– One of the original reasons behind our shift to Office 365 was to provide users with an updated productivity platform and to automatically achieve license compliance across the entire organization. But we also gained quite a few other advantages. For instance,
we got a full-fledged, maintenance-free Exchange environment as well as a versatile communications-suite at no further cost. On top of that, it’s fair to assume that we’ve saved quite a lot of money.
Flemming Skaaning Kjøge is Chief Infrastructure Manager at Kwintet, a globally leading company in the work wear-industry with approximately 3.500 employees. During the last decade, Kwintet has grown extensively, primarily due to numerous acquisitions of
related companies. The strategy has, however, resulted in a somewhat fragmented IT-infrastructure. And the existing Lotus Notes-solution was – apart from being somewhat unpopular amongst the employees – not very well suited to the task of forming a unified
‘Office 365 was the right answer to our challenges’
||We’re able to expand and to accommodate new business-units practically on the fly. On the other hand, there’s no doubt what so ever that we have saved a lot of money – and will continue to do so – compared to what a physically based
setup would have cost us in implementation, maintenance and hardware.
| Flemming Skaaning Kjøge,
Chief Infrastructure Manager,
– IT-wise, we’re more orientated towards Microsoft, so initially we made preparations to build an Exchange-setup from scratch. We did so, however, somewhat reluctantly. Primarily because it would be somewhat expensive while not really make our lives easier
with regards to – for instance – license compliance, which traditionally has been a challenge for us as a geographically dispersed company, says Flemming Skaaning Kjøge.
– Instead, our Microsoft-partner Motus A/S told about numerous other companies who had successfully switched to cloud-basedOffice 365 and were quite happy about it. So we decided
to investigate further end ended up concluding that Office 365 was the right answer to our challenges. Especially when viewed from an IT-strategy- and administration standpoint he says.
– Our Microsoft licensing partner Crayon A/S was a great help and support in our subsequent license negotiations. They had a good understanding for our wishes and needs and gave us very dedicated and professional advice concerning negotiating a traditional
Enterprise Agreement in combination with Office 365, says Flemming Skaaning Kjøge.
Lync Online: The communications tool by choice
In October 2012, the new
Office 365 productivity-suite went live at Kwintet with approximately 2.000 users, and quite soon the new solution gained traction.
– With 25 GB space per user, employees could basically forget about deleting mails all the time like we used to ask them to. Furthermore, most employees knew and liked the Office-suite and could easily relate to the new user interface, whether they accessed
mail and calendar though Outlook or online as kiosk-users, says Kjøge.
He adds that – apart from gaining a unified, easily manageable and maintenance-free Exchange-solution, Office 365 features SharePoint Online, which the company plans to implement as well.
– But the greatest surprise turned out to be the communications suite Lync. It’s very well integrated with Outlook and makes it possible for us to unify all chat and video-conferencing across the company. That’s really popular with the management and actually
also amongst the employees, as they’re able to communicate seamlessly on a number of channels and to see presence-information – which is a great time-saver, explains Flemming Skaaning Kjøge.
A farewell to license compliance-concerns
Finally, Kwintet’s internal AD was integrated with
Office 365 using Microsoft Federation services. This made it easy to manage user-accounts while making license compliance of Microsoft Office licenses an almost trivial matter.
– The Office 365-setup suits us very well in quite a lot of ways. We’re able to expand and to accommodate new business-units practically on the fly. On the other hand, there’s no doubt what so ever that we have saved a lot of money – and will continue to
do so – compared to what a physically based setup would have cost us in implementation, maintenance and hardware. Also, it minimizes the need for internal administration and Exchange knowhow, thus freeing time and capacity in the IT-department to help drive
the business instead, concludes Flemming Skaaning Kjøge.