4-page Case Study
Posted: 7/30/2012
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Special Broadcasting Service Corporation Cloud Services Bring Collaboration, Remote Access, and Efficiencies to Media Company

With Office 365, I can start my email at home in the morning, continue on my mobile device on the train, and finish it up in the office!

Klaus Schelp, Manager, Information Technology, Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS) was founded thirty years ago on the belief that all Australians, regardless of geography, age, cultural background or language skills should have access to high quality, independent, culturally-relevant Australian media. The corporation’s multiple language programs are targeted at providing all Australians, including the estimated three million Australians who speak a language other than English in their homes, with quality programs expressing a multiplicity of viewpoints, and drawing from the best of all the country’s cultures for its programming.

SBS prides itself on being courageous in its reporting, interested in individuals, and a trusted resource for Australians. SBS found itself in need of an email upgrade due to the limited storage capacity, recurring issues requiring maintenance, and insufficient collaborative or remote access capabilities of its existing solution.

Situation

With 800 full-time employees, additional part-time employees and shared mailboxes, SBS has 1,500 email accounts and a great deal of email to manage. Its old email system, which the company had been using for nearly ten years, wasn’t keeping up with their needs. The system needed a great deal of maintenance, which was costly, and the environment would only allow for limited inbox storage. “People had to manually clean out their inboxes frequently in order to stay within the limits to send and receive mail, and this was wasting a great deal of time,” says Klaus Schelp, Manager, Information Technology, for SBS. In addition, the old system only allowed for a few employees to access email remotely from smartphones and other devices – a real issue in a business where employees need to be in the field to report, and an impediment to better collaboration among team members.

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* Overall, deploying Office 365 has been a good experience for us. We are able to focus on the core business instead of IT administration, and now it will be easier to focus on other internal development, which will help grow the business.  *

Klaus Schelp
Manager, Information Technology
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

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As well, the cost and limitations of the prior on-premises email solution’s installation was becoming a nuisance. The amount of time and manpower that had to be dedicated to this was preventing SBS’ IT department from focusing on other issues, such as adding collaborative functionality. The company realized that its existing on-premise collaboration platform needed an update, particularly when they encountered incompatibility with some of their line of business applications.

More and more employees who did not have to work in the field were requesting the ability to check email from their smartphones, but their on-premise solution simply couldn’t accommodate this functionality efficiently for more than 100 of their users.

There was also a corporate Intranet site for sharing files and updates, but searching the site for information was neither easy nor intuitive. Files were out of synch and people were often passing around different versions of the same document.

Solution

After investigating other cloud-based platforms, SBS chose Microsoft Office 365, an online service which unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication solutions for an integrated set of email and business applications to help reduce costs and provide the collaboration and remote access capabilities the company needed.

To solve the problem employees were having with limited inbox sizes, SBS deployed Exchange Online and Outlook. Schelp projected that due to the prior volume of help calls, this change alone is saving every employee time on a daily basis, which he believes supports the move to the new platform. Employees no longer have to worry about not being able to send and receive email if their inbox should become full, and their satisfaction with the solution is high. “Feedback on Office 365 has been very positive,” says Schelp.

SBS’ IT staff has gained back a great deal of time from not having to handle email issues. They are now able to focus on more strategic and value added tasks, such as adding new functionality to help SBS’ employees collaborate, including Microsoft Lync Online for online meetings and instant messaging.

To address employees’ needs for remote access, having Office 365 applications and email with mobile capabilities fit the bill. In addition to working from home, employees can now save time getting a breaking story back to the office by sending it via laptop or smartphone. In addition, the ability to work remotely provides collaborative benefits, as employees know they can access important emails when they’re away from their desk. The company’s experience has been so positive, they will soon begin rolling out Microsoft SharePoint Online as well to help improve the way the company shares files and information. “We are looking forward to offering improved information and document collaboration with SharePoint Online,” Schelp comments.

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* With Office 365, the number of people connecting remotely has gone from 100 to 700 – mostly with little assistance required from the IT team.  *

Klaus Schelp
Manager, Information Technology
Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

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Benefits

Despite being in the early stages of its deployment, SBS has already seen their work environment change dramatically, just with improved email and collaboration and remote access to files and information.

Simplify and improve email and collaboration

The first thing Schelp noticed was that the phone calls from employees needing help dealing with inbox limitations simply stopped. To add more collaboration features, the company has also rolled out Lync Online to a subset of users. “The instant messaging and online meeting functions of Lync have been very helpful with keeping in touch with remote production teams, and we are looking forward to deploying it to the rest of our employees,” he notes.

Reduce IT expenditures

The migration has gone smoothly, according to Schelp. Due to the elimination of problems with email storage and other issues, IT staff can now spend their time adding functionality for users. “Overall, deploying Office 365 has been a good experience for us. We are able to focus on the core business instead of IT administration, and now it will be easier to focus on other internal development, which will help grow the business,” he says.

Improve remote access to information

SBS employees enjoy the flexibility they now have in being able to work remotely. “With Office 365, the number of people connecting remotely has gone from 100 to 700 – mostly with little assistance required from the IT team,” comments Schelp.

He adds, “I can start my email at home in the morning, continue on my mobile device on the train, and finish it up in the office. I can work on the same content independent of device and location”

“We have gone from an organization where just the basic tasks of sending and receiving mail required a lot of operational resources, to one where we can work from anywhere and communicate more effectively. And now we are really starting to collaborate, making instant connections by using Lync Online for instant messaging, presence, and desktop sharing as well,” says Schelp.

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 Special Broadcasting Service Corporation products and services, visit the website at:

www.sbs.com.au

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



Organization Size: 1500 employees

Organization Profile

SBS offers multiple language programs on Television, Radio and Online to ensure that all Australians are able to share in the unique and varied experiences that represent life in Australia.


Business Situation

SBS needed to upgrade its email solution in order to offer collaboration and improved remote access capabilities, increase storage, and reduce IT expenses.


Solution

The company chose Office 365 to help improve the functionality and collaborative possibilities of its email, while expanding remote access and removing inefficiencies.


Benefits

  • Improved collaboration
  • Reduced IT expenses
  • Better remote access


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

Vertical Industries
Communications & Media

Country/Region
Australia

Business Need
Business Productivity

Languages
English

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