4-page Case Study - Posted 7/20/2011
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European Parking Giant Collaborates in the Cloud
“With Office 365, we can do things never before possible, like coordinate meetings and share ideas through the cloud. It’s changing the way people think and work for the better.”
Giorgio Tibaldi, IT Manager, APCOA Parking Italia
APCOA Parking AG wanted an easy way to share and access information among its widespread branches and to quickly determine executives’ availability in order to schedule meetings. When the company began using Office 365, employees found that communicating and sharing large files through the cloud made collaboration across borders virtually seamless. Situation
German-based parking giant APCOA provides development and planning services to cities and large businesses, as well as management of individual parking facilities throughout Europe. With diverse clients and a growing demand for consultation services, the company needed a standardized method of communicating and sharing data among its 18 European operations.
||Under a standardized solution, employees have access to the same tools and documents almost everywhere. This makes sharing and collaborating easier and more effective.
APCOA Parking Italia
Each APCOA site had an independent IT solution with different content management tools, which made it difficult to collaborate across borders. Executives at one site weren’t able to check the availability of managers at different branches, making scheduling meetings arduous and inefficient. As a result, the meetings often lacked the anticipated attendance. “APCOA Europe does not have the tools to hold a productive conference call across Europe,” says Giorgio Tibaldi, IT Manager at APCOA Parking Italia. “Scheduling meetings in which everyone can attend is basically impossible because we have no insight into the availability of our colleagues.”
While managers at headquarters were able to share files with each other through Microsoft SharePoint, employees at other sites could not. Because of this, employees were faced with the time-consuming task of sending large files to headquarters via standard mail. “Carpark employees have a web application to share information locally, but there is no way to send that data to headquarters,” says Tibaldi. “We needed a way to bring everyone together—a standardized tool to use at all European sites.”
The company also wanted to reduce travel costs by utilizing videoconferencing tools. “If online meetings were more effective, we’d decrease the need to travel to meetings,” says Tibaldi.
Its IT solutions provider Glück & Kanja Consulting AG, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner, recommended APCOA test Microsoft Office 365, a cloud-based service that delivers a comprehensive suite of messaging and collaboration tools designed to improve communication and collaboration. Solution
In Office 365, APCOA saw an opportunity to improve communication and collaboration across multiple sites by utilizing cloud-based tools that users could access anywhere. “Glück & Kanja knew exactly what we needed—and we couldn’t be happier with its suggestion to adopt Office 365,” notes Tibaldi.
The company also sought to bring all of its branches under a common directory for greater transparency and improved communication. Using Microsoft Active Directory, Office 365 offers a way to consolidate many contacts in one global address list, making it easy for employees to determine someone’s availability at a glance. “We see Office 365 as a great integration platform that will enable all European countries can connect and work together more effectively,” Tibaldi says.
With Microsoft Lync Online, which provides web and videoconferencing capabilities, the organization can improve attendance at important meetings as well as reduce travel costs. “We can now spend significantly less time scheduling and traveling to meeting sites by using Lync Online,” Tibaldi explains. The company expects to save up to 15 percent in travel costs simply by implementing the cloud-based service.
Microsoft Exchange Online provides users with 25 GB of mailbox storage and the ability to send and receive files up to 25MB in size, which facilitates large-file sharing. Plus, Microsoft SharePoint Online gives everyone—regardless of location—an easy way to share and access important documents.
“Under a standardized solution, employees have access to the same tools and documents almost everywhere. This makes sharing and collaborating easier and more effective,” Tibaldi remarks. New email and web capabilities allow greater access to files and provide opportunities for online training. “Office 365 will help us improve upon some fundamentals, as well,” says Tibaldi. “Many of the tools will help us to stay in compliance with regulations, which is crucial for APCOA.”Benefits
Office 365 offers calendaring, a portal for sharing large files, and virtual conferencing, all of which better position APCOA to take on current and future business challenges. The implementation of Office 365 also helps APCOA set a precedent for standardizing IT resources across multiple sites.
Trims Travel Costs 15%
Lync Online enables APCOA to cut back on the cost of business trips. “Lync Online gives us the audio and videoconferencing capabilities we need to work more effectively,” says Tibaldi. “And we predict it will reduce our travel budget by up to 15 percent.”
Increases productivity by 12%
APCOA will use Exchange, Lync, and Microsoft SharePoint Online to enhance and streamline communication throughout the company’s widespread sites. The organization is also simplifying collaboration with the help of Active Directory, which creates a global list of employees’ contact information and calendars. By being able to share calendars among employees and quickly identify a person’s availability, APCOA will save significant time and effort when setting up meetings.
Cuts IT Costs by 30%
Looking ahead, APCOA sees potential for a centralized call center to provide remote IT services to its European sites. With all sites utilizing the same tools thanks to Office 365, it will be easier to quickly identify and solve problems remotely. “We’re already seeing better communication and time savings with Office 365,” says Tibaldi. “Security is also improved, and there’s less of a risk of losing data, which is critical for any IT department looking to rely more on virtual assistance.”
Overall, Tibaldi says that Office 365 has really been a game-changer for APCOA. “With Office 365, we can do things never before possible, like coordinate meetings and share ideas through the cloud,” he says. “It’s truly changing the way our people think and work for the better.”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 Glück & Kanja Consulting AG products and services visit the website at:
For more information about APCOA Parking Italia products and services, call 0376 22.16.77 or visit the website at:
http://www.apcoa-europe.comThis case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.