4-page Case Study - Posted 6/12/2012
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Danish Consultancy Firm Moves to Cloud, Recaptures 10,000 Hours Annually
It’s not just about saving time and money—it’s about working smarter. We can deliver better products to our customers because we can bring our best ideas to fruition in less time.
Peter Busck-Nielsen, IT Manager, ALECTIA
ALECTIA is a leading Danish consulting company that provides advice and knowledge-based services to customers worldwide. A global reach requires careful planning and reliable communication, but ALECTIA was working with outdated software that could
no longer support the company’s growth and demand for efficient collaboration.
Collaboration was difficult without a conferencing tool, and costs swelled as employees traveled to meetings off site. ALECTIA’s employees also used older software to share documents, and they called the process cumbersome.
The company researched IT solutions and set up a test group for IBM Sametime, Skype, and Lotus Live, but employees found that the new options were difficult to learn and they craved the familiarity of Microsoft programs. ALECTIA found its solution in Microsoft
ALECTIA had been without a true collaboration tool for years, and it was dealing with aging software amid solid growth. “We have used Lotus Notes to send and receive email, but it’s not widely used technology,” says Peter Busck-Nielsen, IT Manager at ALECTIA.
“ALECTIA acquired several companies in the past few years, and as we grew, we found it difficult to manage the influx of emails we received as well as add new users to our systems.”
||We want to be a lean company, so a ready-to-use solution like Office 365 was a natural choice.
| Peter Busck-Nielsen
In addition, while ALECTIA created a project space within Lotus Notes for employees to share documents, the technology is more than 10 years old and is no longer as efficient as they need it to be. “We are future focused, and that means we need speed and agility,”
notes Busck-Nielsen. “Having legacy systems puts us at a disadvantage.”
Employees had to travel off site for routine meetings, which put strain on ALECTIA’s travel budget. “Our employees are constantly on the go, so we incur a lot of expenses in train and flight tickets,” notes Busck-Nielsen. He also indicates that the rising
costs of international phone calls contributed to budget pressures.
Busck-Nielsen looked to the cloud for a cost-effective solution that would be easy to roll out and simple for employees to learn. “We created a small test group of eight people to try out IBM Sametime and a few other options,” he says. “They tried sharing
and working together simultaneously on documents, but the learning curve proved too steep and time-consuming.”
Once the company learned of Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based suite of collaboration and communication tools that enable online conferences and provide reliable email capabilities at an affordable price, it knew this solution would align with its needs.
“Microsoft has always been the trusted choice, and once we discovered that Office 365 provided us with collaboration tools at a low, per-user cost, we opted to make the switch.”
Busck-Nielsen says Office 365 won over ALECTIA with its familiar interface and enhanced capabilities designed to increase collaboration. ALECTIA partner, Futurecom, which specializes in organizational implementation of services such as Microsoft Lync Online
and Microsoft SharePoint, helped ALECTIA roll out Office 365. “We showed users how to get the most out of Office 365 with hands-on meetings and web-based trainings,” says Thomas Pind of Futurecom. “The response was loud and clear: People are excited to use
Lync Online and the other services Office 365 has to offer.”
ALECTIA plans to replace its outdated Lotus Notes email system with Microsoft Exchange Online, which is provided through Office 365. “Our current system is more than ten years old,” says Busck-Nielsen “We wanted to bring our systems up-to-speed with a unified
experience. Exchange Online is the way to go because it can easily handle the large amount of email traffic we produce each day, the learning curve is negligible, and it’s easier than ever to add new users to our growing operations.”
||With Office 365, the learning curve is small and it’s easy to set up, which means our IT staff can focus on performance and growth.
| Peter Busck-Nielsen
ALECTIA will also add Microsoft SharePoint on site to replace the custom project space it created for employees several years ago. “We store all of our financials and project management data in a SAP system that must be maintained on site, so we can’t move
to a cloud-based version of SharePoint yet,” explains Busck-Nielsen. “But having SharePoint on premises will allow us to integrate it with our other Microsoft services and we can customize the project space to make it very specific to our users. Right now,
we’re using Microsoft Office 2003, and we plan to upgrade to Office 2010 in May. For the first time, we’ll be able to collaborate on documents and easily share information with colleagues and customers.”
The addition of Lync Online, a web-based conferencing tool that comes with Office 365, has already helped ALECTIA trim travel-related costs. Employees now hold online conferences instead of traveling off site to meetings. “It’s not just about saving time
and money—it’s about working smarter. We can deliver better products to our customers because we can bring our best ideas to fruition in less time,” says Busck-Nielsen.
In Office 365, ALECTIA found tools that enhanced collaboration while also helping it cut costs.
With a storage capacity of 25GB and the ability to send email with attachments as large as 25MB, Exchange Online is supporting ALECTIA’s burgeoning operations.
“We can share and store large files and critical information without missing a beat,” says Busck-Nielsen. “And Exchange Online is very secure, so we can send email without worrying that our information might be compromised.”
Instant messaging capabilities in Lync Online also provide employees with new ways to connect. “At a glance, you can see whether someone is available and questions can be answered immediately instead of languishing in someone’s inbox,” Busck-Nielsen says.
“We expect our employees to save an average of about 30 minutes a week with Lync Online.”
When SharePoint is added to the environment, Busck-Nielsen says the ability to share and co-author documents will boost productivity even further. “SharePoint is a big piece to the puzzle. Once we have it in place and employees begin using it, we’ll be able
to measure our success in a very real way.”
ALECTIA’s employees are now able to conduct online conferences, which reduce the time spent traveling to disparate sites. “We expect to save about 6 million Danish kroner over a three-year period by exchanging on-site meetings with web-based ones,” says
Because Office 365 comes fully loaded with familiar Microsoft programs, ALECTIA’s IT staff can quickly get employees up to speed and working in less time. “We want to be a lean company, so a ready-to-use solution like Office 365 was a natural choice,” says
ALECTIA is looking toward the future and creating more exciting jobs for its IT staff, says Busck-Nielsen. “IT jobs can be rather boring when you’re trouble-shooting small things all day. With Office 365, the learning curve is small and it’s easy to set
up, which means our IT staff can focus on performance and growth.”
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:
For more information about Futurecom products and services, visit the website at:
For more information about ALECTIA products and services, visit the website at:
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