

Paul Fitzpatrick
IT Director
LandMark White

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LandMark White employees struggled to learn and use the company’s web-based conferencing tool. “It’s so complicated for the average user that employees call on IT to set up conferences. That cuts into the time the employees need for the meeting, and it creates frustration all around. In the end, they don’t even bother with it,” says Fitzpatrick.

Online Services Corporation (OSC), a Microsoft Gold and Cloud Accelerate partner, suggested a cloud-based solution for LandMark White. Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps were offered as trial solutions for the company, but the Google service failed to meet LandMark White’s expectations. With Google Apps, the company would not be able to migrate users all at once, and it was critical to LandMark White that the implementation be as seamless as possible. “Google would be OK for personal email, but for a business solution, it’s just too radical. The overall look and feel of the Google solution was too casual – it just wasn’t right for our business environment,” remarks Fitzpatrick. “We wanted a seamless transition, and we could not migrate all of our users at once with Google. Office 365 was a much better fit for our needs.”

Solution

OSC helped LandMark White plan and execute the move to the cloud with Microsoft Office 365, an online service that unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendar, collaboration, and communication solutions. The migration started with Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), which OSC set up to give the company a single sign-on experience with on-premise and cloud-enabled systems and a seamless migration to Exchange Online. “We were able to help the IT team at LandMark White migrate more than 200 mailboxes to the cloud—with zero down time for employees,” says Rowland Parr, Business Development Manager at OSC.

LandMark White was able to decommission servers on site, eliminating the need for IT staff to monitor and backup data each day. “We would have spent over $85K to upgrade our on-site servers,” says Fitzpatrick. “Now, our email and data is secure in the Microsoft cloud, and we feel confident about that it’s being monitored around the clock.”

LandMark White employees were eager to get their hands on Exchange Online, which can give them greater access and mobility by enabling the use of almost any smart phone. “Employees can send and receive email from their mobile devices, access Microsoft Outlook contacts and calendars – and they can do this from home, on the go, or wherever they happen to be,” says Fitzpatrick. The company is evaluating a “bring your own device” program that gives employees the freedom to use any smart phone they choose and integrate business applications with their personal resources. “This will get the IT department out of managing assets and into working on strategic solutions,” explains Fitzpatrick.

The company’s IT staff were able to get employees up and running with Microsoft Lync Online, a web-enabled conferencing application that provides presence indicators, instant messaging, and videoconferencing. “Lync Online has improved inter-office communication in a short time. We’re able to see if someone is available at a glance, and questions don’t have to linger in someone’s email inbox,” says Fitzpatrick. “Issues can be escalated quickly, and with the conferencing tools, employees can easily set up meetings and share their screens with participants, so there’s no misunderstanding about details.”

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* The licensing is flexible so it can change as we grow and acquire more businesses and users. That’s difficult with a traditional on-site solution, but with Office 365, it couldn’t be easier. *

Paul Fitzpatrick
IT DirectorLandMark White

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Benefits

With Office 365, LandMark White was able to avoid the costs associated with buying new servers, while giving its employees tools to help increase access, mobility, and collaboration.

Trimming Tech Costs

Moving to the cloud was a budget-friendly solution for the Australian company. “Not only did we eliminate costly on-site servers, but our IT staff is saving 10 hours each month now that they don’t have to monitor backups and perform administrative tasks,” says Fitzpatrick. The licensing subscription is a bonus for the company. “The licensing is flexible so it can change as we grow and acquire more businesses and users. That’s difficult with a traditional on-site solution, but with Office 365, it couldn’t be easier.”

Greater Mobile Email Capabilities

LandMark White employees can now check their email from virtually anywhere, whether it’s on their home computer or a mobile device. Outlook calendars and contacts are readily accessible, and email can be synced with ease. “We have to stay on top of important proposals, so having the freedom to work from home or on the road is valuable,” says Fitzpatrick. “Our greater availability makes us look good in the eyes of our clients.”

Increased Collaboration

Employees can set up and conduct videoconferences with a touch of a button via Lync Online, and instant messaging capabilities help enable employees to easily identify when someone is available to answer questions. “It’s easier than ever to collaborate with people in our other offices. The share-screen feature is useful to help share presentations, or explain complicated valuations,” says Fitzpatrick. “And Lync is so easy to use that employees can set it up themselves instead of calling on IT for help.”

LandMark White plans to incorporate Microsoft SharePoint Online within a year to help ease file sharing in its offices. With the current file-sharing system, employees have to wait up to six minutes to receive a document and locating data can be challenging. “We have a traditional file sharing system to share files now, and it’s difficult to use. We have issues with incorrect versions of in-house documents and proposals being used because the system is older. We look forward to adding SharePoint Online to make it easier to find documents quickly and eliminate the wait time we see now when transferring files,” says Fitzpatrick.

The company found a cost-effective solution to its aging infrastructure and discovered tools to help boost efficiency along the way. “Office 365 is a great communication and collaboration service from a world-class company. We don’t have to worry about IT administrative tasks anymore. It’s all taken care of by Microsoft,” says Fitzpatrick.


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 Online Services Corporation products and services, visit the website at:

www.onlinesc.com

For more information about LandMark White products and services, visit the website at:

www.lmw.com.au

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

Solution Overview



Organization Size: 200 employees

Organization Profile

LandMark White provides residential and commercial valuation, property solutions, and advisory services for governments, banks, developers, and investors throughout Australia.


Business Situation

LandMark White had an aging on-site server solution that tied up its IT department with daily maintenance tasks. The company also lacked a robust email system.


Solution

The company moved its data to the cloud, retiring servers and freeing up IT staff to focus on projects.


Benefits

  • Better mobile connectivity
  • Increased mailbox sizes from 2 to 25GB
  • Saved 10 IT hours monthly
  • Reduced backup window by 2 ½ hours
  • Reclaimed over 325GB for use in SAN
  • Increased collaboration


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

Vertical Industries
Other

Country/Region
Australia

Business Need
Business Productivity

Languages
English

Partner(s)
OSC

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