The ACME Group, a leader in the field of innovative solutions for the wireless telecommunications industry and alternate energy has seen rapid growth. The company needed an enterprise-class communication and collaboration environment that they did not have to build and maintain in-house. ACME found the right solution in Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, an online subscription-based service that gives employees more flexible, simple, streamlined communications. The solution enables the company’s highly dispersed team to work together effectively and have access to the latest information. In addition, it has allowed ACME to enhance productivity by 30 percent, and to take advantage of the benefits that a cloud-based solution offers in place of an on-premises solution. Future-proofing its investment, ACME is guaranteed to increase scale with increasing employees and new mergers and acquisitions.
||Earlier when the field force needed to connect to the management, they used to send an email and wait for the response. This process used to take as much as 200-300 minutes for the respective people to respond. Now, with Exchange Online, the retrieval and response process is much faster. We have reduced the response time to 60 minutes and are working to bring it down further to 6 minutes.
Vice President, Information Technology
ACME Tele Power Limited
ACME Tele Power Ltd. (ATPL) provides comprehensive passive infrastructure solutions to wireless telecom players both in India as well as overseas. Focusing on innovation and R&D, ACME has developed a range of innovative products that help provide cost-effective, energy-efficient, integrated, passive infrastructure solutions, to telecom companies. ACME launched the "Green Shelter", which is a complete package to fit various environment and temperature parameters at telecom sites, avoiding the running of backup systems like diesel generators.
The company today enjoys an international presence in several countries around the world, through its own establishments, channel partners, and associates. This meant that there were as many as three to four domains and a heterogeneous IT environment built over a period of time.
As ACME grew phenomenally in the last 3 years so did its IT infrastructure. However, in the company’s experience, its Linux based messaging environment lacked the scalability, reliability, and the security needed. Additionally, it did not offer the collaboration required by the company.
The heterogeneous email solution and multiple domains often failed and left employees without an email service. With limited or no support forthcoming, the IT team would go into crisis mode to resolve the issues.
Additionally, the inability to reliably communicate, locate, and share information meant a loss in productivity and thus revenues for ACME.
ACME builds its business through responsive customer service. With a geographical footprint spread across the globe, its employees are always on the field. “Our staff needed anytime, anywhere access to current information and resources,” says Satyadev Adurti, Vice President, Information Technology, ACME. “We were using Skype for all our international communication. Our employees did not have the tools required to find, communicate, and collaborate with each other quickly and easily. With 80 percent of our workforce on the field, we definitely needed better team integration.”
Standardization was extremely important for ACME in order to manage its dispersed infrastructure. The company wanted a more automated way of communicating and collaborating. “We needed to move with the market trend and were really interested in the online service model for our business needs,” says Satyadev.
According to Satyadev, “We wanted to address all of these challenges, but felt limited by resource concerns. We definitely needed new technology that would give us a reliable/standardized IT infrastructure that would help enhance the corporate valuation.”
He adds, “We were interested in having a platform that enables us to move ahead as flexibly and economically as possible. Our ambition was to lower our total cost of ownership. And cloud was the way to do so. We started looking for a solution that could offer cloud based collaboration and communications. Putting applications in the cloud would lower costs and relieve our IT staff of maintaining an extensive IT infrastructure.”
Determined to resolve these issues, ACME evaluated alternatives including Google and Microsoft® Online Services. Ultimately, the decision was made in favor of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard (BPOS) Suite, a collection of subscription-based communications and collaboration services hosted by Microsoft.
The Business Productivity Online Standard Suite includes Microsoft® Exchange Online, Microsoft® SharePoint® Online, Microsoft® Office Live Meeting, and Microsoft® Office Communications Online—all of which are hosted in Microsoft data centers. “We liked Microsoft Online Services, because it was completely integrated, available to employees everywhere, always on, and cost-effective,” says Satyadev. “It instantly gave us a standardized set of applications and a way to share and manage documents.”
ACME employees now get mail through Exchange Online, which provides spam and virus protection and with 99.9 percent uptime guaranteed through a financially backed service-level agreement. Employees across offices can access their email, calendars, and contacts quickly and more securely.
Using Office Live Meeting, ACME employees organize web conferences, which helps its geographically dispersed staff communicate in person, without expensive travel. They can use online instant messaging to get in touch with one another quickly, without having to trade voice-mail and email messages.
Another area where ACME plans to use Microsoft Online Services is document management and collaboration. The company is currently in the process of deploying SharePoint Online. With SharePoint Online, all documentation can reside on a shared website where it is accessible by all authorized personnel at any time. Employees will have access to shared online workspaces where they can post documents, share calendars, and business contacts. Regardless of where employees are working, they all will have consistent, up-to-date, reliable information at all times, which is critical for ACME.
Migration was a snap; it was all seamless and painless. The entire strategy was to make it smooth. The total time to migrate to the new solution was 3 days. Today, ACME has 1,170 users on Microsoft Online Services.
“By moving to Microsoft Online Services, we instantly acquired a single, standardized communications and collaboration foundation for our business,” says Satyadev. “Everyone is saving time, because we can find information faster, and we have real-time communications. Plus, we know that these services are always available, because they are hosted by Microsoft.”
||With more reliable, high-performance email messaging, each of our employee is easily saving 30 minutes a day, which is 500 hours a day companywide. This time can be used for more productive activities that benefit the business. “We are seeing at least a 30 percent productivity increase because of this solution.
Vice President, Information Technology
ACME Tele Power Limited
For ACME, this is an ideal solution. Microsoft Online Services enables the company to take advantage of an enterprise-class messaging and collaboration solution, without requiring it to divert resources from its core business to support the solution. This translates into a number of key benefits for the company.
Reduces Costs, Increases Reliability by 99.9 Percent
For ACME, Microsoft Online Services was the perfect solution. Instead of large capital investments to fund IT infrastructure, it can assign a cost-effective monthly subscription fee to operational costs for easy budgeting. “Microsoft Online Services dramatically reduces the cost of offering online services,” says Satyadev Adurti, Vice President, Information Technology, ACME. “The setup brought down our cost of ownership by 45 percent as opposed to the in-house setup.” As Microsoft hosts and maintains the servers with its workforce of hardware and software experts, it supplies patches and security updates in real time, and guarantees 99.9 percent uptime. ACME employees always have access to the latest, most up-to-date versions of the applications to which they subscribe.
Streamlines Communication and Collaboration
ACME is experiencing streamlined communication and collaboration because of Microsoft Online Services. By itself, the solution provides many of the features and functions that ACME has been looking for.
Exchange Online provides ACME with a true enterprise-class messaging and collaboration solution. Without having to rely on a patchwork of communication software, users can communicate quickly and easily. Business decision makers can schedule meetings easily because of the shared calendar, which for ACME makes a world of difference.
Group interactions are more streamlined. No longer do employees need to send emails or make phone calls to all participants to join a meeting. Using Office Live Meeting, all of this is done automatically and in real time.
According to Satyadev Adurti, V.P, I.T ACME, “We have a huge mobile workforce. In our in-house infrastructure there was no possibility for them to access real time information or to connect with other team members anytime anywhere. Now, with Office Live Meeting they can connect with colleagues and engage customers through real-time meetings, training sessions, and events. Microsoft Online Services enables them to connect and communicate in a way they never could have done before.”
Increases Efficiency and Productivity by 30 Percent
With Microsoft Online Services, the IT team does not have to worry about managing these new technologies on premises. Reducing the day-to-day system administration burden gives them the breathing room they need to make business critical decisions. According to Satyadev, “With more reliable, high-performance email messaging, each of our employee is easily saving 30 minutes a day, which is 500 hours a day companywide. This time can be used for more productive activities that benefit the business.”
With Microsoft Online Services, ACME employees are working in productive virtual teams, streamlining collaboration, calendaring, and project management. “As all emails, client data, project details, and other business data is accessible from any web browser, employees no longer spends time searching information,” explains Satyadev. “We are seeing at least a 30 percent productivity increase because of this solution.”
Enables Faster Implementation
Deploying Microsoft Online Services is much faster than deploying the same solutions on-premises, which helps ACME accelerate overall business velocity. “As part of our growth strategy we are looking at mergers and acquisitions,” says Satyadev. “The time required to set up software with Microsoft Online Services versus on-premises goes down dramatically, from weeks to hours. Implementation is four-times faster with Microsoft Online Services. There is no hardware or software to deploy, training is faster, and we get more done in a shorter amount of time.”
Reduces Response Time
Exchange Online has made a huge difference in email usage at ACME. According to Satyadev, “Earlier when the field force needed to connect to the management, they used to send an email and wait for the response. This process used to take as much as 200-300 minutes for the respective people to respond. Now, with Exchange Online, the retrieval and response process is much faster. We have reduced the response time to 60 minutes and are working to bring it down further to 6 minutes.”
Microsoft Cloud Services
Microsoft offers a complete set of cloud-based solutions to meet business needs, including solutions for advertising, communications (email, meetings), collaboration (document storage, sharing, workflow), business applications (customer resource management, business productivity), data storage and management, and infrastructure services. In addition, customers can take advantage of an entire ecosystem of solution providers and Microsoft partners. For more information, please visit www.microsoft.com/cloud
For More Information
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For more information about ACME Tele Power Ltd. products and services, call +91 (124) 481 7000 or visit the Web site at: www.acmetelepower.com