We’ve doubled our staff and we don’t need to worry, because Office 365 is nimble and flexible. We can use our capital for things that will grow our business, rather than incurring IT costs.
James Robinson, Director, Au Pair Link
Au Pair Link Limited is an internationally recognised Au Pair agency that is committed to linking loving families with quality au pairs, having assisted in thousands of au pair placements since its inception in 2006. As an International Au Pair Association
member with nationwide coverage and worldwide partner relationships, the company provides a safe, reliable and personal service for clients.
Au Pair Link is New Zealand’s leading and largest au pair agency; it's the largest agency in Australasia, and is among the top 5% of au pair agencies in the world. The company has more than 30 full- and part-time employees
and places approximately one thousand au pairs with host families in New Zealand and internationally. Au Pair Link needed online services that would provide document management and collaboration capabilities, while keeping pace with its rapid growth.
Au Pair Link was “born in the cloud,” having chosen cloud-based subscription services to run its business, with the benefit of always being on the latest version of the technology. The company’s staff includes qualified early childhood education teachers
working in homes with varying IT skills, so the solution needed to be easy to learn and provide an intuitive way to create and share documents and information. “Our team having varying IT skill sets, we wanted a solution that would be familiar to them and
easy to use,” says James Robinson, Director of Au Pair Link.
||Office 365 is so scalable it can keep up with the phenomenal growth we’ve had. We don’t have to worry about expanding infrastructure; we just add users.
| James Robinson
Au Pair Link
The company’s main offices are located in Auckland, with staff located regionally, as well as staff members who work outside of the office regularly. The company needed a way for employees to work with one another to get quick answers to customer questions,
engage with team members in remote locations, view calendars, share announcements and provide performance information. In addition, approximately 50% of the company’s employees require mobile capabilities to do their work. One of the benefits of Office 365
is that employees can use their own smartphones to access company information securely.
At times the company has grown at a rate of 1000 percent per year in providing au pairs to families, so having a solution that would be flexible enough to accommodate rapid growth without requiring huge investments in infrastructure was important as well.
A solution that included support was also a priority, as Au Pair Link didn’t want to hire IT staff for management and troubleshooting. “We do not have a lot of internal IT skillsets, so we need an easy-to-use management portal. We don’t have any servers. All
of our business is in the cloud,” notes Robinson.
Since Au Pair Link wanted an all-in-one cloud-based solution for its applications, it was an ideal prospect for Microsoft Office 365, an online service which unites familiar Microsoft Office applications with email, calendaring, collaboration, and communication
One of the reasons Au Pair Link chose Office 365 is to provide its users with 25 GB mailboxes, allowing the company to back up all communications with customers, and ensuring that even if a staff member leaves the company, the historical information will
still be there for reference. They also wanted SharePoint Online for document management. The company now relies heavily on this as an intranet for posting documents, announcements, and custom datasheets.
Taking the use of SharePoint even further, Au Pair Link also includes a company blog that Robinson uses to post updates when he’s travelling overseas, and has SharePoint designer workflows in place for notifications which provide updates on Key Performance
Indicators, many of them non-financial company KPIs. “The real advantage for us is advanced business intelligence and decision making,” says Robinson. “We export datasheets to Microsoft Excel, create pivot tables and graphs, and then push them back up live
to SharePoint so everyone can see results.”
Microsoft Lync Online instant messaging and presence information is also used a great deal by employees looking to work together efficiently. “For us, Lync Online is about communication. It’s really powerful for on-the-spot decision making and information,”
Robinson says. The company employs a very modern, open plan office space and frequently conducts multiparty conferences using Lync Online.
Office 365 helps Au Pair Link run lean, with no servers and no capital outlay for IT support, even with the company’s rapid growth. Robinson comments, “Office 365 is so scalable it can keep up with the phenomenal growth we’ve had. We don’t have to worry
about expanding infrastructure; we just add users.
||For us, Lync Online is about communication. It’s really powerful for on-the-spot decision making and information.
| James Robinson
Au Pair Link
With Office 365, Au Pair Link can continue to grow at a rapid pace while maintaining the high level of service its clients expect.
Business intelligence tool
Au Pair Link has taken SharePoint beyond simple document management to a business intelligence tool. “By reporting on our non-financial KPIs, SharePoint Online lets us know sooner if there’s an issue we can rectify and the cause of that issue, so it gives
us a more in-depth look at the business,” Robinson comments.
Improved collaboration and decision making
With Lync Online, an employee can be on the phone with a client and use presence information to see who is online to help answer a question, using instant messaging to get an answer right away. “With staff around the country and the world, Lync Online and
Exchange help us engage remote team members, share calendars and information, and help them integrate and feel connected with the team,” says Robinson. The team also uses Lync Online for remote IT diagnostics and training sessions.
Flexibility to keep pace with growth
When the company recently moved offices, they found the process much simpler without IT equipment to move. Robinson notes, “We’ve doubled our staff and we don’t need to worry, because Office 365 is nimble and flexible. We can use our capital for things that
will grow our business, rather than incurring IT costs.”
Another aspect of flexibility that Robinson appreciates is the ability for Office 365 to keep pace with him as he goes about his travels. “With Office 365, you can be working on the other side of the world, pick up your laptop, and it’s just as if you were
working back home in New Zealand; it’s no different,” says Robinson.
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:
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This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.