Office 365 fit our needs perfectly. It’s definitely a cost-effective solution that poises us for long-term growth.
- Christian Domschke, Head of IT Service, TGE
German-based contractor TGE Gas Engineering provides design and planning services for natural and petrochemical gas handling and processing plants in seven countries. TGE sought to upgrade its IT infrastructure without increasing costs, in addition to enabling its engineers to share large files and collaborate with partners and clients around the world.Situation
TGE had an intranet system in place, but it wanted to update its overall IT infrastructure without hiring more staff. Most days, IT professionals would spend time helping engineers send large files by burning them onto DVDs or managing through email. “The IT team was spending more time on daily administrative tasks, which takes focus away from bigger projects,” says Christian Domschke, Head of IT Service at TGE. With plans to acquire new businesses, the company wanted to standardize its communications platform so it could quickly merge contacts and facilitate a complete migration to a single solution.
||We knew that Office 365 would give TGE the means to upgrade its IT infrastructure and improve collaboration without adding costs. Hosting Office 365 alone would cost the company more than €15,000 on licensing.
Partner Alliance Manager
Glück & Kanja
While employees were already using Microsoft SharePoint 2010, they could not collaborate with partners off-site who did not have the same capabilities. Engineers often sent large documents to external clients via FTP sites or standard mail, which was time-consuming and delayed important decisions. “We have many external partners and vendors that we collaborate with, but our engineers needed an easy way to quickly share and discuss documents,” states Domschke.
Adding to its collaboration challenges was the fact that TGE was unable to conduct web conferences with partners and clients. Scheduling meetings with dispersed partners and traveling off-site to work with clients took up valuable time and required careful coordination. “Introducing a tool that enables engineers to share screens with any partner in any location would save IT staff an hour each day setting up and training people to use other methods of sharing data—not to mention saving thousands of euros on plane tickets to our sites throughout the UK and Asia,” says Domschke.
TGE turned to its IT solutions provider Glück & Kanja Consulting AG, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner, which recommended Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based service with messaging and collaboration tools that would enable engineers to make faster decisions on critical projects. “We knew that Office 365 would give TGE the means to upgrade its IT infrastructure and improve collaboration without adding costs. Hosting Office 365 alone would cost the company more than €15,000 on licensing,” says Alexandra Hanke, Partner Alliance Manager at Glück & Kanja.Solution
With Office 365, TGE saw potential to upgrade its IT infrastructure—without incurring extra costs—and position itself for growth. “A new IT solution is three times more expensive each year you wait to upgrade. Naturally, we didn’t want to wait, but we also wanted to avoid growing our IT budget,” says Domschke. “Because Office 365 is easy to set up and use, we can get up and running in minutes—without having to call on IT staff to set up web conferences or complicated methods of sharing documents.”
In addition, the company’s IT professionals won’t need to spend time managing the cloud-based service, which frees them up to focus on forward-thinking initiatives. And using Microsoft Exchange Online enables TGE to quickly link in new contacts with its existing communications platform for a seamless transition. “Any day that goes by without communicating a change request is time wasted. By communicating what needs to be purchased in a timely manner, we could potentially save thousands of euros,” says Domschke.
||Engineers can now share drawings with the share screen option, which is an invaluable tool when dealing with frequent design changes.
Head of IT Service
TGE was already using Microsoft SharePoint at its offices, so integrating it with SharePoint Online was a natural decision. “We thought about building our own solution, but the costs were exorbitant. Adding SharePoint Online was an inexpensive solution that simply made sense,” states Domschke. Now, both employees and contractors can access and share files through the cloud eliminating the need to use FTP sites or parcel post to send large files.
TGE gains even more ways to collaborate with Microsoft Lync Online, an online video and audio conferencing application. “Engineers can now share drawings with the share screen option, which is an invaluable tool when dealing with frequent design changes,” says Domschke. TGE employees also found the web conferencing tools to be much simpler to use, reducing the need for IT support in setting up and running meetings.Benefits
Office 365 offers cost-effective communication and collaboration tools, plus the ability to share large files from anywhere. TGE realized savings in both time and money with its migration to the cloud-based service.
Standardizes and Positions for Growth
With Office 365, TGE is able to upgrade its IT infrastructure without increasing staff or expenses. Additionally, the company addresses the need to standardize its IT solutions as employees and contractors can access and rely on the same set of tools from anywhere, at any time. “TGE will save about an hour a day in IT-related support with the upgrade,” remarks Domschke. TGE currently runs Exchange 2007 on premises and with the addition of Exchange Online, the company now has an easy way to integrate newly acquired companies into its communications platform and will be able to migrate completely to Exchange Online down the road, eliminating on-site hardware and limiting staffing costs.
Trimming Costs through Collaboration
By integrating SharePoint Online with the existing SharePoint system, TGE sees new possibilities for collaborating with external contractors. TGE’s in-house engineers can quickly share large documents and drawings with off-site partners, resulting in better collaboration and faster communication. Now, engineers can easily share design updates as they arise, rather than waiting for an IT professional to help set up complicated conferencing tools. “Our workforce is distributed all over the world, and we had to send engineers off-site to collaborate with partners. We can save up to €30,000 annually on plane tickets and long road trips to external sites,” states Domschke.
Providing Better Service
With the ability to share screens, Lync Online gives engineers a vital tool for collaborating with peers on site, as well as with partners and customers at distributed offices. The web conferencing tool adds a new capability—one that saves the company €16,000 per year and 250 hours of IT support. “Lync Online is so convenient and easy to use, we save thousands of euros on tasks like updating and maintaining servers, educating staff, and backing up data. But the biggest savings we see from Office 365 is in our ability to make faster decisions. Every delay costs us money, and these tools allow us to eliminate the issues we had previously,” says Domschke. “Office 365 fit our needs perfectly. It’s definitely a cost-effective solution that poises us for long-term growth.”
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