4-page Case Study
Posted: 5/26/2010
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Space Energy Space Energy sees collaboration and productivity soar with Microsoft Cloud Services

Space Energy is an innovative company that seeks to harness the benefits of a new source of renewable energy in the form of Space-Based Solar Power. To ensure a more productive and collaborative work environment, the firm wanted to update its computing environment. Working with Steeves and Associates, a Microsoft Gold Partner, Space Energy moved over to Microsoft Online Services, which helps to provide more up-to-date communications and collaboration programs over the Internet from Microsoft data centres. The company is now using Windows®-based technologies for greater manageability, improved user satisfaction, simplified IT management, and increased flexibility compared to Google Apps.

Situation

As global energy use continues to rise, so too does the search for a more reliable electricity supply based on clean, sustainable fuels. Among those leading the way is Space Energy, a Swiss-based company that seeks to harness the power of the sun via Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP).

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* We’re currently taking advantage of Microsoft Online Services to benefit from a more cost-effective approach to staff collaboration and supporting our growing business. *

Peter Sage, Principal, Director of Global Marketing & Communications for Space Energy
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Space Energy’s goal is to develop SBSP satellites that will generate and transmit electricity to receivers on the Earth's surface. To do this, it plans to launch a prototype satellite into low earth orbit (LEO). After the prototype has been successfully demonstrated, the company will then enter into power supply contracts with customers and launch larger-scale, commercial-strength satellites.

With offices also in San Francisco, Dubai, Beijing and Switzerland, the company’s 20 employees are focused on turning the vision of SBSP into a reality. Each day, staff interact with dozens of partners and stakeholders across multiple time zones. This makes document management – including the tracking, controlling and maintaining of documents – a complex process. Collaboration is also a challenge as staff need to be able to contact each other in real-time 24 hours a day.

Space Energy operates within a mixed IT infrastructure that features various on-premise and hosted solutions for email and business communications. Its previous business productivity application environment was based on ActiveOffice, but extending this environment across its offices proved to be too costly from a licensing perspective. Space Energy needed an affordable enterprise-class communication and document management system but lacked the resources to support such a system in-house.

“Timely communication is critical to what we do,” says Peter Sage, Principal, Director of Global Marketing and Communications for Space Energy. “Our work would grind to a halt if we had no way to easily and reliably share documents and email across our offices.”

Solution

Working with Steeves and Associates, a Microsoft Gold Partner, Space Energy evaluated several solutions, including Google Apps, but ultimately chose Microsoft® Online Services, which includes Microsoft Office SharePoint® Online, Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Microsoft Office Communications Online, to gain access to a range of hosted, enterprise-class services.

Microsoft Online Services helps businesses tap into the power of cloud computing, and avoid the cost of upgrading or managing on-premise technology. Instead of purchasing separate server and client licenses for infrastructure components such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server or Microsoft Exchange Server, Space Energy can simply subscribe to the applications they want to use.

“Microsoft Online Services was easy to use and simple to roll out across our organization,” says Sage. “From day one it addressed our messaging and collaboration requirements.”

Staff are using Microsoft Online Services for Web-based access to collaboration tools and shared workspaces, desktop and mobile e-mail, calendaring and contacts, instant messaging, presence, audio/video conferencing and Web conferencing. Space Energy is also looking into the potential of leveraging Office Communications Online and Live Meeting for to enable greater collaboration among its geographically dispersed staff.

Benefits

By using Microsoft Online Services, Space Energy aims to reduce infrastructure and operational costs.

“Microsoft Online Services has been effective in driving lower costs, stronger collaboration and greater accessibility,” says Sage.

Enhanced collaboration

Microsoft Online Services provides employees with scalable and reliable e-mail and messaging services that they can access from any location. Whether employees are in North America or overseas, users benefit from a consistent computing experience.

Space Energy is also using SharePoint Online to create a secure and centralized repository for company data. This enables staff to access documents from a single location. Whether colleagues are in Vancouver or overseas, staff are now using SharePoint to make important documents – including purchasing information, sales contracts and associated files – much more accessible.

“Our admin team is impressed with SharePoint. They no longer have to send massive email attachments to each other, and can ensure that they’re always using the most current version of a document. This helps improve everyone’s performance,” says Sage.

Simplified user experience

The instant messaging and presence functionality of Office Communications Online enables real-time person-to-person communication via text, voice and video, across the organization. It also helps workers keep data current on all devices using ActiveSync technology, which synchronizes between their desktop and notebook computers.

“We now have confidence that the information we have is the most accurate and up-to-date, which helps us focus on what we do best – tapping into the power of solar energy,” says Sage.

Reduced operational costs

Because Microsoft Online Services is backed by strong service level, Space Energy can minimize the time spent performing routine IT management and devote more resources into growing the business.

“As an emerging company focused on providing renewable energy sources, cost containment is key. Microsoft Online Services has helped us make technology even more affordable,” says Sage.

Microsoft Online Services

Microsoft Online Services are business-class communication and collaboration solutions delivered as a subscription service and hosted by Microsoft. With these offerings, customers can cost-effectively access the most up-to-date technologies and immediately benefit from streamlined communications, simplified management, and business-class reliability and security features. For IT staffers, Microsoft Online Services are backed by strong service level agreements and help reduce the burden of performing routine IT management, freeing up time to focus on core business initiatives.

For more information, visit:

www.microsoft.com/online

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:

www.microsoft.com

For more information about Steeves and Associates products and services, call (604) 298-7700 or visit the Web site at: http://www.steeves.net/

For more information about Space Energy products and services, call +41 522 692 153 or visit the Web site at: http://spaceenergy.com/

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



Organization Size: 20 employees

Organization Profile

Space Energy is an innovative company that seeks to harness the benefits of a new source of renewable energy in the form of Space-Based Solar Power (SBSP).


Business Situation

To ensure a more productive and collaborative work environment, the firm wanted to update its computing environment.


Benefits

  • Simplified user experience
  • Enhanced collaboration
  • Reduced operational costs


Software and Services
Microsoft Online Services

Vertical Industries
Power & Utilities

Country/Region
Canada

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Steeves and Associates

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