2 page Case Study - Posted 7/6/2011
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Infiniti Retail

National Chain of Retail Stores Moves to Hosted Solution, Reduces TCO by 25 to 30 Percent

To boost IT efficiency and give employees access to unified communications, Infiniti Retail decided to move to Microsoft Exchange Online, a part of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. It is now benefiting from simplified data backup and recovery, along with improved mobile access to email. Additionally, the move to the new solution has resulted in improved communication, collaboration, and productivity; reduced IT effort; and a 25 to 30 percent reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

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* We just pay a monthly fee and it’s all managed for us. Eliminating the need to buy or manage infrastructure means tangible savings. We estimate that our TCO will reduce by 25 to 30 percent *

Mr. Avijit Mitra
Chief Financial Officer
Infiniti Retail

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Business Needs

Infiniti Retail, a TATA Enterprise, operates a national chain of multi-brand electronics stores under the brand name Croma. Croma is one of India’s first national, large format, specialist retail chain of consumer electronics and durables. The 64 stores with new ones opening regularly across the country offer more than 2,500 products and 180 brands in seven categories.

Retail today is all about being better, faster, and leaner. Whether you are a global chain or an internet-only outlet, the willingness to adapt and adopt is essential to survival.

Infiniti Retail maintained its email servers on-premise. The company had two exchange servers, both of which were five year old and were running on Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. With around 2,700 employees, of whom 700 were email-enabled employees, email was critical. And, as the number of stores and employees both were increasing, approximately 10-25 email ids had to be created every month. To safeguard against disk failures, backups were taken on tapes, which is again a cost. At times, there were backup job failures, which required manual intervention to troubleshoot, which was time-consuming task. Another significant challenge was setting up a disaster recovery server.

With such an old infrastructure, hardware support had ended and so hard disk scalability in the server and creating these email ids was turning out to be a challenge. The hardware had reached the end of its life, as support for the servers was no longer available. In addition, new versions of messaging software offered many more services and features, such as unified communications. Refreshing the entire infrastructure was inevitable,” says Mr. Nadeem Malim, Senior Manager – IT, Infiniti Retail. “We needed to provide state-of-the-art IT services without the need for large on-site infrastructures.”

Solution

The company evaluated couple of on-premises, hosted, and leading cloud-based messaging solutions. After a proof of concept, it finally made the decision to go with Microsoft Exchange Online, a part of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite, a cloud-based set of messaging and collaboration tools, delivered as a subscription service. The solution gives businesses rich capabilities without the need to deploy and maintain software and hardware on-premise. “The POC showcased how cloud solutions can reduce costs, improve agility, and enhance global consistency,” says Mr. Nadeem Malim.

Infiniti Retail partnered with Microland, Microsoft Infrastructure Partner, for the deployment of the solution.

Infiniti Retail migrated its 700 email users in just 60 days to Microsoft Exchange Online. “The switchover was absolutely smooth for us and we could access the same email as before,” says Mr. Nadeem Malim.

Users can access the advanced email, calendaring, contact management, and task management features of Exchange Online through the Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 messaging and collaboration clients, or they can use Microsoft Outlook Web App to access the same functionality from almost any web browser.

IT staffers can now create bulk email ids in few minutes, with no worries about storage and server sizing, etc. Additionally, they no longer need to perform backup operations to ensure redundancy for their messaging environment. Instead, mailbox data is continuously replicated to Microsoft data centers in distributed geographic locations.

Exchange Online runs in secure Microsoft data centers that are geographically redundant. In addition, mobile support for smart phones enables devices to quickly connect mobile users to email and other messaging functionality.

Capabilities provided by Office Live Meeting are also under evaluation to conduct virtual meetings for project teams, Operations, HR interviews and groups, where face-to-face meetings would be difficult. This would also reduce some traveling expenses.

The capabilities provided by Business Productivity Online Standard Suite all work together along with Microsoft Office desktop applications to deliver a seamless experience.

Benefits

Hosted IT Reduces TCO by 25 to 30 Percent

Because Infiniti Retail outsources its IT, the team doesn’t have to think about server management, back-up, disaster recovery, installing and upgrading software, monitoring security, troubleshooting or any other IT maintenance issues. All this is taken care of by Microsoft. “We just pay a monthly fee and it’s all managed for us,” says Mr. Avijit Mitra, Chief Financial Officer, Infiniti Retail. “Eliminating the need to buy or manage infrastructure means tangible savings. We estimate that our TCO will reduce by 25 to 30 percent.”

Easy to Manage System Reduces IT Effort
The company’s move to Microsoft Business Productivity Online has also yielded productivity gains by reducing system administration workload by approximately around 25 to 30 hours a month. Because Microsoft hosts and manages the servers, the company does not have to invest in hardware or the administrative support required to deploy and manage solutions in-house.

Integrated Solution Boosts Productivity

The company is confident that seamless access to email, calendars, contacts, and business documents increases workforce efficiency. Exchange Online offers scalable and cost effective solution to enable such seamless access. ,” says Mr. Avijit Mitra.

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



Organization Size: 2700 employees

Organization Profile

Infiniti Retail, a Tata Group company, runs an Indian retail chain for consumer electronics and durables under the brand name Croma. Presently, there are 64 Croma stores spread across the country.


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Exchange Online

Vertical Industries
Retail and Consumer Goods

Country/Region
India

Business Need
  • Business Productivity
  • Cloud & Server Platform
  • Collaboration
  • Unified Communications
  • Cost Containment

IT Issue
  • Cloud Services
  • High Availability
  • Hosted Messaging and Collaboration
  • Personal Productivity
  • Virtualization

Languages
English

Partner(s)
Microland Limited

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