Employees at Averia wanted a better communications solution to help them collaborate more effectively and increase productivity. They relied on a hosted email product that was complex to use and didn’t have the features staff needed for communicate easily. Averia chose Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite and gained cloud-based versions of Microsoft server products. Personnel now work more efficiently, while the IT team has reduced management time by 15 per cent.
Averia, based in Prague in the Czech Republic, publishes online magazines covering a range of IT-related subjects such as network security and innovation. The company is expanding—most recently opening new offices in Poland—and the management team faces the constant challenge of publishing quality content while keeping down costs.
As part of a review of communication across the business, managers identified a number of challenges with the hosted email solution. It was a challenge for employees to import contacts and attach images to messages. Many new starters found the solution difficult to operate—with the environment being unlike any they were used to—so the IT team had to answer a large number of requests for support.
The review also identified wider challenges with communication and collaboration among employees. There was no central location to store and share files, so personnel lost time locating documents and forms. In addition, employees didn’t have access to an instant messaging (IM) tool or conferencing facility, which would help with conducting online conversations and computer-based training sessions. Averia wanted to introduce new functionality without increasing the IT team’s workload. Its aim was to retain a hosted service, but gain a flexible solution that would scale with the changing needs of the business.Solution
The management team researched the market for potential solutions and chose Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. It offered anywhere access to services such as Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Office Communications Online. It also guaranteed 99.9 per cent availability with the service hosted at Microsoft data centres.
Averia began working with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner KPCS to migrate employees to Business Productivity Online Standard Suite and design a new intranet portal based on SharePoint Online. After design work was completed, Averia launched a pilot programme in which a number of employees gained access to Exchange Online for messaging and Office Communications Online for web conferencing, presence awareness, and IM. At the same time, the IT team began to use Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server to protect against viruses and Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 to backup email and portal data. The pilot proved successful and Averia went ahead with a company-wide deployment to all personnel.
Employees now use their computers and mobile devices to access email accounts and respond to messages. They also use IM for quick work-related discussions and the intranet portal to share files and reach company documents, such as holiday forms. Thanks to Office Communications Online, teams have recorded training sessions that help new starters and external collaborators better understand internal processes. Averia has now launched another pilot scheme for deploying Business Productivity Online Standard Suite at the new office in Poland.Benefits
Employees at Averia are more productive thanks to the deployment of Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. Katarína Rusnáková, Publishing Manager at Averia, says: “We immediately saw an increase in performance across every part of the business after the move to Microsoft Business Productivity Online Standard Suite. With new ways to collaborate and share documents, there was also an immediate drop in data duplication, helping us reduce the demand for storage and the duration of backups.”
Employees increase productivity. Personnel complete projects faster because they can collaborate more effectively by attaching images to emails and editing work held centrally. The environment is familiar and user-friendly—and importing contacts to the email system is no longer a challenge.
IT team reduces support time by up to 15 per cent. As a result of the solution’s simplicity, the IT team expects to cut the number of IT support enquiries. Because new starters in particular find the system easy to operate, the team will reduce support time by up to 15 per cent.
Personnel gain better, more cost-effective training. Employees save time because courses now take place through the internet using Office Communications Online. They no longer travel to the main office in Prague to attend training, which reduces travel time, increases productivity, and lowers expenditure.
Scalability and efficient management support growth. Rusnáková says: “Business Productivity Online Standard Suite is valuable to growing companies because it’s flexible and easy to manage.” Single sign-on to multiple services makes it easier for personnel to manage access. In addition, IT staff can add a new user to the system in five minutes, giving them more time to focus on higher value, strategic tasks.This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.